We love being in nature. The beach, the creek, the rainforest, the park or even just our backyard. These are everyday experiences for our family, just enjoying the simplicity of being outside in our natural environment.

So how is that the majority of my children's generation are spending most of their time indoors, watching TV or playing video games or being ferried around to a variety of extra curricular activities that are structured and indoors?

It's interesting that we live in a world where children know more about the earth, but less about nature in their own backyard. This information made available through documentaries and the internet has sometimes taken the place of direct nature experiences. Some children may know all there is to know about groups of animals and what they eat etc, yet will probably not know what the name of the bird was they just heard fly overhead. I hear so many young children talk of tigers, elephants, lions or giraffes, which show that their information about these animals has come from TV or the computer.

We love learning about our native fauna, water dragons, snakes, birds, frogs, local sea creatures, flying foxes etc. We always get so excited if any new birds come to our backyard...we had galahs come and eat some seed that we left for them this week. I feel so grateful that my children LOVE these experiences as much as I do!

I know that I feel energised and refreshed everytime I step out into the great outdoors. I feel so grateful that we as a family always find the time for spontaneous nature adventures. The boys go off climbing trees or rocks with no restrictions, just complete trust in their  ability to keep themselves safe and to know their own limits. I often over hear parents say to their children, "get down from there you will fall!" and sometimes they are only on something less than a metre high!

What is happening to these children that are being deprived of time in nature and restricted to only doing 'safe' activities?
 
Richard Louv's book 'Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder' links this separation from the natural world to many problems facing children today, including diminished use of the senses, attention problems, and increased emotional and physical diseases including childhood obesity and depression. He goes on to stress that play in nature  is not leisure time, but crucial for our children's development as a balanced diet or a good night's sleep.

I watch how my children thrive in nature....catching tadpoles, building sand castles, surfing, bush walking, bird watching, playing in mud, walking our dogs to the park on dusk to watch the flying foxes flap over head, all of these seemingly fun activites are learning opportunities and valuable ones at that.

How do we expect our children to care and respect our earth, if they are not being shown her magic and wonder on a daily basis? We need to show them how beautiful and precious our planet is, so our children will want to do anything they can to help perserve our natural environment.

So all we need to really do is to get outside, enjoy nature and show our children that we are enthusiastic about protecting and preserving our  environment. Once again let's all lead from example and show our children that being in nature benefits everyone.

kJ

 
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As parents there are many choices and decisions we need to make on a daily basis, some big, some small. All of these 
choices we make can have an  impact on the lives of our children.

Do we choose to take the time to connect or do we rush from one thing to another? Do we choose to stop and answer a question or do we say 'I don't know'?

Imagine to yourself if you took the time to answer every question your child asked you, and if you didn't know the answer or couldn't answer it at that particular moment, you said 'Hey, what a great question, let's find out'.

Just think how much our children's knowledge of the world would grow. Not only that, but what we as parents would also learn.

Do we say to our inquisitive 3 year old,  'Look at the birdie'?  To which they reply, 'What's it's name?'.  Here is where we have a choice.  Do we take the lazy option and say 'I  don't know' or do we evoke interest in our child's natural curiosity? 

I say take the latter. I would say 'Wow, look at  that bird...what do you think it is? I haven't seen one of those before, lets  find out what it's name is'.
 
Connecting together to find the answer, either in a book or on the computer or at the local library. This could be extended into other areas of development, like creative  arts, drawing or painting the bird. All of these activities reinforce our children's natural interests and learning experience.

I have listened to parents whose 'mantra' is 'I don't know'. How do we expect our children to learn new things when  the people they want to learn most from, will not even make the effort to find out an answer with them!!!

Over the years of natural learning with our children, we have learnt so much. I would have never imagined having such a knowledge of dinosaurs,  marine creatures or even native Australian birds. Yet through our children's natural inquisitiveness, these are some of the topics we have researched and learnt together.

At the heart of natural learning is the parent answering their children's questions and modelling ways of finding out the answers we may not know, and there are LOTS of questions I cannot answer initially. Even so, I try not to  say 'I don't know', I say 'Let's find out' or 'What a great question, we will need to research that' etc. Children lead the learning experience and we as parents are there to facilitate.

Some parents and children are suprised by just how much our children know about different topics, but really it just comes down to answering their questions and taking an interest in what they want to learn and not telling them what they have to learn.

John Holt, in his book How Children Learn, reminds us, that we need to TRUST CHILDREN, to know when they are ready to learn and what they are interested in learning.

So, regardless of your choice in educating your children, as parents we have so many opportunites to expand our children's interest in the world around them, just by taking the time to answer their questions.

 

 
I understand this will be difficult to read for a lot of people. However as our skin absorbs everything we put on it, we need to inform ourselves on the dangers of the majority of chemicals in our personal care products.

Killing Her Softly...with toxic care products

When the alarm rings she slowly  gets out of bed, turns on the shower and under the steady stream of warm water,  she gently scrubs her body with Ammonia, Formaldehyde and Phenol.

Next, she shampoos her tinted hair with DEA and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

Rinsing the shampoo, she applies a good amount of  mutagenic DEA & Propylene Glycol and lets it penetrate while she pops the 
top on the shaving cream and shaves her legs with A-Pinene.

The shower finished, she towel dries and spreads  on an even coat of Contaminant, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PHAs) and a dusting of an Asbestos Substance over her skin. She sprays the scented Aluminum under her arms, brushes her teeth with FD&C Blue#1 & Resorcinol, Saccharin, and Fluoride. Then she rinses and gargles with Ethanol and Phenol  Alcohol. She combs setting gel through her hair then blows it dry and sprays it  with polyvinylpyrrolidine (PVP). 

