Curriculum topics for Preschool include:
- Why It’s Essential to “Become the Change We Want to See”
- The Ideal Preschooler’s Diet
- Helpful Guidelines for Busy Schedules
- Converting the Picky Eater
- Tips for Preschool
- The Drop-Off Playdate
- TV, Media, and Video Games
- Developmental Considerations
“Our children are not raised by parental admonition, nor by kindergartens, schools and colleges. Our children are raised by the way people live—the way we ourselves live and the way society in general lives. And no matter what kids hear from their parents or teachers in school or any other institution of learning, no matter what clever systems of education are adopted, children will follow the lifestyle practiced by the majority of people around them. This means that the raising of children depends entirely on your own understanding of the world, on how you live your own life, how your parents live and how society in general lives. A sick and unhappy society can only give birth to sick and unhappy children.”
—Vladimir Megre, Anastasia, The Ringing Cedar Series, Book 6, Chapter 1
Children have impressionable minds that are constantly being bombarded with misguided messages from the media and their peers. Proper parenting in today’s world means bringing children back to their natural state of health, happiness, and harmony. Children are hungry for knowledge that will help keep them healthy and strong—mentally, physically, and emotionally. As nurturers, we must share all that we know with them in a gentle, approachable way. The best way to do this is to be a living example to them.
Many of us work diligently to secure our children’s futures by contributing money to college funds, making sure they attend the best schools, and supporting after-school activities. However, the most valuable investment we can make in securing our children’s futures is providing an exemplary standard of values for them by example. We must embody the core values of compassion, honesty, bravery, fidelity, honor, and universal respect for all life if we wish our children to reflect them as well. Yet, our mainstream values (both societal and individual) do not remotely reflect such standards. If they did, we would not be rendering 200 species a day extinct in order to maintain the infrastructure of our man-made, shortsighted, selfish world. If we support the latter unquestioningly, we will raise children who do likewise. Only by challenging every thread of the fabric of our destructive society can we expect to raise children with a better future.
Our children will do as we do, not as we say. If we want to raise a generation of children who are healthy, happy in their professions, and able to sustain loving and fulfilling relationships with others, we must apply this vision we have for them directly to our own lives—through the strength of conviction and everyday practice. If we do not, we seal their doom with the status quo and worse. Yes, it is all well and good to put money aside for college, but what good will that be if our children become so sick in body and spirit in this upside-down world that they seek refuge in drugs and alcohol? Or if their souls are so repressed and shut down by social rules and expectations that they engage in self-silencing behaviors (e.g., eating disorders, sex addiction, binge shopping) and never blossom enough to benefit from higher education?
We cannot underestimate our influence as parents, particularly in these formative years. We have all the power to shape the lives of our little ones. Look at your values closely because they will be your child’s values. Look at your behaviors closely because these will be your child’s behaviors in time. The great news is that everything we do as parents is meaningful—whether it’s encouraging family walks and talks instead of watching television, teaching our children the value of sustainability and whole foods, educating ourselves on natural remedies and the real reasons for childhood illness, or going out of our way to get the highest-quality produce and non-toxic cleaning products. Every conscious, authentic step we take really matters. Our dedication to what is truly valuable in life will be passed along to our children.
Many lessons and adventures await you and your child as the school years begin and your child starts to make sense of his or her place in the world outside the home. If your child’s role models (primarily you) embody peace and clarity, he or she will be grounded and strong enough to brave the outside world. Educate and excite your child about what really matters—namely, conducting love and life force energy all around you!
Sadly, most children don’t see a bright future on offer, but rather a world that doesn’t really work for the adults. The uninspired adult experience is not lost on kids. They just chew quietly on the bizarre ways that most adults slog mindlessly through modern life, and eventually come to mimic these behaviors. So parents, if you want your children to experience the great joys of life instead of a never-ending stream of disillusionment, you must first experience the real joys of life yourself—in your own body, in your home, in your work, and in your relationships.
We appreciate that this may be a very difficult concept to grasp if you’ve never experienced the euphoria of clean living. Our best suggestion in this case is to put a little time aside each day to reflect on your values and society’s values and where they have brought you; and also, on a physical level, to undertake some cellular cleansing so you can begin to feel the power of the life force conducting through your body. The experience of unobstructed energy flowing through you extends to all aspects of your world. It’s a great place from which to start educating yourself and your child.
