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What is Normal?

Normal.. we’re all normal really! My husband and I are proof that opposites attract- really we are two totally different individual people, who are totally normal. So what is produced when our respective genetic material is fused together? Four very different children, but with a common thread running though. You could look at each as a baby and know what family they belonged to, but as individuals they are all very different personalities, unique, yet normal. Here are some of the things normal children do: shout, cry, whine, fight, not listen, run, make mess, disobey, talk back, know how to embarrass you at the wrong moment…. American clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel writes in her book “The Blessings of a Skinned Knee”, about working in LA. She would have parents come with their children keen for a diagnosis to explain their child’s behaviour. For the most part the children were perfectly normal, their behaviour was nothing not common in an average child. However, the parents were keen to explain their child’s naughty behaviour as ADHD, for example. Parents were wanting their child to be perfect, and when they were not being perfect there must be a problem. In a recent study it was discovered 1 in 10 American children have ADHD… really? I don’t doubt ADHD exists, and I know from working with children who have needed ritalin the amazing benefits the drug can have, when used properly. What I doubt is that 10% of American children are ADHD. I am trying to learn how to deal with each child’s own brand of normal. Discover how to parent the individual. And remember we are not creating perfect models of humanity, we are raising children, and it can be messy and hard, and we will make mistakes… and that is alright… regardless what the parenting books make us think their is no definitive manuel how to do it! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Nature for the Soul

When the deciduous or broadleaf woodlands are alive with the color of Spring and Summer, and wonderfully noisy the symphony of bird song, there is no finer place to be. As the colors of Summer pass and the days cool the woodland is wonderfully mellow, as well as breathtakingly beautiful. Even during the grey Winter months, when the ground is frozen hard and everything appears lifeless, even in these barren months the forests retain a certain beauty. As many know by instinct, science is beginning to prove: exposure to nature is beneficial to mind, body and soul! And it is especially beneficial to children. Country Parks and wilderness areas has something to offer all the family. The gentle walks are a perfect way to start a new exercise regime, especially if your fitness levels are quite low. And the play areas offer outlets for children of all ages, helping you to see your children increase their activity levels in a fun way! Research has shown that regular contact with nature is highly beneficial to childrens’ emotional, mental and physical development. Children with ADHD are soothed by regular contact with nature, resulting in them achieving higher levels of concentration. Nature experiences also boost children’s immune system and aid brain development: with improvements in observational skills and reasoning. In fact studies show that nature experiences better stimulate a child in all areas of development when contrasted to indoor experiences. Furthermore research seems to suggest the greener the better! In new research Dr. Stephen R. Kellert of Yale University has found “Play in nature, particularly during the critical period of middle childhood, appears to be an especially important time for developing the capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and emotional and intellectual development.” The thinking behind the theories is that nature, is full of interesting stimuli that trigger our involuntary attention, we cannot help but notice the beauty of our environment. However, our brain is not laboring to notice these things, unlike a city where we are constantly concentrating on our surroundings, e.g. is that bus about to run me over if I cross the road! Therefore in nature our brain, although receiving stimulation, is doing so in a natural, gentle manner, without the having to make a conscious decision to do so. Thus our brain can enter a more relaxed state. There has been an emphasis lately on the need for children to enjoy less structured play experiences in the open, and to climb trees, and to be less constrained. Children today are too insulated form “danger” and miss out on a healthy...
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