Dr. Rich Patterson

Feeling Like You’re in the Lowland?

Nature Leadership

The lowland coniferous forest has dense trees, unlike the upland forest.  Because the tall trees almost completely shade the forest floor, it had little other vegetation.  It is generally excellent and may have sections with moss covering the ground.  Kids can quickly feel like they are in a lowland forest with life overwhelming them, making it difficult to make decisions and believe in themselves.  Life is overwhelming, and we need to take extra care of each other, particularly our kids, who 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 usually moist with moss and leaves decaying.  It can be a peaceful place, but it can seem scary if you are there for the first time.  Our kids face many similar circumstances in life for the first time.  They appear dark, uncertain, and uncomfortable.  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 feel closer to us.  What doesn’t adults want their kids to be nearer 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 entering a room full of people they don’t know or how to physically get to the location can be reassuring.  In reverse, take some time to talk with your kids when they return from an event.  Ask them specific questions in such a way they cannot use ‘fine’ or ‘not much.’  I like to use the following, which often spawn 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, notably, ‘What did you know.’  By opening up conversation in this manner, a parent can add some of their thoughts, maybe a short story about their youth, which helps kids avoid the lowland.

I have written several posts about difficulties and negotiating them with kids.  Click here for one of my best posts, How Difficulties Play Out in Our Lives – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

This metaphor with nature teaches kids resilience.  Here are 27 Resilience Activities and worksheets for students and adults, 27 Resilience Activities and Worksheets for Students and Adults (+PDFs) (positivepsychology.com)

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

Yours for Better Parenting,