Practical activities and resources for promoting an understanding that:-
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER.
GENERALLY WE CAN:-
Assist our children to grow from being egocentric self-focussed individuals to being socially aware and concerned with the wellbeing of others as much as their own, and able to naturally fit into social groups.
Encourage our children to express their individuality in the context of connectedness.
Assist our children to build relationships of friendliness and goodwill as a first priority.
- Watch nature documentaries that show the beauty of nature and its web of connectedness. Also those that show our place in the universe.
- Go camping and bushwalking or to the beach to establish a connection with nature. Maybe gardening.
- Look for ways to promote positive connections within the family, with friends, within the community, and with nature.
- We can assist our children to be aware of the beautiful qualities in people. We can encourage them to look for the good in others at times when it isn’t obvious.
- Organise family and social activities that create opportunities to connect: Eat meals together. Celebrate birthdays, successes, and events. Visit relatives and friends. Go on picnics together. Have games and sporting activities together.
- Take opportunities to make your children aware that our being here depends on those who have cared for us and that this extends back to generations before. Teach them to value, respect and love parents and grandparents and to have gratitude for their efforts. Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day can be observed as one opportunity to do this; not so much to give gifts but to express gratitude and spend time with them.
- Promote positive friendships. Encourage connecting with friends directly face to face more than via social networking sites. (Be prepared to not allow associations with those who would lead your child into dangerous activities.)
- Encourage children to be participants –to join groups and activities. Look to foster participation in activities that build confidence in social situations –perhaps team games, ballroom dancing, choirs.
- Promote the idea that competitiveness in sport needs to be on a basis of goodwill, friendliness and respect. We need to be able to be both a good winner and a good loser.
- Promote the idea of service to others. That a community is about contributing and sharing. Encourage volunteering.
- Have age appropriate tasks to complete as a way of making a contribution to the family. As family members we share in the benefits and the responsibilities of our connectedness.
- Model good social behaviour and social skills including courtesy and politeness.
- Teach social skills that will allow our children to fit into a wide variety of social situations.
- Teach genuine assertiveness skills –speaking the truth with respect.
- Teach respectful use of social media.
Look for books, songs and movies about: Connectedness, Interdependence, Equality, Democracy, Respect, Belonging, Friendship, Harmony, Appreciation, Gratitude, Selflessness, Love, Encouragement, Patience, Forgiveness.
Here are some suggestions:-
SONGS about Our Connectedness
- “We are all in this together.” Ben Lee. We are all in this together. Video
- “Colours of the wind.” –from the film Pocahontas. Our connection to Nature. The original film version >> Video. Also this version by 12 year old Connie Talbot is impressive >> Video.
- “You’ve got a Friend” –James Taylor. Being always ready to help a friend. Video
- “Dancing in the Moonlight” –Toploader. Enjoying life with our friends. Video
- “I Believe” –The Toothfaeries. I believe that we are here to help each other. Enjoy this live recording [ just track 04 ]
VIDEOS about Our Connectedness
- Many excellent nature documentaries have been made by David Attenborough that show the beauty of nature and its web of connectedness.
- “The Wonders of the Solar System”, “The Wonders of the Universe” and “The Wonders of Life” are all excellently presented documentaries made by Professor Brian Cox which show our place in the universe and the interaction and interconnectedness of all things. For adults and older children.
MOVIES about Our Connectedness
- “Shrek”: Be happy with who you are. Being different isn’t a bad thing. Don’t judge people by how they look.
- “E.T” -Friendship despite differences.
- “Fern Gully” -Care for the environment
STORIES AND BOOKS about Our Connectedness
- Mr Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham. PB About friendship.
- Belonging by Jeannie Baker. PB. Connection to community and environment. The greening of an urban street.
- John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner. PB. About companionship, devotion, acceptance, love, jealousy.
- Storm Boy by Colin Thiele. JF. About living in and connecting to nature.
- The Lorax by Dr Seuss. JF. A definitive fable of ecology for all.