New beginnings are two words that have become my middle name over the past decade.
Israel, Poland (Krakow), Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland (Warsaw), Serbia, and New Jersey. My family and I have lived in all of those places in less than ten years. A journey that began with two kids and continued with three.
New beginnings came with adjustments to so many new things: locations, languages, cultures, food, mentality, currency, people, educational systems, and the list goes on and on….
Having so many new beginnings and adjustments in a person’s life, is like sailing the ocean. Some days the waters are calm, other days they are stormy, expected and unexpected at the same time. The only thing that was constantly predictable was the children’s behavioral development. No matter where we lived, on which continent or in what country, kids’ behavior according to their age level was like a clear and predictable formula.
The entire educational foundation is based on this rule of nature.
My exposure to dozens of educational systems, from preschools to middle schools, helped me learn something that no other experience could teach me. Being part of the international community, it was beautiful to see that no matter what country kids came from, be it Spain or Poland, South Africa or India, Nigeria or the USA, a common link was always there.
One thing was remarkably noticeable during this period. While the Western World was galloping towards the future, fueled by technological development, the traditional, conservative and familiar way of raising kids still characterized most of the Eastern European families.
Simple and natural childhood; parents and grandparents taking their young ones for a walk in the park, feeding the ducks, jumping in puddles. It was a truly good feeling to watch kids so alert to their surroundings, exploring, and enjoying the simplest of things like gathering leaves and nuts, building castles in the sand, following a convoy of ants, and talking to birds.
I found a few gifts hidden in my lifestyle. I spent my mornings combing through my knowledge, my beliefs, my experience, and my passion for arts and crafts. I wanted to create a new concept of games to support healthy development in children; I wanted to find a way to attract the video-games generation to the activities that until recently were the most enjoyable games for them.
By combining art with movement, thought, attention to detail, and focus, we can teach our children how to intentionally focus more in daily life.
By exposing them to never- ending activities that are hidden in a few friendly environmental games they create, we also teach them to support the world in which they live and gain some more appreciation for money.
Although the trend is very clear and we all strive to stay up-to-date with the world’s progress, parents always have the option to hold the reins when it comes to their kids’ regulatory development and education.
Technology is a powerful resource for our development, no doubt about that, but it has some down sides too. Technology can’t replace all of our educational and physical needs as a species. Children’s basic regulatory development is only possible through interactive experiences. The outward progress of our world cannot change that.
Thanks to the unique experience I had, I could taste both worlds at the same time and make a comparison between them. It helped me learn from very closely what families actually miss when they surrender without even noticing to a world which is dominated by technology.
Making adjustment and stay up-to-date doesn’t mean leaving behind all the beauty of the past, but finding a clear way to create an effective balance between these two worlds.
I wish us all a successful parenting!