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31 May 2014 Posted by 

Kids that model love learn more

By Joan Stone
Director Cubbyhouse Childcare Australia

REGULAR mums and dads are participant observers, meaning that, while they are watching their child’s behaviour, they are very much part of the mix.

When not actually leading the children, they guide the quality of child behaviour simply by their presence and their good examples of living a good, fruitful and decent lifestyle.

That presence must consistently model caring, humour, respect, and integrity. Those parents who perform at this level, often derive a deep satisfaction from this extended insight and service to parenthood.

We can always learn more about child behaviour through current research, our own as well as others.

When those of us who work with children exhibit an inquiring mind, we model an important attitude for the children.

Sally Cartright shared this insight about Teachers and Parents – “The child who copies a loved and respected model employs a powerful way of learning.”

Children's development of trust and emotional security is promoted with consistent, responsive, and nurturing by their Parents - working with children (or supporting their educators) takes great reserves of strength and finding a way to renew those reserves is crucial.

Time spent enjoying nature helps children renew not only their physical energy, but also their emotional outlook as well.

Some Parents haven't always remembered to use this wonderful tool though and they may have had it with them constantly as a child, but lost it somewhere along the way on their journey to adulthood.

We should always encourage Parents to ‘take a walk in the forest’ with their children, pick up on the sounds of the birds in the trees, or merely take home some ‘pieces of nature’ they find in the bush and make a ‘creative collage’ with their children, as part of their exploration in the forest.

As Parents, we should enhance our young children’s experiences and education by taking them on journeys pointing out the wonderful things of nature that surround us – encouraging them to spend as much time as they can exploring the natural world.

I lived in a time when I was surrounded by opportunities to wander happily through fields and forests and creeks all over our farm.

No one worried about my roaming far from home, and I was so lucky to be able to truly enjoy a 'free range' childhood.

Not only has that reality changed for most children, it changed for me as I became an adult.

Time constraints, technology, and an overblown sense of 'needing to be productive' often kept me from pursuing any nature time.  

As 'progress' changed fields and paddocks to shopping malls, much of the nature outside of my door disappeared.

Most children of today are disconnected from nature and many don’t actually get to feel and experience the cycles of the changing seasons - how many parents ever take their children to seek out a group of trees, where their Autumn leaves are all around on the ground and have them experience jumping in that pile of leaves and showering themselves with them.

As Rachel Carson wrote: 'It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.”

Having recently visited a school just outside of Edinburgh in Scotland, where children play outside in the adjoining forest for 80% of their school day - in any kind of weather - I felt that most of our children in Australia today will never experience that ‘freedom of nature’ and the ‘lift of the spirit’ it gives them – so parents please take your children’s education to a different level and take them exploring our wonderful outdoors and nature, let them climb trees, roll in our lovely autumn leaves this month, and hear the birds sing.



editor

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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.