“Be the Change You Want to See”: A mother once came to Gandhi with her son in tow. “Gandhi,” she pleaded, “Please tell my son to stop eating sugar.” Gandhi told her, “Come back in three days.” Puzzled, the mother did as she was asked and went back home. When she returned with her son three days later, Gandhi told the boy, “Stop eating sugar.” The mother then asked Gandhi, “Why didn’t you just tell him to stop eating sugar three days ago? “Because,” Mahatma Gandhi said, “Three days ago I hadn’t stopped eating sugar myself.”
Recommended Reading: Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pearce; The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann; Ishmael by Daniel Quinn; all books and e-books by Natalia Rose (for cellular cleansing).
The Ideal Preschooler’s Diet
If you have been following the Natalia Rose Institute parenting lifestyle from your child’s birth through the toddler years, you know that up until now we have emphasized vigilance in the diet to ensure our children are not exposed to chemicals, hormones, and other synthetic elements in mainstream foods. Until now, establishing this healthy foundation was largely in your control and probably relatively easy to accomplish. However, if you have decided to send your child to preschool outside of the home, you will begin to experience many new and interesting challenges! You may be packing daily lunches and frequently interacting with the principal, teachers, and fellow parents. New social activities, such as birthday parties and drop-off playdates, will become commonplace.
These changes present an opportunity for you to reestablish your dietary boundaries—what’s acceptable, what’s not, and what you can occasionally allow. It’s important to periodically consider your boundaries and remind yourself of why a dietetic philosophy that ensures cellular cleanliness is so important. This way, when unplanned events and circumstances pop up (and they will), you won’t make knee-jerk choices you’ll regret. As you consider your dietary philosophy, keep in mind that there may be situations where flexibility is valuable to you and your child. We want to be firm in our beliefs, but not so rigid that we cause undue stress. Being vigilant over your child’s well-being requires a great deal of intelligence, as there are many factors to weigh at any given time. Some of you will readily see the nuances and respond accordingly. If you find complex, on-the-spot decision-making more difficult, we advise you to rehearse these possible scenarios in your mind (and if absolutely necessary, with your child) so that you are ready. Life throws enough curve balls even when you are prepared. But have faith that, with practice, such decision-making will become second-nature to you.
As you develop the practices that works best for your child, keep in mind that, in order for a food to be truly health-generating, it must (a) have a negative ionic electromagnetic charge (alkaline as opposed to acidic); (b) be water-containing; and (c) be seamless for the body to digest, assimilate, and eliminate. By this definition, the only truly health-generating foods are raw fruits and vegetables, their juices, young coconuts, and mother’s milk for babies. There is room for some non-life-generating substances and neutral substances, of course! But it’s helpful to discern between the real health-generators and the substances that are merely neutral or mildly acidic.
Ideally, a child would eat predominately raw fruits and vegetables. The other foods we offer are just filler and what we refer to as “safe poisons”—foods that conduct minimal life force through the cells and bloodstream, but have generally nutrient-rich properties and are not too difficult to process when consumed as supplements to a diet primarily of fruits and vegetables. We have typically referred to these substances as Transition Foods—though we also like to call them “bridgers.” These include: sprouted whole grains, legumes, raw cheeses, organic/free-range meats, fish and eggs, and several higher-quality packaged foods. We completely understand that existing exclusively on health-generating foods is too extreme for children today—emotionally, socially, and even physiologically—given the inescapable toxic realties of the modern world. These transition or bridger items offer dietary flexibility without overly compromising your child’s health.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your preschooler on a diet of about 75% Ideal foods, 20–25% Transition foods, and less than 5% Non-Ideal foods. It is still important to work very hard to avoid anything from the Toxic food category. Here’s a list of foods that you can include in your child’s diet at this time.
Preschooler Food List
Fruits (in the 75% category)
- Any and all fresh raw fruits!
- Baked apples and pears
- Stewed fruits
- Organic raisins or other dried fruits (no sugar added)
- Fruit smoothies
- Whole-fruit popsicles (you can blend fruits and add coconut water or regular water to make your own popsicles)
- Frozen bananas (blend in a blender or food processor with cocoa powder and/or raw nut butter)
Vegetables (in the 75% category)
- All cooked vegetables (add sauces, butter or spices to make these more interesting! Children especially like winter squashes like butternut, pumpkin, acorn squash and sweet potato)
- Blended soups (like broccoli or butternut squash)
- Raw Olives
Grains & Legumes (in the 20–25% category)
Note: Your child may enjoy grains and legumes as desired, but these are not perfectly ideal and should not take the place of life-generating fruits and vegetables.
