Dr. Rich Patterson

Deciduous Forest & Kids

The deciduous forest is another component of the mature forest and often has dark and light timber.  This means some Aspen, Birch, Popular and Red Maple trees scattered among other dark evergreen trees.  The Aspen are characterized by the trembling nature of their leaves as well as the Birch trees.  As I work to relate this to kids, I want to point out that, in most cases this part of the forest is more open in nature, the light does actually reach the forest floor and generally this part of the forest is temporary–the first stage toward a more mature forest.

So it is with our kids, in spite of all their challenges at times, their demands, their errors of judgment, this really is very temporary.  The time spent raising your kids is relatively short in comparison to your whole adult life.  There are a large number of birds found in this part of the forest – lots of species.  As we raise our kids, I want to help you to see their various stages, much like the forest stages that develop.  Their physical development including the growth spurts and their development into an adult.  They achieve some impressive developments in their intellectual development.  Their cognitive development and thinking, and my favorite their ability to reason.  I so look forward to the day when they can reason because that means you can reason with them.  Reasoning with kids allows for the chance to teach them, to help them process difficult circumstances and mistakes they may make.

Their social development when they might decide to find a job, to spend more time with peers–which is ripe with opportunity for help from a parent, and the developing of close friendships.  Finally, their moral development when they challenge home values, a challenging time for everyone, particularly parents.  During this time they develop a moral code and determine if their behavior aligns with others or holds the line with a higher standard.  I spend some time talking about this in my book:  Making Sense of Life:  A Guidebook for Teens and Parents.  It is available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller as a paperback, eBook and an Audiobook.

Enjoy the developmental stages and realize that kids are in the deciduous forest stage, which is temporary and that they will become an adult and someday you will have a fabulous conversation with them trying to figure all of this out.

Let me know how you have handled this with a comment below.