Sitting at her vanity, she carefully applies a thin film of Phenol Carbolic

Acid, Dioxin and Propylene Glycol, over her face to reduce the fine lines.

Today, she'll wear foundation and a little FD&C Red #3. And, better add some eye-Iron Oxide for today is a special meeting and a little Toxic and Mutagenic Ascorbyl Palmitate to line her lids and  a stroke of Bacteria & Polyvinylpyrrolide (PVP) to her lashes. 
  
A dab of Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluroanthene  to color her lips, a spritz of her favorite scent, Toluene and Benzaldehyde, and  a little Carcinogenic Nitrosamine, NMPABAO on her face arms and legs to block  the suns rays and she  is set for the day.

She looks radiant and healthy, but her  looks are killing her! 
(Information sourced from One Group Resources)
 
If you are wondering if these poisons are being absorbed through her skin go cut open a clove of garlic and rub it on the
bottom  of your foot and see how long it takes to taste it in your mouth, about  3  seconds! 

There is a way to avoid all these chemicals being absorbed in your body....STOP using them!

There are alternatives......read the ingredients on your personal care products, are they nurturing you or poisoning you?

For options.....go to Miessence    

You deserve the best ..... nurture yourself and your family with chemical free products.

kJ


 

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I received an email from a mum who was completely overwhelmed with her responsibilities as a mother and found herself yelling and hitting her children. She always thought she would be a patient and calm parent, so every night she was plagued with guilt and remorse, vowing to change her ways. Yet the very next day there was more yelling and hitting, so the cycle continued.

How did I respond to this cry for help?

I wrote......

To start with , I just want to say you are amazing!
You are pregnant almost about to give birth and you also have three other young children in your care!
I can imagine your home is super busy and wildly noisy, with a to-do 
list that keeps on growing longer by the day?
Are your days a blur of busy-ness, where you feel like you don’t get much accomplished?
The truth is ... you DO so much!
You are working very hard with all those gorgeous little children in your 
care.

Who is caring for you?
Are you?
Do you have any support?
Can you ask friends or relatives for help?

You are important and what you are  doing matters!

Let go of your guilt....we ALL make mistakes! To rid yourself of guilt you need to STOP doing what makes you feel gulity!

LOVE yourself and your children and let go of the rest. You have the power to change and BE the patient and gentle parent you want to be.
When you get yourself to the present moment – that is ALL there is.

Let go of perfection – just flow, slow down and appreciate your 
children. Read books and leave the dishes, go to the park and sweep the floor later, snuggle and watch a movie with your children.....

What you are doing matters a lot!

You are needed ALL day long! It’s exhausting, but it will pass. They will 
grow up and you WILL have all the time in the world.

Your children will NOT remember a clean, spotless home, but WILL 
remember a Mum who always had time to connect with them.

When you get to a place of connecting with your children, rather than 
trying to control them....you will NOT need to be yelling or hitting 
them.

If you are nagging and yelling I guarantee your children will NOT be listening. Would you listen if someone was yelling at you?
If you want your children to listen to you, then connect and listen to 
them!
One tip to connect with ALL of your children is to allow at least 10 
minutes a day for one on one special time, with complete focus on
them.....getting down to their level and doing something that interests 
them.

Focus on connection and the positive attributes of your children. Do you hear yourself constantly thinking negative thoughts about your children? Your thoughts will impact the way you feel and behave toward them.

Your thoughts create your reality....change your perspective. Look beyond the behaviours to the feelings behind what’s happening? 
Are there any unmet needs? 

Our children do NOT need to be labelled! How you label them is how they will see themselves. Naughty is a word we DO NOT use!
Children are LEARNING!

For example, instead of, ‘he is always disrespectful to me’, try, ‘he is learning to relate to me and I need to respect him, so he learns to respect others’.

There is no perfect way to be a parent, we are always learning and our children are  always learning from us, so we need to be teaching them consciously. Children are mirrors, our responses set the tone for how they respond to us.

One question I always ask myself when my children are acting out, is how is my relationship with my husband at that time?

Every single bit of energy we put into our relationship will come back to us through our children. Happy parents make happy kids. Is there a sense of warmth in your home or is it full of tension? Our homes need to be havens, where we all feel nurtured and welcome.
 
I think the main idea to get from this is to take care of yourself and your thoughts, so you can then care for your children optimally.
Put nurturing yourself as a priority in your life, ask for help, we ALL 
need support.
You can be that parent you always wanted to be. Your children NEED you to be that emotionally stable, unconditional love and support that they deserve.
  



 

 
After watching the award winning documentary; Wasteland, I started thinking about what I am  teaching my children in regard to our purchases as a family.....

I  realised that even though I am mindful of buying products
from companies that I  know and trust, and the majority of our clothes and furniture are second hand or  australian made, or gifts from friends and family.  At times though, we buy things that  we do not really need. Also some of these things come from China or some other  third world country, where the employment
practises are far from fair and just, whether it's a toy, or a new rubbish bin or even underwear.

As I look  around our home I realise we have everything we need. So why does our society  try to make us think that we
constantly need MORE?

We live simply as a  family, and our children do not demand things from us, as you hear other parents  complain that their
children do. I think this is primarily because our children  do not watch advertising and never have, except for the odd occasion when we are  staying at  Grandparents or visiting friends. We do have a TV, yet we watch only  movies, documentaries and an advertising free children's channel.

So the challenge for us now is to really up our second hand purchases, and encourage others to follow suit. Our world cannot continue to sustain our material ambitions.

Let's all  show our children how much we care about their future, by how we treat our  planet. We can NOT continue on the way we are going and expect our precious  planet to just keep giving endlessly.
Think about what you are  buying...do you really need it?

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