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Children's Right to Simply Be
September 30, 2019
When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.
-Benjamin Franklin
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“We live in a world that is undergoing rapid and dramatic change, and our children are being placed under more and more stress,” write Patrice Thomas and Wendy Shepherd in the book, Child Development II. “Children’s time is now more and more directed by adults, and there is little time for children to contemplate, reflect or simply be…

Adults readily admit they often transfer their stress reactions (no matter how subtle) onto the children in their care but feel unequipped to incorporate relaxation into their daily routines.”

While the authors recommend plenty of unstructured time for children, they also discuss the value of helping children experience some simple relaxation exercises. “No one needs special skills. Just try!” they proclaim. Here’s one example of a simple Tai Chi relaxation exercise (called Sun and Moon Bow) to experience with children:

“Have children stand with their feet apart, knees slightly bent, arms resting by their sides. Ask the children to form a fist with their right hand – this is their ‘sun.’ At the same time, ask the children to form a semi-circle around their ‘sun’ with their left hand – this is their moon. Bring the hands to the forehead and make a bow.”

Ann Pelo, in her beautiful book, The Goodness of Rain, also writes about children’s need to simply be. She extolls the virtue of allowing children silence and reverence, and describes the relationship between the two: “I believe that silence – space around language – is the doorway into reverence: in the presence of the majestic and marvelous, of the wondrous in its minutest detail and its fullest grandeur, we ought simply to be still.”





The Goodness of Rain
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