What's more important? Both seem to matter so much more in these times of COVID19 and civil unrest. The important question isn't, however, which matters more, but, "What are we going to do about it?
I want to throw out one possible answer to that question. Unfortunately, it's one that doesn't get discussed very much although I have a sneaking suspicion that deep down, most people know it's true. And it just might be the wave of the future.
The answer I'd like to propose is this. Why don't we focus on growing mentally healthier people by starting even younger than we've ever imagined possible? By this I simply mean, starting to consciously promote mental health in children under the age of three, which is the time when their brains are the most resilient and the most open to learning new things.
Is this even possible?
43 years of experience and research in the field of child and family education have shown me it is. Our crusade for inclusive sensory and emotional education is imperative and the time to start intentionally including its components is now. There's never been a better time with more implications for change.
"How?", you ask. Good question. I believe it starts with better communication and inclusion along with the opportunity to learn and improve these skills in our families and in our lives.
I'm suddenly in a situation where I can help provide these skills along with the insight of 75,000 hours of hands-on experience to parents who reach out to me. Since familial health circumstances make it impossible for me to continue to do hands-on care, I'm offering virtual consultations to everyday parents with everyday problems at a reasonable price and within a timeframe that makes it possible to get some help before a serious situation requiring expensive and time-consuming psychiatric therapy emerges.
Nip it in the bud, take care of the wound before it festers, and never be ashamed to admit you need a little help! Here's a link to my services and hang in there. You've got this!
Nanci J Bradley, 60+, is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI