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An Environment of Relationship

Dear Friends-

As I prepare to write the Friday Note every week, I often go through a period of “Googling” in which I putter around the internet looking for interesting and informative articles and papers that support the main idea of what I am hoping to write about. I learn so much from this time of searching out information. What a joy it is to be able to find out answers to nearly any question, and to be able to follow the twists and turns of one’s own line of curious inquiry! There is probably a future Friday Note lurking inside me about how (in this hyper-technological age) we somehow don’t teach kids the single most important computer skill they will need to thrive as adults: how to search out information on the internet effectively.

I will leave that note for another day however…

Today was Grandfriends Day at Randolph, and the campus was filled with our students and their important elder friends. As I Googled around today for my Friday Note, I was hoping to find interesting stuff about the importance of relationships between children and elders. My quest led me to a wonderful (if not perfectly on topic) working paper from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child entitled: Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationship. It is a succinct and persuasive analysis of research that seems to pretty clearly show that the quality of a child’s relationships with parents, family, teachers and peers should be recognized as the “active ingredients” that “provides a foundation of capacities that children will use for a lifetime”.

How nice to know that the time we spent with our Grandfriends today was not only fun, but important. Like synapses in the brain, when our children develop frequent and strong connections with an extended group of engaged and caring adults and elders, it promotes their overall well being.

The Harvard paper is an interesting read, and I highly recommend it. If you are interested, you can find it HERE. Hopefully you will find yourself clicking away, on a quest for more and more interesting information!

Be well,


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