As the year draws to a close, psychologist and author Megan de Beyer reminds us why this time of rest and reconnection is so crucial.
HOW NATURE REVEALS SECRETS OF RESILIENCE
In the early 90s, the ‘Biosphere 2’ experiment aimed to create a self-sustaining natural environment in the Arizona desert. The problem is, it failed. The trees would grow to a certain height, then fall over. Scientists quickly discovered it was the absence of wind which precipitated this failure. The trees died because they didn’t develop ‘stress wood’ – a hard, strong core which is developed when trees are subjected to environmental pressure from winds.
The truly amazing thing is that trees can’t grow tall or strong without sufficient stress and wind trying to blow them over. Even slight winds will cause trees of all ages to bend and bow. The reason adult trees can handle this constant back-and-forth is because they weathered stress as ‘youngsters’ – they grow ‘stress wood’ in the trunk. Wind also causes young roots to grow deeper and longer. They are not only searching for water- they are also training to withstand winds above ground. Without that stress wood, these trees would collapse under their own weight. Without deep roots, trees fall over.
WHAT THIS TEACHES US ABOUT RAISING TEENS
The stressors of the past year have been overwhelming, and families have been pummeled by strong winds of change and uncertainty. Have you grown helpful stress wood and grounded yourself with deep roots of knowing? If you have done this for yourself, you will be able to lead your young adults to do the same.
At times like these, we can become defensive and stay stuck, or we can choose to recognize the ways our strength of character has grown through this time. Families are ecosystems which can exist like a family of trees. We can stand together, supporting each other and developing strong roots of connection and communication.
That is why this time of rest and reconnection is SO important as 2021 draws to a close. Can you fully embrace the opportunity to put down your doing, and rather use the holidays to reconnect your family? Will you explore the many ways everyone in your family has grown and changed over the past two years?
I hope you do.
If you want to use the holiday to explore Conscious Teen Parenting 101, feel free to download Megan’s workbook here.