Dr. Rich Patterson

Feeling Like You’re in the Lowland?

Nature Leadership

The lowland coniferous forest has dense stands of trees, unlike the upland forest.  Because the tall trees almost completely shade for forest floor, it had little other vegetation.  It is generally cool and may have sections with moss covering the ground.  Kids can easily feel like they are in a lowland forest with life overwhelming them making it difficult to make decisions and to believe in themselves.  Life is overwhelming and we need to take extra care of each other, particularly our kids whom often have a more difficult time with the difficulties and challenges of life.

I enjoy relating nature to our kids and often leadership, finding the corollaries’ with life.  The lowland coniferous forest is cool and dark with the ground often moist with moss and leaves decaying.  It can be a peaceful place, but if you there for the first time, it can seem scary.  Our kids face many similar circumstances in life for the first time.  They seem dark, uncertain, and uncomfortable for them.  As adults, if we can anticipate some of these life situations in advance and talk with our kids, reassure them and offer advice or a story, it helps them to feel more close to us.  What adult doesn’t want their kids to be more close to them?

We get so busy that we are just trying to keep up sometimes and then we don’t take the time to look ahead a bit and talk with our kids.  Just a little reassurance regarding how to enter a room full of people they don’t know, or how to physically get to the location can be reassuring.  In the reverse, take some time to talk with your kids when they return from an event and ask them specific questions that can’t be answered with, ‘fine’ or ‘not much’.  I like to use the following which often spawns additional  conversation.  Tell me what you loved about your day or experience today?  and What did you learn?  Take time to capitalize on both answers but particularly What did you learn.  This gives a parent a chance to add some of their thoughts, maybe a short story about their youth all of which helps kids avoid the lowland.

I hope you will try this and please leave a comment below.