- Spelt, buckwheat, Kamut, or quinoa pasta (see grain/cereal section of our store for ideas)
- Legume-based soups, such as split pea and lentil
- Sprouted-grain bread (Ezekiel 4:9, Food for Life, Alvarado St. Bakery)
- Whole-grain cookies (Kollar, Kashi, Cascadian Farms – see Grocery/Snacks and Sweets in our store for more ideas!)
Animal Products (in the 20–25% category)
Limit your child’s intake of animal products to the following:
- Raw goat or sheep cheeses (non-raw is OK if you can’t find raw)
- Organic, free-range eggs
- Wild and free-range fish and meats
Spreads & Sauces (use as desired with fruits and vegetables)
- Organic marinara sauce (Paesana and Seeds of Change are two delicious options! Toss into raw baby spinach leaves for a tasty way to incorporate greens.)
- Nut butters
- Raw honey
- Pure maple syrup
- Organic ketchup
- Organic butter
- Any spices (especially cinnamon and sea salt)
Liquids (in the 75% category)
- Purified water (ideally living spring water placed in glass rather than plastic. If you cannot find this, reverse osmosis water like Essentia is a good option)
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice
- Green juice or any juice combination you and your child enjoy
- Coconut water
- Nut milks (ideal if you make this yourself, but there are some good, high-quality brands you can purchase – see our store for some good options)
- High-quality apple cider or juice (Pasteurized apple cider or juice is not ideal, but it’s fine if high-quality, 100% juice, no added sugar, and diluted with water. See our store for some good options)
AVOID all foods in the Toxic category of the Food Chart!
Helpful Guidelines for Busy Schedules
We know your schedules are intensely demanding, so we encourage you to create a system you can rely on! With a consistent approach, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel each week.
Take into Consideration:
- Your budget
- Refrigerator and pantry items
- On-the-counter produce (This is the fresh fruit that will be accessible to your children all day so they actually eat lots of fruit without you even mentioning it!)
- Shopping (Whether it’s small daily trips to local shops, online shopping for bulk items, or a long ride to a farmers’ market once or twice a week, develop a regular routine, and don’t forget to ask about order and delivery options!)
- Your child’s lunch bag items
- Dinners at home (Do you like to entertain or have candle-lit dinners with your spouse? If so, by all means factor these important evenings into your schedule to maintain a sense of joy at home. It makes a big impression on our children to see us keeping the romance and magic alive in our daily lives. Try a candle-lit dinner for the whole family!)
- A list of rules for feeding your child that you can use to brief a babysitter
- Travel needs (if applicable)
- Vegetables for juicing
Strategies for Maintaining Balance:
1. Your child will probably want to start trying things like pasta, cookies, chips, and pizza. See the Transition Foods Chart for for healthier substitutes. Just remember, don’t let the diet exceed 25% of these foods.
2. Unless your child has serious digestive issues, you do not need to obsess about quick-exit food combinations at this time. Most children have naturally strong bowels. In the end, you probably won’t be successful enforcing quick-exit combinations anyway, so this is one battle not worth fighting! However, do keep in mind the “light to heavy” principle throughout your child’s day to aid digestion; but again, do not stress about this!
3. Make your home a safe “grazing zone” for your children. Put out bowls of fresh whole fruit. Also, create a cabinet of accessible treats, such as Cascadian Farms bars, Kashi cookies, or dried fruit, and keep natural popsicles in the freezer. Home should be an empowering place for your children, food-wise. Among the high-quality foods you make accessible to them, let them flex their independence muscles! You may be more restrictive about playdates and other social interactions, so counterbalance this by allowing them to make choices throughout the day and in your home.
4. Print our Lunch Bag Ideas page to help you prepare lunches the night before or in the morning before school.
5. When you are out and about with your child, take along fresh fruit or other healthy snacks so you do not find yourself in positions where you will have to compromise.
6. Do not force food on your child. Children know when they are hungry and will stop eating when they are full.
7. If your child does not want to eat the dinner or meal you have prepared and you are concerned they will be hungry later, try saying something like, “If you’re hungry later, Mommy’s not going to cook again, so this is your last chance for a warm dish. But you can have it cold later, or have a banana or another piece of fruit.” By doing this, you are giving your child the freedom to eat when he or she is actually hungry—but you’re also teaching your child that you are not a short-order cook!
8. If you bring your child with you to the grocery store, empower him or her to help with the shopping. One fun idea is to have your child pick out 3 fruits and 3 vegetables that he or she has never tried before, and you can try them together as a family.
9. Remember, if your child is eating extremely well 90% of the time and only moderately well or not so well the rest of the time, you are still on a very good path!
Converting the Picky Eater
We realize some of you may be new to this lifestyle and you may already have a child who refuses to eat fruits, vegetables, and anything that resembles a fruit or vegetable! Mainstream foods, like many drugs, are highly addictive and numbing to the sense of taste, so it is no wonder that after exposure to these foods our children will gravitate toward them exclusively. Moreover, children will crave more of the same chemical-laden foods to experience the same “high” as they get older. Therefore, now is the time to really “nip it in the bud” and be firm about the changes you want to make.
At this point, your child has probably had his or her fair share of colds, flus, ear infections, eczema or other skin issues, and possibly more serious digestive, respiratory, and autoimmune disorders. These ailments can be due to compromised lineage, but they are mainly the body’s way of signaling that something unnatural is going into the body, resulting in blockages within the system. Suppressing these conditions with drugs without addressing the causes of the sickness in the first place will only result in recurrence and chronic illnesses in the future. This is a great time to start gently transitioning your child toward a more health-generating diet.
If you put natural foods in front of your child and he or she refuses to eat them, you will probably have some painful days or weeks. The transition may be challenging at first; when embarking on any significant life change, it takes persistence and a deep desire to do what you know is right. Do your best to keep your goals in mind and remind yourself that your child will not starve! In fact, over time, your child will develop a taste for life-generating foods. However, the process doesn’t have to be completely miserable for you or your child! Below are some additional tips and tricks to keep the transition enjoyable.
Tips & Tricks
- Simply upgrading the quality of what your child is eating today will make a huge difference. Click here to see some suggestions: Transition Foods Chart.
- Stress the quality over the quantity of the foods your children are getting. If they are eating large amounts of processed, dead foods today, they are actually starving nutritionally! Therefore, if they start to eat just a little bit of natural, whole, live foods, or consume some green juice in the morning, they will be getting more nutritional value today than they were yesterday. Remember, what is important is progress, not perfection!
- Focus on the fruits and vegetables they do like without worrying about variety. If they will eat an apple every day, give them an apple every day!
- Use some tricks of the trade to make fruits and vegetables more attractive. For example, try raw honey, tahini, or almond butter on fruits such as bananas and apples; high-quality marinara sauce on acorn squash or avocado; or hummus with baked sweet potato. This is a great way to start getting the fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet. As your child’s palate changes, you may eventually be able to eliminate some of these extras.
- Planting gardens, growing herbs, and having your child help you cook or prepare foods can help them enjoy the foods more. When children (and adults, too) understand the source of their food, they are more likely to appreciate it. We want our children to understand the “why” behind our decision to change their diet.
It is common for preschools to provide snacks or to have parents provide snacks for their children. These snacks normally consist of Goldfish, cookies, pretzels, and other items we do not want to be feeding our children on a daily basis. It is very important to have conversations with your child and say things like, “Sweetheart, I don’t like you to eat those things because they poison your blood and take away your strength.” Be playful and creative in using terminology that connects with your child but that’s also true (such as the above statement, which is well-tested and child-approved!). For these snack times, pack your child healthy and tasty alternatives so he/she has good options to choose from.
School birthday celebrations will also become commonplace at this time. These celebrations usually bring with them cookies, cupcakes, birthday cake, and candy. If your child’s class is fairly large, these birthday celebrations can occur as frequently as once a week or every other week, and this is far too frequent for such mainstream indulgences! Fortunately, many schools nowadays are finding it makes more sense to celebrate all the birthdays within the same month on one communal day.
Typically these parties are held at snack or lunchtime. This makes it easy. If you want to be flexible, just instruct your child—and ask the teacher to reinforce this—to eat his or her own snack and/or lunch first, and then allow your child to enjoy a bit of birthday “treat.” Or, if you opt for a stricter approach, you can pack an alternative dessert for your child. The latter route will depend on many factors, such as your personal dedication, your child’s health needs, allergies, and reactions to refined sugar and other processed substances and food additives. Take into consideration the frequency of these parties and what you feel is right for your child at any given time—both physically and emotionally.
