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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Growing Up Empowered

I am so grateful to my mother for encouraging me to trust my own instincts and allowing me to make my own mistakes. I think it is the greatest gift I have been able to pass on to my own children. From early on, most of us are taught to look outside ourselves for the answers we seek, yet trusting our instincts can give us insights that empower and connect us to our body’s own intelligence. Honoring those inklings or ignoring them can have lasting effects, too.

            This month’s issue is all about nurturing our children to lead vibrant and healthy lives, and I’ve personally experienced that in order to raise a healthy family in this consumer-driven marketplace; it all starts with decisions we make at home. Fostering an environment of exploration and reflection among my own children has empowered them with more confidence and resilience to handling issues that come their way. I’ve proudly (and sometimes tentatively) watched them, through thick and thin, learn and grow into the unique, kind and independent individuals I know and love.

            Inside our pages this month, you’ll find an abundance of vital information for parents and caretakers to help increase opportunities for independence as their youngsters grow. Our main feature, “Raising a Well-Rounded Child: Practical Ways to Build Lasting Life Skills,” includes training in mind-body tools such as meditation and mindfulness, as well as information about the importance of connecting deeply with nature.

            Some of my fondest memories are from “home-unschooling” my four children. This educational approach advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for expanding young people’s innate curiosity and offers opportunities to explore topics that interest them. Most days you could find us outside engaged with nature, a superb place for cross-disciplinary learning about relevant subjects in ways that are meaningful and practical to them.

            One of our favorite places for adventure when my kids were growing up was the beach at Independence Lake, in Dexter. With a portable microscope in hand, we examined the biodiversity of marine and other life in and around the water while swimming, picnicking and playing. I cherished being free of TV and just basking in the grace of nature together. Learning and moving at our own pace fed us on many levels and drew us closer in our happy cocoon.

            As kids now move into a world fraught with divisions and conflict, I believe it is imperative they are equipped with a curious, caring and courageous spirit. Our Healthy Kids department, “Mindful Kudos: Best Ways to Praise Kids and Boost Self-Confidence,” helps us find a balance while giving ample encouragement. We hope you will also find all of this month’s content impactful and practical.

            Summer sure is sizzling along—it all seems to fly by so fast, so let’s take the time to indulge in its more relaxed schedule as we put busy agendas aside to be more present with our children and make the most of the summer holidays before they jump into the new school year.

            Make the best of every moment and hug your children today and every day.

Happy Summering!