Monday, August 14, 2017

Signs Your Kids Have Turned Feral Over the Summer

Summer vacation is a magical three months when kids enjoy late-night bonfires, family vacations, and endless days to play with friends and siblings.

However, it's also the time of year when 75% of all school-aged children are at risk for becoming feral. Do you know the signs?

What do you mean by "feral?"

Domesticated animals like cats, dogs, or children can, if left to their own devices for too long, return to their wild state. This is called "turning feral."

The loss of structure during summer vacation is a root cause for many children who become feral.

How do I know if my child has turned feral?

The most obvious sign that your kids may have turned feral over summer break is to look at the bottoms of their feet.

Are they completely blackened? If so, you may be dealing with a feral child.

Other causes for concern might be arms and legs that are covered in mosquito bites and scrapes, as well as sand in the hair and/or diaper. Dried watermelon juice running down the chin and neck is also a red flag.

If your child has returned to his wild and untamed state over the summer break from school, there may still be hope!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

That said, "feral" is a behavioral term and can only be properly diagnosed by asking yourself these questions:
  • Does he hiss and spit when you try to get him to bathe?
  • Does he pee outside more often than he pees inside?
  • Is she confused about the term "meal?" Does she help herself to 564 snacks a day without regard for a scheduled "snack time?"
  • Does she drop every object exactly where she is when finished using it? (i.e: craft supplies on the table, snack wrappers on the counter, piles of clothing on her bedroom floor that looks like a fully-dressed person walked in and evaporated every day of the week)
  • Does he not appear to recognize his shoes anymore?
  • Does she constantly demand popsicles?
If you answered "yes" to 4 or more of the above questions, your child is in need of serious intervention.

Is this condition reversible?

It depends. As with all feral animals, the extent to which you can tame them depends on the individual's age, personality, and the length of time they've been feral.

If it's only been for the three months of summer vacation, you have a very good chance of reclaiming your child.

I think my child has turned feral. What do I do now?

First, congratulate yourself on recognizing the signs! Many cases go unchecked until a feral child goes to school, where it becomes the teacher's problem.

Some of the following tips will help you re-integrate your feral child into society:
  • Make them eat broccoli and dark, leafy greens
  • Lure them into the shower or tub at least weekly
  • Patiently explain the difference between daytime clothes vs. pajamas and swimwear as many times as may be necessary
  • Threaten to shave them if they don't start brushing their hair
  • Slowly phase out summer food until less than 50% of their diet is hot dogs and S'mores

As always when attempting to tame a feral animal, be prepared for some scratching and biting. We wish you the best of luck and a happy back-to-school season!

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5 comments:

  1. Ha! Too funny. R still goes to daycare in the summer so she sadly doesn't get to experience the feral state in full glory, but she does demand popsicles and snacks regularly! Good luck with back to school!

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  2. Haha! I love that during the summer sometimes I have to think real long and hard about when was the last time the children actually washed their hair, and not just got it wet in the pool :)

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  3. You are the best parenting expert I know!

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  4. LOL! Good luck with back to school!! :)

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