Hanks: Free range children | TheFencePost.com

Hanks: Free range children

First off, gentle readers, let me hope that y'all had a blessed Easter! Moving on … I recently watched a documentary about the ravages of World War I after Hitler was defeated.

The devastation in Poland, Germany, the UK and all of the eastern block countries was almost unbelievable to look back at.

There were so many displaced families and children left with no parents and in some cases no siblings to cling to. As a result they had to cling to one another.

I saw film after film of children as young as 3 and 4 bunched up with kids of all ages going through one rubbish pile after another looking for food.

It was heartbreaking to realize what devastation man can inflict on his fellow man. For sure those children were free range children in the most difficult of times.

My brother and I were raised to be outside doing something with the neighbor kids so mom could do whatever it was she needed to do. We had no smart phones to fragment our little minds, just a good dog and lots of imagination and energy to get us through the day.

Recommended Stories For You

Of course we were required to come in and eat and maybe even take a nap, if necessary. Ranch and farm kids today are, in my opinion, free range kids as they are usually required to be doing something productive around the home place, in the field or on the range.

Our children always WANTED to be going a'horseback or doing something that made them feel as if they were doing something constructive for the good of the whole.

Of course, being children they needed time to be kids and do their own thing and that was part of their development. What a delight and pure joy they both turned out to be and now with families of their own and maybe grandkids in the future. Man, am I getting old!

It seems everywhere I look today the kids of all ages are peering into the little box with thumbs a'blazing. I know, I know, my grandkids are no different.

However, I think that so many families are fragmented these days that the "smart phone" is the pacifier for way too many kids. They get bullied on social media, the fear of rejection is always present for so many and too much of the time they are not prepared to deal with "their lives" in a responsible way.

Drugs, alcohol and lack of respect of, not only of themselves, but others is apparent at times. Kids need to be kids and want to be productive and active in the right way that produces the best results later in life.

A major factor, in this old cowboy's opinion, is that not enough ADULTS are setting the right example. I know it must be a real struggle for single moms and dads to not only provide a soft place for their children to come to, but feel needed, respected, and above all loved!

That will be all the time I have today for my little sermon from the ONO. Above all, remember time passes so fast those little ones will be gone and that empty nest gets bigger and bigger.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, have a fun, safe spring and summer and for Pete's sake, put down the "smart phones" once in a while and just look around at what you are missing! I'll c. y'all, all y'all.