Childhood trauma and brain development

Research is increasingly showing the huge impact trauma can have on the development of children. The following three short videos (under 2 minutes each) from the Center on the Developing Child  help to explain the impact of trauma on brain development.

The first video explains how early experiences help build the basic architecture of our brains.

The second video shows how interaction between babies and other people (“serve and return”) is vital for our brain development. Continue reading

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Greening the ghetto by Majora Carter

Unfortunately, race and class are extremely reliable indicators as to where one might find the good stuff, like parks and trees, and where one might find the bad stuff, like power plants and waste facilities.

In this passionate TED talk, Majora Carter highlights why social justice needs to be a foundation of environmental sustainability, community engagement and strengths-based approaches, and also highlights the importance of bottom-up approaches. Continue reading

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A song for Sunday – I was only 19

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep?
And night time’s just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me – I was only nineteen

“I was only 19″ or “A walk in the light green”, released in 1983 by the Australian band Redgum, is a powerful song based on the experiences of Vietnam veterans. The Wikipedia entry for the song explains some of the lyrics if you aren’t sure what the “Channel 7 chopper” or “a walk in the light green” refer to.

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. Past Songs for Sunday
  2. Principles of nonviolence
  3. What can you do when someone you know is experiencing domestic violence?
  4. White Ribbon Day
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Saturday Quote

Photo of earth from the moon, with the quoteToday is Earth Hour so I thought this quote by Terri Swearingen (a nurse and environmental campaigner) was appropriate.

We are living on this planet
as if we had another one to go to.

What is your favourite environmental quote?

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. Past Saturday Quotes
  2. Blue Men: Message to Humanity
  3. 10 ways to reduce your consumption
  4. Being more environmentally friendly in 2015
  5. Our addiction to growth
  6. Climate change: we need to clean up after ourselves
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Some weekend reading

Dog reading on a computer

(Photo: ttarasiuk)

Every Friday I post some links to articles, videos or other resources that have caught my eye during the week. Some might be quite recent, but others might be older ones I have revisited or recently discovered. They will mainly focus on families, community engagement or environmental sustainability, but not necessarily.

Families

My Body is Mine from Stumbling For Balance – An evocative poem we should make sure all our daughters and sons read.

Parenting is not the key to tackling inequality by Val Gillies via The Conversation – An article from the UK challenging the notion that parenting is the starting point for the disparity between disadvantaged children and their more privileged peers. Continue reading

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Earth Hour – does it really make a difference?

Next Saturday millions of people in over 7000 cities from more than 150 countries will switch off their lights for one hour from 8:30 pm (local time) as part of Earth Hour. But is it more than a media stunt? Does it really achieve anything?

It’s been interesting watching the evolution of Earth Hour since 2004 when it was started in Australia by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with the help of the advertising agency Leo Burnett Sydney. According to the ad agency (in a short video promoting their role in developing Earth Hour), Continue reading

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A song for Sunday – Foolish Notion

Why do we kill people who are killing people
To show that killing people is wrong
What a foolish notion
That war is called devotion
When the greatest warriors are the ones that stand for peace

My start in working with communities was through the peace movement in 1983 and, as you might have noticed from my blog, I remain committed to nonviolence and social change.

“Foolish Notion,” released in 1981 by Holly Near,  is a powerful commentary on war and the death penalty.

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. My background in peace and environment groups
  2. Principles of nonviolence
  3. Nonviolence as a Framework for Youth Work Practice
  4. The widening gap between rich and poor – Time to even it up.
  5. A song for Sunday – Dust in the Wind
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Saturday quote

Luxury yacht with quote "Live simply so others may simply live"One of my favourite quotes by Mahatma Gandhi:

Live simply so others may simply live.

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. The life you can save by donating
  2. 10 ways to reduce your consumption
  3. Consumption and the Transition movement
  4. The widening gap between rich and poor – Time to even it up.
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Some weekend reading

Person reading from a computer in the Reading Room of the British Museum.

(Photo: ceridwen)

Every Friday I post some links to articles, videos or other resources that have caught my eye during the week. Some might be quite recent, but others might be older ones I have revisited or recently discovered. They will mainly focus on families, community engagement or environmental sustainability, but not necessarily.

Families

How to Know if Teens Are Getting It Wrong Online from Generation Next

The science and art of raising kids by Jodie Benveniste Continue reading

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A resilience practice framework by the Benevolent Society

The Resilience Practice Framework by The Benevolent SocietyThe Benevolent Society, in partnership with the Parenting Research Centre, recently released a Resilience Practice Framework that will form the basis for their work with children and families from disadvantaged communities. It’s a great resource that many family and community workers will find useful.

It is built on five outcomes they want to help promote in the children and families they work with: Continue reading

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