Monday, May 16, 2011

what keeps childhood alive?

For today's post, I am piggy-backing on a wonderful post I just read from the blog Intentional Life. She paints a scene from Mother's Day, one overflowing with gratitude for her family and the simple joys her children know. She poses a great question: what keeps childhood alive?

I'm sure we all wish we had the answer to this one. It's something I think about often in my experience as an educator. I am a big believer that it's positive experiences and the emotions born from those positive experiences that we hearken back to as adults. To me, the best way to keep childhood alive is to share it with young children and help create new feel-good experiences for them.

Especially in environmental education, I'd be foolish to think that scientific nomenclature is what a young child remembers best about time spent in the garden or in the woods. No, it's the feeling she gets from discovering the place that resurfaces throughout her life.

This is a topic that is deeply personal to me as an educator. But now as a parent, it is particularly troubling to me when other parents seem to nonchalantly brush this idea off. I am adamantly passionate about how important it is for us to spend real, quality time with our children. Quality time is about creating a bond of love and respect with our kids, of course. But it's also tied in to setting examples, creating positive experiences, and showing them IN ACTION (not words) that they matter.

Raising "good" people is serious challenge for anyone.

And guess what? This takes effort. LOTS of effort. And sometimes planning. It's not easy to let go of our own personal needs, especially after a long day or when we are under stress, to focus on our kids. Some days it may not seem humanly possible, and believe me, I've been there. But devoting UNPLUGGED, UNDIVIDED attention to our kids is crucial if we want to fan that beautiful spark that is blissful childhood.

How can we expect to keep childhood alive if we miss out on it in the first place?

1 comment:

  1. So true, so true, SO true!

    You know, I still remember absolutely clearly the feeling of standing in the Australian bush with my father and brother when I was very small- small enough to be carried home on my father's shoulders- I remember the light, and the amazing colours in the sandstone boulders, and the delicacy of the wildflowers. That love of the bush has stayed with me all my life. You are giving your son such a gift.


Care to comment? I'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts here:

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!
Our little guy at 15 months, February 2011.