The Daily Groove


The Wild Child

Domesticated animals confined to farms, zoos, and similar unnatural habitats lack a certain "spark" found in their wild counterparts. They've been bred or trained to live apart from their nature. They've adjusted to their lack of freedom.

Put a wild animal in a cage for the first time and behold the fury! What else would you expect from a creature who still knows it's supposed to be free?

Children are born free and wild, and they don't readily submit to "domestication." And thank Goodness for that! Because those who retain that spark are the ones who will uplift the next generation of humanity.

Today, look for evidence of the spark of wildness in your child... and celebrate it! Trust that s/he will civilize in due time. And meantime, let that spark ignite the flames of an authentic, passionate life.

Enfant Sauvage

Don't know whether your post was named after the film or not, but I was reminded of Fran├žois Truffaut's "The Wild Child", or "L'Enfant Sauvage", having recently watched it for the first time. It's a wonderful and poignant look at the cruelness and tenderness behind the "domestication" of a child. Thanks for your grooves, Scott, and season's greetings to you and your family.

Re: The Wild Child

I have a question that perhaps you could help me out with. I have very active twin boys. They are 8. We were delighted to know that one of them wanted to partake in guitar lessons. We thought it would be a good way for him to focus his attention as well as having his very own 'thing' as an individual. We got the guitar and reluctantly he finished the 5 weeks (one day a week) of lessons. The new session is beginning and he does not want to enroll. This is very common for our one boy to be very excited about joining something and then bailing after we have enrolled him.

Because this has been an ongoing problem we feel as though we must put our foot down. It is so hard to know what the right thing to do is. Gentle persuasion definitely is not working. Any suggestions?

Re: The Wild Child

You say "this has been an ongoing problem," and I would encourage you to ask, "Says who?"

Problems exist only in the minds of those who see them. Does your son have a problem with his decision to bail on the guitar lessons? My guess is that you and your partner are creating the problem because you have a belief that it's wrong to quit. If so, you may find that the belief isn't even your own but that it's something that was passed on to you by your parents or society.

You could just as easily decide that quitting is an essential life skill (which it is!) and start supporting his process of mastering the art of quitting paths that his gut tells him are not the right paths to be on.

And if you want him to internalize the value of perseverance, give him plenty of opportunities to witness YOU demonstrating how perseverance makes your life more satisfying. You may discover that you sometimes persevere in ways that are NOT satisfying, and in those cases you could take your son's lead and practice the art of quitting. :)

See also: No Problem