I love reading our daughter Beth’s blog posts about family and community issues.
I admire her growing political voice too.
She says in her About part of her blog:
I find it is through my interactions with others that I learn best and so hope that you might take some time to respond to my thoughts and so we can help each other along this journey of discovery that is living.
Today I found two items that I thought might interest Beth and contribute to a learning journey. They resonate with my interests in play too.
Item 1: Young Vision
A University of Sydney press release reports that researchers in the Centre for Vision research have found that “six-year-olds who spent the most time watching television had narrower arteries in the back of their eyes, increasing their chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes in later life.”
The press release notes:
- The study looked at one and a half thousand six-to-seven-year-old children in 34 primary schools in Sydney. Those who regularly participated in outdoor physical activity had wider average retinal arterioles (arteries behind the eyes) compared to children with the lowest activity levels.
- Physical activity enhances blood flow and has a positive effect on the linings of blood vessels. Retinal microvascular diameter is a marker for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure in adults, but this is the first study to show a sedentary lifestyle in childhood is linked to a narrowing of the vessels in the retina.
Item 2: Mums
On my way to Canberra I heard the end of an interview between Margaret Throsby and Jessica Rowe. Jessica is the author of Love.Wisdom.Motherhood. The book’s themes have fundamental connections with Beth’s thoughts and actions and I was delighted to hear (if only for a very short time) Jessica’s thoughts about motherhood.
The juxtaposition of these two items and their links with Beth’s interests sent me off on a journey today. The journey reminded me too that when Bruno Bettelheim was asked at the end of his professional career ‘What would you do differently knowing what you know now?’ he answered “work much more closely with mums”.
I see playfulness at the heart of learning opportunities. The Sydney study on vision and Jessica’s sharing of eleven stories of motherhood have reinforced my commitment to activity and understanding the roles mums play in young flourishing.
I am off to discuss these ideas with Beth!