As the world continues its love affair with technology, we human beings seem to become more disconnected and isolated from each other.
Yet we are connected in unseen ways, part of a larger design and consciousness. Most of us have likely experienced being around people or being in an environment that gave us good or bad feelings, or "vibes." At the same time, being around others who are positive and calm when we are feeling overwhelmed or out of control can influence us to become more positive and calm ourselves. Described in scientific terms, we become more "coherent."
We've always known that parenting support groups had value, and the value: Face-to-face support groups continues to be scientifically supported.
Only recently are we beginning to understand these effects from the underlying chemical and electrical mechanisms within the human body. Just like our children, we need face-to-face human interaction, the benefits of which are palpable but immeasurable. In our support groups, we emphasize the importance of a healthy parent-child relationship; the same holds true for us as adults...it's about relationships!
There are all kinds of studies that show the benefits of social support to our physical and mental health. Nevertheless, innovative technology has presented its challenges and has come with a price of faster communication with more isolation. We've either seen it or done it ourselves: Adults having dinner together and never looking up from their phones; parents with their children but never really engaging them because they are either on the phone or texting.
Over the years, it's been a real challenge for us at Nurturings as more and more parents have come to rely on the Internet for support and information. We've asked ourselves: How can we keep parenting support groups relevant and continue to attract parents when they can easily access information instantaneously through their iPads, smartphones, or laptops? Many of our Certified Attached at the Heart Parenting Educators have had to deal with the ups and downs of attendance at their meetings.
We expect the pendulum to swing back the other way as people realize that they are not feeling fulfilled by online-only connection or when they feel emotionally isolated from face-to-face interaction with their families or their friends. We call on parents to enter a new phase of awareness or consciousness, where they refuse to "drink the Kool-Aid," to become more active and informed in their decision-making and conscious about what their children are exposed to in our culture.
We invite parents to experience the benefits of attending face-to-face parenting support groups, where they can have an alliance of like-minded people who share similar values for life and living. They can feel safe and supported in their decisions, and feel a part of a larger movement for changing the old paradigm.
We envision a time when nurturing is so integrated into our culture that there is no question that this is the accepted and optimal way to raise our children, but we will always need social support because we were never meant to raise children in isolation, and we shouldn't. We are indeed all connected, and what happens to one of us happens to all of us.