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As The Twig Is Bent…

As the Twig is Bent…

…So Grows The Tree

Go for a walk in the woods and take a close look at trees, all kinds of trees. Sooner or later you are bound to notice some trees that have a strange unnatural look and growth pattern to them. They might look almost deformed. Sometimes it will be a tree that is growing along the forest floor for some distance then all of a sudden it starts to grow upward toward the sky. Most of the time there doesn’t seem to be any apparent reason for this strange growth, but there is. Much of the time the culprit is long gone and no evidence remains. This awkward looking tree might be a mature tree of some 50 years or more. What ails this tree happened when it was young, when another tree or large branch from a mature neighboring tree fell on it. This smaller tree strained under the weight, perhaps for many years, until the other tree or branch rotted away. By the time the branch rotted away or fell free it was too late, this tree would grow in this direction and manner for the rest of it’s days.

Now, while you are on that same walk in the woods you might see something else that is interesting. You might see a healthy, fully grown mature tree with a deadfall of equal size lying right up against it. Providing the first tree is rooted strongly and healthy it will stand there for many years supporting the weight of the deadfall until the deadfall rots off at the base and falls away, usually leaving the first tree with only minor damage.

Just as with trees our children are no different. When they are young they are far more susceptible to the forces applied to them. Those forces are psychological and physical and come in all shapes and sizes. Although there are no guarantees in life we should make every effort to improve the odds of our children being able to resist any negative forces that would do harm. One of the first things we can do is start by talking to our children. It’s important to let them in on any mistakes that we adults may have made in our youth so as to help them avoid such pitfalls. Talk to your children about all of things that can affect their growth and long-term health, including: Drugs, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and certainly Poor Diet. Diet is perhaps the number one environmental factor facing our children today. As parents we need to set an example. That means we have to show an effort in improving our diet and overcoming our bad habits. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about understanding and recognizing our shortcomings and showing positive effort that our children can learn from.

With a little love, a little effort, and a little luck, we can help our children make it to maturity with relatively few battle scars and hopefully they will be healthy, mature and strong enough to handle another tree falling against them.

Written by DMK of Seven Grains.