You belong to a unique period in human history.  Countless distractions compete for your attention in your home and work life.  How does this play out when you’re with your children?  Work demands can be unrelenting, interruptions with technology are ever present, complete with draining household logistics and consumer media. So, what’s the ultimate challenge?  Being present and being intentional with your choices.  An awareness of how these challenges impact the human connections within your family can help position you to be more present, especially when it counts.

Adults plays a crucial role in the development of the child. We are social beings with extended periods of infancy relative to other mammals, this is an evolutionary consequence of our large brains and the demands of our complex social structures has led to the creation of this important lifespan characteristic of our species.

Over the past 30 years as we have entered a more technologically driven economy, the world has changed more rapidly than in the previous 500 years. Deforestation, farming practices, plant technology, global warming, computing, electronic telecommunication has led to amazing leaps forward for our species from a connected perspective. The nature of information has changed in a way that both empowers and can also confuse.

Society has and always will be in a state of flux, undergoing a calibrating effect that reflects the social debate, culture of our times, power structures and mass media expansion. Social changes have created more connected but more distant communities.

Current research shows that there are many Australian children who are at risk of not being securely attached to a caregiver.  The long-term consequences of this data has the potential for far reaching implications to children through their childhood and into adulthood. Attachment theory underpins the importance of the responsive connection between parents and children and brain science in general.  This responsiveness can either occur by a parent, family member or caregiver. The importance placed upon having someone who responds directly to the needs of children cannot be understated. It is a foundation for cognitive development and offers the critical tool of purposeful human support, providing through a conscious knowing adult. Connected families and communities are where interpersonal and cognitive growth skills occur, supporting the lifelong learning journey of you and your family.

Remember the first day you set eyes on your child? That day, you felt the primary purpose of parenting, to create the bond between children and their world.  To nurture the social, emotional and physical development, responsive parents assist with the transfer of knowledge and skills, pertinent to develop the conditions for optimal child development. The influences upon children in today’s world is complicated, the responsibility that rests in the hands of parents and primary caregivers can feel overwhelming at times.

This is one of the many reasons we believe in the power of collaboration between families and the special partnership between home and school here at Forestville Montessori School (FMS). Each family will find their own balance of time and resources for connection and collaboration.  Our advice is that you should never underestimate the importance of that connection in providing security for your family. The educators at FMS are highly skilled and we want to encourage you to always feel free to ask us questions.  We want to partner with you in an open and sharing way.  We want to support families to equip themselves with knowledge about how the choices they make may impact their children.  We do so without judgement, and we keep an open mind.  We know there are some days that don’t go to plan, and that’s ok.

What we do say is be intentional in the way you shut down from the distractions that get in the way of providing your child with that much needed bonding.  It will be good for your well-being too!

Alex Dillon

Author Alex Dillon

Alex Dillon is the Head of Birth-6 Community at FMS, and is a highly-regarded Montessori guide and Early Childhood educator. He has over seventeen years experience in various child education settings, with fourteen of these in Montessori. After completing his AMI 3-6 Diploma in Sydney in 2007, he worked in both public (charter) and private Montessori schools in California, USA. On return to Australia, he worked with the Montessori Children’s Foundation across the country, including supporting community efforts to implement Montessori education in remote Aboriginal communities. He moved to Sydney in 2012 to take up directing and coordinating roles at Lindfield Montessori Pre-School, then Montessori East (Bondi). Most recently, he has been Educational Leader and Lead Director at the Central Coast Montessori School on the New South Wales Central Coast.

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