There are as many reasons to bend the rules as there are reasons to be steadfast. Again, intelligence and intuition are your best guides. Whichever choice you make, it is important to consistently communicate with your child so they understand why eating birthday cake and cupcakes is not in their best interest for either the short term or the long term. It’s much better for your child to be conscious of the fact that this treat for the taste buds is not actually a treat for the body’s blood, cells, and overall strength than to have no awareness at all. Either choice is fine, as long as it’s a conscious choice, not a conditioned one! Children understand more than we give them credit for—so don’t sell your child’s intelligence short!
Many parents are concerned that if their child eats differently from the rest of the class, he or she will be made fun of, left out, or labeled “weird.” We like to remind them that there are many kids with special dietary needs these days—whether due to allergies, early onset sickness, or religious or cultural beliefs. There is no reason to fear that your kid will be “weird” or cast out of the group because he or she doesn’t eat salami and cheese and chicken nuggets for lunch! Now if you feed your kid a mainstream diet that triggers autism, obesity, or diabetes at an early age, you can be sure that he or she will have much more difficult social issues to contend with. Keeping the big picture in mind makes adhering to your beliefs much easier.
While health is obviously a serious topic, it is still important to have a sense of humor around unpredictable situations, which you will find yourself in on occasion. We parents at Life Force Families have found that it is very helpful to give kids, teachers, and other parents the benefit of the doubt. As long as you communicate your preferences clearly and respectfully, they will generally be agreeable—and, who knows, your child’s eating habits may rub off on others! Many teachers we encounter are just as troubled by the foods their young students eat as we are, and they will happily support you.
The Drop-Off Playdate
In addition to the new situations at school, preschool-aged kids are at an important phase of social development. They will begin to socialize with other children and will want to experiment with foods outside of the home. It is good for them to try new things! Remember, if you are still feeding your kids health-generating foods 90% of the time, the occasional treat is not going to be the end of the world! Normally, kids raised on a clean diet will only eat a few bites of these other foods anyway, so allow some freedom within your boundaries.
Most parents mistakenly believe they feed their children well. This can make it tricky to provide your child with food from your home without insulting other parents. In this potentially uncomfortable situation, you can say something like, “My child only eats fruit between meals. I’d appreciate it if that’s all s/he has to eat while s/he’s here.” Or “He/she has special dietary needs, so I’ve put together a little bag of things that s/he can eat.” It may take a little trial and error, but you will find an approach that works for you. In our experience, these playdates are not a time to abandon your boundaries, but a time for reinforcement and steadfast dedication. Treat them as extensions of their playtimes at home. Your child is better off having clearly understood boundaries than ending up confused and always testing limits. A little bit of flexibility and experimentation is important once in a while, but remember, kids like consistency because it makes them feel secure. If you’re always bending here and there, you’ll never set a proper foundation.
TV, Media, and Video Games
The brainwashing effect of modern media is fast, deep, and lasting. It begins the moment you switch the TV or Internet on. As soon as your children are exposed to targeted marketing, they start to be robbed of their power. Exposing your children to the constant stream of commercials and the insidious messages of mainstream programming cements their social conditioning. In addition, TV shows and the Internet are extremely addictive, and too much exposure to television and computer content can erode your children’s attention spans.
There is plenty of great entertainment for kids without ever switching on the TV. Consider buying, renting, and checking quality shows out from your local library, or even from online video stores. Consider banning TV at home (as many of us do), but reserve the right to pop in high-quality old childhood favorites—like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver, Pollyana, Mary Poppins, Annie, the Shirley Temple movies, The Little Rascals, Flipper, or Lassie (see the “Children’s Movies” section of our store for more ideas!). Our kids do not always have to watch what is on TV today (mostly junk) and this can be a fun trip down memory lane for you. The old musicals are especially fun!
The world naturally offers enough stimulation for children without the need to push all those synthetic products on them. If you protect your children from the barrage of marketing and social programming, they will gravitate toward the natural and simple. Plunking your kids in front the TV, computer, or video games might seem to buy you time for yourself, but in the end it’s a trap for both of you and them. Children who are not overexposed to technological stimulation tend to enjoy the full range of nature’s wonders (such as bugs, leaves, flowers, and wildlife) and all manner of arts and crafts projects far more than TV and video games. Best of all, they become completely engrossed in their discoveries, and you too can enjoy these quiet moments to yourself. This is how children learn about themselves and their environment.
One rule you may want to enforce is a complete ban on video games in the home. At the very least, violent games should be completely off limits. The hyper-stimulating flashing screens may erode your child’s eyesight, brain development, and attention span, and the violent images will embed themselves in your child’s consciousness and nervous system. During this impressionable time in your child’s life, we highly recommend a no-video-game rule.
