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6 Parenting Lessons I Learned from Hippies

Once a year, a vibrant bunch of unique, new age hippies invade a town local to me — Bridgeport, Connecticut.

They come from all over the country for a three day music festival called Gathering of the Vibes. Of course, while everyone who attends isn’t exactly a hippie, most are.

Yesterday I was child free for the day and hit the festival with one of my best friends. Growing up I listened to a lot of The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan as they were favorites of my own parents. My parents were just like the parents I learned a ton of lessons from yesterday.

I have to admit, I went there pretty skeptical about the festival as a whole with one main agenda: see The Avett Brothers live. They were the headlining band for the day, coming on to end the festival at 6pm.

During the almost nine hours my friend and I were at the festival, we encountered tons of unique characters and parents who had their entire families in tow. I had never even tossed around the idea of bringing my children with me come to think about it. I just figured it would be too loud and too crowded for kids.

Not at all!


  • Karma: You Get Back What You Put out… 1 of 6
    Karma: You Get Back What You Put out...
    I guess I have always been a firm believer in karma. You always get back what you put out into the world. Everyone at the Vibes was an example of that. There were no rude people, no problems, everyone was just being peaceful and polite.
  • Friendship is Priceless 2 of 6
    Friendship is Priceless
    This may not have been a lesson from everyone else, but it certainly was a good undertone of the day. True friendships are priceless. Cherish them, and teach your children how important it is to be a good friend.
  • Just Relax … 3 of 6
    Just Relax ...
    I have to admit, when it comes to parenting I am way too uptight. I am always worrying about someone getting hurt, sick, or lost, you know ... the typical parenting fears. But I also realized over the day yesterday that the parents who seemed to be the most carefree had the most well-behaved children. Maybe I need a new approach?
  • You are Never too Old to Have Fun 4 of 6
    You are Never too Old to Have Fun
    This gentleman looks like a crazy old man who may be stuck in the '60s right? Contrary to what most were thinking as he was dancing around, the gentleman, Eric is a mental health professor. Surprising huh? Even the most serious people can let down their hair and have some good old fashioned fun ... and that is an amazing lesson for our kids.
  • All Ages Can Enjoy Good Music… 5 of 6
    All Ages Can Enjoy Good Music...
    Just because you have kids, doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying concerts or outdoor festivals. I saw a number of children in the crowd with their parents enjoying the show. Earplugs are a great tool to let them enjoy it with you!
  • You Only Live Once 6 of 6
    You Only Live Once
    Don't make excuses for things you want to do, or things you should do with your children because you only get one chance to do it all. I can't think of a better way to sum up the day than with great lyrics from the headlining band of the day, The Avett Brothers.
    The song is "Once and Future Carpenter"
    And when I lose my direction I'll look up to the sky And when the black cloak drags upon the ground I'll be ready to surrender, and remember Well we're all in this together If I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die.

Read more from Danielle on DanielleElwood.com
Follow Danielle on Facebook and Twitter!

Read more on Toddler Times from Danielle:

I Avoid Mall Play Areas!
Are They Bored Yet?
White Lies Parents Tell Kids!

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