The Seven Pillars Of Well-Nurtured Children Free eBook

NurturedInspirations

An eBook written for educators and parents who guide, nurture, and inspire children in life, learning, and education. Explore The Nature of Nurture and discover the philosophy behind The Seven Pillars of Well-Nurtured Children and learn about the foundational principles behind the brand new Nurture Series eBooks.

F O R

L I F E . L E A R N I N G . E D U C A T I O N .

Series Nurture The

The Seven Pillars

O F

W E L L - N U R T U R E D C H I L D R E N

THE

POWER OF

NURTURE

PERSPECTIVE,

CONTEXT,

RELATIONSHIPS

AND THE

ENVIRONMENT

THE

POSSIBILITIES OF

INSPIRATION


I S S U E N O . 0 2

T O T H O S E W H O

G U I D E , N U R T U R E & I N S P I R E C H I L D R E N

dedicated


I S S U E N O . 0 2

A S E R I E S

Nurture

W R I T T E N B Y

S U S A N W R I G H T

W W W . N U R T U R E D I N S P I R A T I O N S . C O M


5

contents

INTRODUCTION

8

CHAPTER 1

The Power of Nurture

9

CHAPTER 2

The Possibilities of Inspiration

10

CHAPTER 3

Perspective, Context, and Relationships

11

CHAPTER 4

The Environment

12

CHAPTER 5

The 7 Pillars of Nurtured Inspirations


Introduction

As human beings, we are drawn to one

another. We seek relationships that ensure our

basic needs are met. As babies, we seek the

love of our parents and rely on the safety that

they provide. We flourish when we feel we are

accepted. We gain a sense of belonging when

we are invited and accepted into the lives of

those around us.

As we continue our life’s journey, we learn

social norms, languages, traditions, customs,

and moral understandings from people with

whom we interact and observe. We absorb and

learn about everything that surrounds us. We

imitate what we see and hear. We pass on

what we feel, and we reciprocate our

experiences to others. As human beings we

rely on those who came before us and those

who engage with us each day, as we learn the

ways of the world.

Depending on what we experience and interpret

in our relationships with others, determines how

it is we feel, relate, function, and interact with

others and the world around us. It is through

our relationships with others and our

encounters with the world around us, that we

emerge and evolve into our own ways of being.

In many ways, we are a product of what

surrounds us, what we observe, and what we

come to know.

Our ‘Nurture Series’ is designed to support

parents and educators as they find positive

ways to nurture the very best into the hearts,

minds, and spirits of the children in their care.

Our first eBook entitled, “Nurture,” lays the

foundations of the Nurtured Inspirations

philosophy. It provides an overview of the

Seven Pillars of Nurtured Inspirations, and is

designed to support you as you nurture children

in your day-to-day endeavours.


nurture noun

nur· ture | \ ˈnər-chər \

Definition of nurture

1: TRAINING, UPBRINGING

With proper focus during early nurture, one

can grow into a secure being . . .

— Ella Pearson Mitchell

2: something that nourishes : FOOD

. . . fed him well, and nourished himself, and

took nurture for the road . . .

— R. D. Blackmore

3: the sum of the environmental factors

influencing the behaviour and traits

expressed by an organism

Is our character affected more by nature or

by nurture?


nurture verb

nurtured; nurturing\ˈnərch- riŋ,

ˈnər- chə- \

Definition of nurture

transitive verb

EDUCATE

…nurture children in clean, [neutral or]

colorful rooms with the latest books and

learning [materials] gadgets.

— Sue Shellenbarger

: to further the development of

: FOSTER… nurture his intellectual

inclinations.

— Ray Olson

: to nurture a friendship


Chapter 1

The Power of Nurture

How we are nurtured, and how we nurture are critical

elements of our existence as individuals functioning well with

one another in the world. Fostering a sense of grounded,

happy, and connected human beings matters. How we foster

the wellness and sense of being in each other makes a

difference in how we live our lives. That said, the way in which

we nurture takes on a most critical role in our evolution as a

society.

Aristotle wrote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its

parts.” When we consider this thought in relation to the

wholeness of one another, we can reasonably agree about the

complex nature of what it means to be human with so many

interrelated internal and external parts. The elements that

make up who we are as individuals are influenced by our

experiences, relationships, and the contexts in which we

encounter one another. Arguably, how we nurture ourselves

and others has tremendous implications on how we co-exist

as human beings in this world.

Nelson Mandela often speaks of children and what our

treatment of children says about the soul and character of

society. He expanded upon this notion when he stated, “Each

of us as citizens, has a role to play in creating a better world

for our children.” It is through his wisdom that we see the

importance of our role as parents and educators as we guide

and shape children, which in turn, impacts the state of the

world.

Malaguzzi stated, "All of this is a great forest. Inside the

forest is the child. The forest is beautiful, fascinating, green,

and full of hopes; there are no paths. Although it isn’t easy, we

have to make our own paths, as teachers and children and

families, in the forest. Sometimes we find ourselves together

within the forest, sometimes we may get lost from each other,

sometimes we'll greet each other from far away across the

forest; but it's living together in this forest that is important.

And this living together is not easy."

