On Being a Parent: Barefooting
More than likely, you have at least a few activities planned for the kids in your already full summer.
When I think back to my summers, one of my most pleasant memories was going barefoot. I wonder: was this just a thing with my siblings and the neighboring kids, or was it what everyone did? My grandmother’s house was just down the road from us, and I can still remember the hot sand beneath my feet as I walked to her house. We played outside to late evening, and just ANYTHING was an excuse to walk to her house.
How important it is to help our children experience real pleasure in life, instead of letting social media rob them of becoming well-adjusted teens, and later, adults.
As I think about going barefoot, I remember my outdoor son, Erick, told me a while back of numerous benefits of going barefoot. It made perfect sense as a child, but it’s a laughing matter as an adult. I kick my shoes off when I get home, but that’s about it. However, he insists, “Wearing shoes endlessly is like having gloves on twenty-four hours a day!”
It intrigued me enough that I sat down at my laptop to investigate. I’ve never seen so many websites on “earthing” or “grounding,” as barefooting is now called. One mother wrote about how she took her child shopping without shoes, and an older lady called across the parking lot, “Get that child some shoes!”
I suppose it’s a good thing my kids are older and can make up their own minds about shoes. As for me, after reading multiple articles, I may walk barefoot on the pretty green grass close to our patio. Other than that, I’ll stick with shoes while away from home, as I don’t want any finger pointing and whispers of the word “senile.”
With that being said, you might want to check out some of the articles on going without shoes. In fact, studies continue as the medical community wants to determine all the benefits of this once-upon-a-time normal way of living.
According to a professor from the University of New England, Jim McFarland, “Earthing shouldn’t be written off as a New Age trend for hippies.” He believes in the good our bodies get from letting our feet touch the ground, such as boosts to our immune systems.
Another fan of barefooting, podiatrist Dr. Simon Wikler, has written the book, “Take Off Your Shoes and Walk.” Feet weren’t really “built,” after all, to always be pent up in shoes.
While you won’t find me at the mall barefoot, I don’t think going barefoot is a bad idea in safe places, such as your own backyard. Challenge your kids to let go of their shoes while at home, both inside and out. The many sensitive pressure points on our feet were placed there for a purpose. We all know how good a foot rub feels.
One thing my husband and I are enjoying to the fullest now are all the songbirds in our backyard. It’s as though they are all trying to outdo each other. That, with the green all around, is such a pleasure. I get excited to know Ashley, my six-year-old grandchild, will be here before long and we will have a rendezvous on a blanket under the stars in our backyard. A shooting star would top it off. And of course … we will be barefoot!
“If I had my life to live over again, I’d run barefoot, relax a bit more,
I’d talk more to children, and I’d learn how they laugh.”
— Amy Grant, singer, author, actress
Antje Hill spends time between Mississippi and Michigan and spends her time writing and speaking at various events.