Managing the wind

By Le-Vérne Wagner Educational Psychologist

A biodome is a large, perfectly structured environment covered by a physical dome in order for scientists to study different
natural environments and test different theories.

This is a wonderful experiment, as the scientists can observe, test and create different environments where absolutely every aspect within the dome is controlled and carefully looked after. However, they made one very baffling discovery, the trees in the biodome kept falling over! They changed many different elements in the dome to try to stop this. They changed the temperature, the amount of water,
the nutrients in the soil, even uprooted and moved the trees to
different locations – all with the same results: the trees just kept falling over. Then one day, the scientists realized the only element
that was completely missing in the dome was wind. 

In a natural environment, while the trees are growing the wind blows, sometimes light and sometimes strong. As the wind pushes against the trees and offers resistance, the trees are forced to push their roots deeper into the soil, their bark becomes more flexible and stronger. The scientists then introduced wind into the biodome and, low and behold, the trees became stronger and over time stood
without help.

As parents do we create biodomes in which we raise our children?
What may we be missing in our love and care for them that could be the very ingredient required for them to grow into strong, confident
and self-assured young individuals?

There are many different parenting types, and many different personality types, so how does a parent create a strengthening
environment for a child (or children) that will allow them to be the ‘natural tree’ compared to the ‘biodome tree’?

Look at the Biodome example.
The scientists allowed the trees to be affected by the wind, but controlled how much wind the trees got. They still carefully
monitored the environment and made sure the trees had what they needed to deepen their roots and grow stronger. This is not to say that parents must not protect their children, especially from danger, the scientists did not put the trees in the middle of a wild fire and expect them to survive. They only allowed the trees to form themselves, in their environments, with the daily stressors that trees come up against, while providing the support the trees needed. 


Children are the same as these biodome trees.
They need the daily pressures of life, remembering to do homework and chores, learning how to work out differences between themselves and others, learning how to manage social challenges, when to dig into themselves and understand their actions, and ultimately, how to grow. Even, or example, when dealing with bullies at school, if the child has not had the opportunity to stand up for themselves, and learn from that experience, they will not know how to handle the situation the next time it happens. Unless, the bullying is serious and relentless, parents should only provide insight to their child on how to handle the situation before they get too involved. One day, you child will be grown up and need to deal with adult bullies,they will rely on the experiences of their younger years to know how to handle and succeed in the new challenges.

Le-Vérne Wagner Educational Psychologist
MEd (UP), Bed Hon (UP), PGCE Intermediate (UP), BSocSci (UP) 
060 992 2538

For this reason, we as parents need to look at the biodomes we have created for our children.
We need to decide, reasonably, how much we allow our children to experience in their lifetimes. We have heard of ‘helicopter parents’, those parents who hover over their children and micro manage all their actions, and ‘lawnmower parents’, those parents who always make a clear path for their children so they don’t struggle with
anything. These parents, out of concern and love for their children,
have unintentionally removed the wind from the growing trees. However, this too can be adjusted as children have a wonderful
ability to learn and adapt to changes in their worlds. By showing trust in our children to handle and learn from challenges, to come to us when they have no more solutions, and realise they value our experiences and knowledge; this creates a stronger family bond and a stronger child.

At the end of the day, we have all created biodomes for ourselves and our children, putting in the best that we can and hoping for the best outcome, but we should also always remember that a little wind may be what we need to realise our potential and allow our children to realise theirs.

You are not a bad parent for letting your child first try to solve their own challenges, or fight their own fights, you are just managing the wind.

Be the first to know

Subscribe to MOMSNOTES


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email