We modern humans don’t live in our “environmental niche” – the environment in which human beings evolved and for which we are optimized. Many things about the world we have created are non-optimal for our hunter-gatherer minds. Don’t get me wrong, I love my modern conveniences, and I am in no way suggesting that we should abandon it all and return to the savannah. Far from it – modernity, or at least many aspects of it, is here to stay. But let’s not be naïve – certain aspects of modern life are clearly hurting us, if not outright killing us, and an “enriched” captive life is still a life lived in captivity.
So, is there a way to understand the pain and suffering of “civilization” through the lens of captivity? How can we live a modern life informed by the subtleties and comforts of our evolutionary niche? How can we break free from the bars of captivity?
This blog is an attempt to answer these, and other questions, in addition to posing many, many more.
The kids are [not] alright: Thoughts on early childhood development, social isolation, and the Coronavirus Crisis
Yes, most assuredly, this experience will affect them. It will most likely, if not definitely, cause developmental setbacks. But, the truth is, our children are going to have developmental setbacks no matter what happens, no matter how hard we try to protect them.
Take some time now, when your hair isn’t on fire, to get all your calm-down tools in one bag or basket so that when things heat up, you can help yourself or your loved one get regulated and reconnected.
Make an heirloom menora drip tray! Light the lights. Feel the hope. Watch the wax drippings build up over time as a symbol of our yearly return to this enduring human gesture: the desire to bring ever-more light into the darkest of days, when our weary souls need it most.
When you’re brave enough to take a small child shopping: Mindful tips for before, during, and after the shopping trip
Most outings are adventures for little ones, which is both good and bad news. Simple chores or errands can become massive Arctic expeditions when a small child is in tow. Here are some tried-and-true mindful offerings in service of helping parents everywhere get through their shopping lists more efficiently.
Press play and discover the hidden gifts in your mind. Allow yourself to be delighted, filled with wonder. Accept a gift from a long-lost friend or loved one. Allow that gift to heal the parts of you that are in most need of extra care today.
Whether you’re dealing with adults or children, the first step in helping someone move on and adopt a cooperative mindset is listening to them until they feel good and listened to.
That feeling when you realize you are responsible for wiping n-1/n % of your household’s butts.
It can be very difficult for children under the age of 5 and of disparate ages to find ways to play with each other in the way that each one would prefer most. I’ve worked out six wonderful activities that my disparate-aged children enjoy doing together for more than 37 seconds at a time. Let me know how they work for your family!
Stairway Hold on tight Family is [not] magic
This must be a form of cultural amnesia, a collective delusion that each of us is the first one to come up with the idea of gifting a stuffed animal to a young child. The antidote? Distinguished guests, I offer to you the gift of experiences.
Minding Manners Minding Manners 2.0: 3 Ways to Embody Gratitude and Other Family Values Parent Q&A: Preschooler identity crisis?
The Consent Game Don’t Just Do Something Tiny Humans Are on Acid