The Addictive Nature of Television
If you are interested in reading further on this subject, Thom Hartmann speaks eloquently on it in The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight:
“One measure of a drug’s addictive potential is what percentage of people can take it up or put it down at will and with ease. This behavior is called chipping a drug—occasionally using it, but also walking away from it without pain or withdrawal for months or years at a time. Research reported in Science News found that while large percentages of people could chip marijuana, and medium percentages of people could chip alcohol, cocaine, and even heroin, very, very few people (less than 5%) could chip tobacco. But imagine a “drug” that fewer than even 5% of Americans could walk away from for a month at a time without discomfort. Such a drug, by the definitions of addiction, would be the most powerfully addictive drug ever developed.
In addition to discouraging chipping behavior, this drug would also have to stabilize people’s moods. It would put them into such a mental state that they could leave behind the boredom or pain or ennui of daily life. It would alter their brainwaves, alter their neurochemistry, and constantly reassure them that their addiction to it was not, in fact, an addiction but merely a preference. Like the alcoholic who claims to only be a social drinker, the user of this drug would publicly proclaim the ability to do without it…but in reality would not even consider having it be completely absent from his home or life for days, weeks, or years.
Such a “drug” exists.
Far more seductive than opium, infinitely more effective at shaping behavior and expectations than alcohol, and used for more minutes every day than tobacco, our culture’s most pervasive and most insidious “drugging agent” is television. Many drugs, after all, are essentially a distilled concentrate of a natural substance. Penicillin is extracted from mold; opium, from poppies. Similarly, television is a distilled extract—super-concentrated, like the most powerful drugs we have—of “real” life.
People set aside large portions of their lives to watch a flickering box—hours every day. They rely on that box for the majority of their information about how the world is, how their politicians are behaving, and what reality is, even though the contents of the box are controlled by a handful of corporations, many of which are also in the weapons and tobacco and alcohol business. Our citizens wake up to this drug, consume it whenever possible during the day, and go to sleep with it. Many even take it with their meals.
Most people’s major life regrets are not about the things they’ve done, but about the things they’ve not done, the goals they never reached, the type of lover or friend or parent they wished they’d been but know they failed to be. Yet our culture encourages us to sit in front of a flickering box for dozens (at least) of hours a week, hundreds to thousands of hours a year, and thereby watch, as if from a distance, the time of our lives flow through our hands like dry sand.”
Around the age of 3 or 4, children develop the ability to communicate with the natural world around them, and some researchers have found that children at this time actually have what many would call “extra sensory perception.” In addition to being able to communicate with animals and other animate and inanimate elements around them, many children can see energy colors or “auroras” around people and objects; communicate telepathically, especially with their mothers; and even predict future events.
Perhaps you can even recall this heightened perception from your own childhood—e.g., having conversations with your family pet, listening to the whispering of the trees, seeing rocks and leaves as having their own personalities and histories, or inventing elaborate stories about the world around you. Many of us write this phenomenon off as merely part of childhood innocence and do not consider it real. However, a closer look at the few remaining indigenous cultures in the world suggests that communication with nature and perception beyond what we can see is not only possible and natural, but also an extremely helpful survival tool.
Animals also have the capability to sense and communicate what is happening around them. For example, before an earthquake, domestic animals become nervous and rats and mice leave buildings. In addition, researchers have found that the capability of our children to see, hear, and communicate with the natural world is in fact real and a natural part of development. Unfortunately, by the age of 7 or 8, most children in modern civilization lose this capability. There are many contributing factors to this silencing of the natural world, including parental admonishment and a society that only embraces what can be seen and measured.
This is a time to encourage fantasies and imaginative play. Do not be so quick to dismiss and write off what your child sees and believes as mere childishness. Quite possibly, he or she is seeing something you are not! And perhaps, if we really listen to our children, we can learn a few things about what Mother Nature is trying to tell us at this point in history. With their heightened perception, sensitivity, and intuition, our children can help lead us back into the interconnected web of life.
Preschool marks the beginning of your child’s more autonomous stages of life. Just as a proper in-arms period during infancy sets the stage for security and independence for the baby and toddler, a happy home with clear boundaries provides a safe haven as your child begins his/her exploration of the world. Establishing boundaries with built-in flexibility will help your child feel safe to make choices and reduce anxiety for you.