May 142013

Face to face empathic communication is essential for our health.  Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, writes in the New York Times about the cost of instant electronic media on our well being.  Technology has assisted us in communicating more rapidly – the question is how do we balance our increasing reliance on technology with time for meaningful, loving kindness interactions.

Soon to be released ‘Spontaneous Acts of Love’, Meditations and Reflections for Parents, by Jane Hanckel, part of the Eco Parenting Series, provides an invaluable resource for contemplative connected parenting.

“All around you are the keys to knowing – in nature, in the arts and crafts of the generations before us. Be open to the beauty that surrounds you. In that beauty the wonder and mystery of the Earth are revealed.”



Mar 262013

If you change the beginning of the story you change the whole story is the message from Dr Dimitri Christakis talking on TEDx about media and children.

Typically the age children in 1970’s started watched television regularly was 4 years, now it’s 4 months. The typical child under child of 5 years is watching 4-5 hours a day.

Dimitri’s talk clearly outlines the effects of too much television on the child’s developing brain.

Sep 032011

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.