Deepening Your Child’s Relationship with Nature - The Green Parent
How to embrace mindfulness and deepen a child's connection to nature. features of early father-child relationships, it will be easier to counsel families on the probable effects of separation, as well as easier to suggest arrangements for . Because parents have been found to ultimately influence the degree to which their children have contact with the natural world (Chawla, ; Clements, ; .
This change is most noticeable in the relationship between an adolescent child and the parent. Adolescence is commencement of individuation, and the physical, mental and emotional health of the child during this period is critically dependent on the relationships and changes of it within the family, and in particular with parents.
Parent-Child Relationship In The Digital Era | HuffPost
The knee-jerk reaction is to believe that the digital age has deteriorated the relationship between the parent and adolescent child. Having an adolescent child, myself, the sense of righteous indignation that this belief creates in me is almost comforting.
But, a more rational approach shows that such stressors have always existed in different avatars and technology has in fact improved the relationship between the parent and adolescent child.
The digital native adolescent consumes approximately 12 hours of digital media per day in talking, texting and chatting with her various concentric circles of family, friends and acquaintances. Naturally, digital technology has become a predominant mode of communication within families and has undoubtedly extended the opportunities and increased frequency of interaction between the parent and adolescent. The digital age has altered the heirarchial nature of conventional parent-child relationship into a form that is more equal, intimate, and egalitarian than it has been in the past.
Four integral features of digital communication have influenced the parent-child relationship in the past decade - Persistence: Interaction, which is the basis of relationships, can be pleasant or less than pleasant, and while the permanence of digital interaction may benefit pleasant interaction, unpleasant interactions, which are best when ephemeral, now have a permanent digital footprint.
This may or may not affect the parent child relationship. Technology, as some claim half in jest, is perpetually in beta stage. The high turnover rate of technology tools, and the ease with which the digital native adolescent adapts to it, leaves the parent often in a state of lag. The communication gaps and mismatch can affect the parent-child relationship in subtle ways. This is, however, passe, and may be restrictred to merely one generation of parents who belonged to the era of digital revolution rather than assimilation.
When I was an adolescent, my social circle was well within the grasp of my parents because of geographic limits. The expanse of social media makes this more difficult. While mortification was limited in the past at being dropped by a mother at the movie theatre or such like, now the easy access to data and information can sway the relationship between child and parent.
The children draw their own flower, mountain and water and their idea of space mostly rockets and stars and I put their pictures on the wall.
Why Kids Need Nature | Scholastic | Parents
I ask them when they feel like a mountain. Amelia, aged seven, says: She says this in a non-aggressive way, reflective, clearly valuing herself.
I am awed by her inner strength. How many of us could say that with such ease and clarity?
Why Kids Need Nature
The children give examples of how they understand their cats and dogs and are aware of what they like and dislike. In discussing compassion they talk about loving their own and other animals, loving mum and dad and their friends. There is no cynicism here. No adverse comments are made when love is mentioned. These children are open, emotionally aware and not afraid to express tender feelings in front of the others. Amelia draws a blackbird to illustrate understanding and tells me that she wants to understand its song, indeed she longs to understand all birdsong.
Before lunch we consider everyone and everything and that is involved in creating the food we will soon consume.
Farmers, bakers, lorry drivers, factory workers are mentioned as is rain, sun and the earth. The conversation moves onto the theme of pesticides. One of the children says: We focus on feeling gratitude for all those who have contributed to our food and on recognising the interconnectedness of everything in our world, interbeing, as Thich Nhat Hanh calls it. After lunch we walk through the village to the Broad.
Parent-Child Relationship In The Digital Era
This is Norfolk where the lakes dug by the Romans are known as Broads. Developing understanding, compassion and gratitude through mindfulness seems vital in our world today. More and more children and teenagers suffer with mental health problems, buckling under the stress of our consumerist, appearance and achievement oriented society.
Once we have reached a hill overlooking Salhouse Broad, the children reflect with me on Mother Earth and her bounty. We do a walking meditation to kiss the earth with our feet and notice our breath as we walk very slowly holding hands together.
Then the children ask to be allowed to roll down the slope and want to climb into a huge oak tree. I watch them fling themselves with abandon onto the grass and hurtle down the slope. After they have rolled, they climb into the old tree and experience its wide bowl.
We do a meditation and breathe with the tree using the in breath to reach the topmost leaves and diving down into the roots on the out breath.
Without it we would simply disappear into space never to return. You are my loving mother, a living being, a great being — an immense, beautiful and precious wonder. You are not only matter, you are also mind, you are also consciousness.
Then we celebrate being alive before dancing with our hearts in the form of colourful scarves. All the children take part with gusto and move freely and unselfconsciously.