Family Experiments

I’ve been combining exercise with watching movies this week, thanks to the iPad, Netflix and a treadmill. The iPad fits perfectly on the treadmill and streams films while I walk in place for an hour at a time.

Watched a couple of excellent documentaries about people trying to put together their own unique form of families with mixed results. One film is Commune, a look at the hippies who formed Black Bear Commune in far Northern California in the late 1960s. The other is Surfwise, Doug Pray’s film about “Doc” Paskowitz’s family of nine kids who grew up traveling the world in an RV and surfing.

I’m really interesting in ways people try to live outside the norms of society and both films showcase people who did it with mixed and sometimes tragic results. You can watch both films as instant streaming films on NetFlix and I really recommend both.

Both films show families who ‘experimented’ in how they raised their kids but really — isn’t that what everyone does? Even parents who raise their kids in a supposedly normal or traditional way are experimenting, just not in a very creative way. They hope things work out well for their kids by not being too radical but that often doesn’t work out, either.

We’re so influenced by our own upbringing that we mostly just do a combination of things our parents did, the opposite of things our parents did, and some stuff we picked up from books magazine articles or our acquaintances. That’s kind of a recipe for disaster if you think about it. It’s a wonder anything ever works out.

1 Comment

  1. I thought Surfwise was so interesting. I always thought inside the box until I found myself raising a child that left me looking for better answers.


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