“R slipped and fell backwards in the small drain, instinctively he pulled his head close to his chest. He cried but he tried again and managed to climb out of the drain. This boy has been in the forest school for close to 4 months. He came in crying and whining to his mummy at 3 years old, a reasonable behavior for his age. His mother and father were tough and encouraging parents who allowed R to face risks and challenges and how to overcome them by himself. R started off struggling to climb the boulders. He had days where he would spend the whole session crying because he couldn’t get up the boulders. Fast forward 3 months later, he rejected help from the coaches because he wanted to climb the rock himself.”
The confidence, competence and awareness you see in that child at the moment, far outweighs the discomfort and risk he had to face initially.
“M and I who went through forest kindergarten in Japan were very much in sync and aware of their senses and environment. In their stay in the US in recent years, they faced much racism and bullying in school due to the leadership situation in the States. They did not react to those situations. In one of my classes, the students were so angry and frustrated they threw chairs in class, bullying was prevalent but one small kid did not reach. Instead, they went home reflecting and found ways to empathize with their friends and schoolmates. They were kids and human beings that are aware. They did not bend or conform to the bullying in school. The forest school experience brought them the level of awareness where they are today.”
We live in a world now whereby people are fighting over the categorization of mankind by their differences. Live in a world where material needs are being put as a priority so much that people fight per it. Conflict and risk is more available now than in the past decades. These two kids will grow up in this world facing all these situations and will hopefully be the resolution to many of these conflicts.
I believe most people have read cases where children climb over the windows and fall to their death in high rise apartments, a common thing in our urban landscape. In nature, children behave differently when facing a “high rise” landscape. Research has shown when children approach the cliff they will notice the height difference and danger through their depth perception. Though curious, they will not move forward as they know it is dangerous even for a toddler and babies. There is a natural instinct among human beings in connection with the natural environment that helps us recognize the danger that the natural environment poses while we live in harmony in it. That is the risk that exists in nature. So now tell me which is more dangerous? The urban landscape or natural landscape? In other words, we have to be more vigilant in our urban four walled roof landscape than our natural landscape. Risk provided by nature is largely beneficial.
In conclusion, all that is shared are excerpts of experience and perspective from our end. We hope people would have a thought about it and embrace nature as it is and not expect it to bend to human’s needs and desires.