Cultivating An Unenclosed Childhood by Kerry McDonald, M.Ed.
“To sum up: children have been exiled from their kith, their square mile, a land right of the human spirit. Naturally kindled in green, they need nature, woodlands, mountains, rivers and seas both physically and emotionally, no matter how small a patch; children’s spirits can survive on very little, but not on nothing… Society owes it to children to repeal all acts of enclosure, literal and metaphoric, which have fenced in childhood with barbed wire.” .- A Country Called Childhood, by Jay Griffiths (p. 342).
majority of their time enclosed, in structured, adult-led activities. The societal ramifications of an increasingly enclosed childhood are many and span the gamut from declining childhood mental and physical health, to sterile, static neighborhoods, to the growing marginalization and distrust of children.
We need to reclaim an unenclosed childhood for our children. We need to welcome children back into our public spaces, into our neighborhoods and parks and sidewalks. We need to recognize the unfounded The trouble is that children have vir- roots of our fears for them, and grant tually disappeared from our public our children the freedom to grow spaces. Today’s children spend the outside of the confines of buildings NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE | 23