At a recent parent education evening at Shearwater, the Mullumbimby Steiner School, in Northern NSW, Rod Tomlinson provided an illumanitive talk on ”The Adolescent’s Thirst for Experience, Their Search for Meaning and Consciousness-Altering Substances ‘.
Rod began with a brief history of humanity and an overview of the development of the human soul forces and then shared with us his view on the effects and reasons for adolescents to engage in various drugs. One of the clear messages for parents wanting to reduce their child’s interest in drugs was to prioritise the establishment of good human relationships. Rod emphasised the importance of encouraging the teenager’s interest in the wider world – to encourage their involvement in the environment, arts, music or other interests that extend to the wider community.
Dr Michaela Glockler, head of the Medical Section of the Goetheanum in Switzerland, refers to important elements of a preventive education. These include -
- give the possibility to be self-active, to be dependent on oneself
- breastfeeding instead of bottle-feeding
- a genuine interest in the developmental stages of the child
- nurturing the senses
- establishing good habits in daily life, including regular mealtimes
- avoiding sweets between meals
- setting boundaries finding the middle way between strictness and giving in so that the child can feel secure
- strengthening the imagination by telling fairy tales and reading meaningful stories, legends and biographies
- protecting the child from passively consuming prefabricated images
- spiritual and undogmatic religious upbringing
eco parenting and the eco based philosophy of Steiner education aims to support children and families in these ways.