Metaphorically, Malaguzzi paints a picture of the complexity

of our journey with children through the forest of life, learning,

and education. Like Malaguzzi, we believe that the hope for

our future lies deeply embedded in how we live and interact

together, how we build relationships, and how we navigate

pathways to best nurture children. Ever-empowering and

multi-faceted, we believe that the way in which we co-exist,

guide, and nurture children, ourselves, and others around us,

matters enormously to our human experience. As such, it

matters to the way in which our future will unfold. It is through

the way we nurture that we invite a sense of hope and

possibility for a more evolved and better human kind. It is now

that we need to nurture children now more than ever before.

Another famous educational thought leader, Loris Malaguzzi,

shared his views on the importance of how we raise, teach,

and guide children. Through the legacy of his work and

research carried out in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy,

Malaguzzi’s spirit and beliefs live on through children, parents,

educators, and the community. Malaguzzi’s image of the child,

along with what we learn and teach through encounters with

children, gives us hope for the vast potential and possibility

for all of humanity.


The Possibilities of Inspiration

2 Chapter

Inspiration is empowering. It comes to us in many ways and

through many channels. Inspiration ignites an excitement for

the possibilities of emerging ideas. Through relationships with

others, materials, spaces, and places, inspiration unfolds in

ways unique to each of these encounters. As parents and

educators guiding children, the way in which we nurture

inspiration among children has the potential to ignite sparks

of brilliance.

Through our children, sparks of brilliance are capable of

igniting dreams for the future. These dreams manifest

through our connections with others, giving us a shared sense

of meaning and purpose in life. As we nurture inspiration, we

empower children and we create for the world an endless

hope of new perspectives and ideas.

Nurturing children opens doors to relationships and

conversations that create the foundations for greatness. As

parents and educators supporting children’s explorations in

their day-to-day endeavours, we enhance the life, learning, and

educational journey of all human beings. As individuals

coming together in the spirit of inspiration, we create the

conditions needed for a healthy, happy, and purposeful life

well lived.


Perspective, Context, and Relationships

3 Chapter

The way in which we nurture relationships, impacts

children’s life experiences. Honouring relationships

rooted in human connectedness cultivates a sense of

community. Modeling our care and commitment to

others, parents and educators raise children who are

aware and understand the value of one another and

the perspectives they share. Equally invested in their

own experiences as they are in the experiences of

others, children learn of the greatness that can emerge

through a shared human experience well-lived.

It is through others that we become the best versions

of our most authentic and inspired self. As parents and

educators, we recognize the value of one another.

Consider the words of Ram Dass, “We are all just

walking each other home.” What does it mean to be

home? In our view, home is a place where we feel

aligned, a place where we share a sense of belonging

and connection with those around us. With unique

differences, we serve as inspiration to one another as

we share insights and new perspectives in ways that

respectfully challenge one another to consider new

understandings and ideas.

When we nurture children in ways that celebrate their

culture, history, language, and context, we honour

who they are as people. Weaving opportunities into

our daily endeavours to share and explore the

richness of each of their backgrounds sends a

message that our community is inclusive. When we

create communities where a sense of belonging

exists, we invite children to contribute their historical,

cultural, language, and contextual backgrounds to

enhance our own learning. We broaden the

experiences of everyone within the community by

welcoming children to share their unique ways of

knowing with others.

We are all educators guiding and inspiring one

another to reach our most rich, capable, and

competent potential. We are full of life, love, and

passion for new perspectives, insights, and learning.

We are a part of something bigger than ourselves,

something that matters to us, our children, their

families, our communities, and the world. Celebrating

and honouring children’s unique experiences,

backgrounds, and ways of knowing enriches the

community and the shared experiences within it. As

parents and educators, we are able to set the tone for

a positive experience when children feel they belong.

When children coexist in such contexts, they learn to

adapt these behaviours and reciprocate their sense

of belonging by welcoming others to feel the same

way. Together, as co-creators of our communities, we

empower one another to shine.


The Environment

4 Chapter

When children, parents, and educators come together

in a community, they exist in a place that emerges

from shared experiences such as emotional

connections, intellectual encounters, and spiritual

understandings. In this place, it is more of an abstract

encounter of existence and is sometimes called, “a

place of being." An encounter with place can emerge in

many ways. It can occur when one is alone or

connecting with others through dialogue, or a nonverbal

interaction, a reflection of thought, the

unpacking of an idea, or an experience with materials,

to name a few of the complexities that underlie the

notion of place.

Place can be understood to happen through

interactions of intellectual, emotional, social, natural,

or spiritual encounters. Rather than considering place

as a physical location, place is thought to be

something existing on a more abstract level. An

experience through place can occur among humans as

individuals or groups, as well as in relation to nonhuman,

living, and non-living beings.

From Indigenous ways of knowing, environment is

seen as the first teacher reminding us of our

connection with the Earth and the natural world. From

the perspective of the thinking emerging from the

schools in Reggio Emilia, environment has been said to

be the third teacher. Each of these insights are

important perspectives reminding us that relationships

with and among spaces matter. As parents and

educators, it is critical to offer and to explore with

children environments that welcome learning, invite

interaction, and open doors to possibilities. When we

do this, we give children the physical spaces that allow

them to tap into their creativity, imagination, and

innovative thinking.

Nurturing children in ways that create both a sense of

space and place allows children to explore all their

ways of being in concrete and abstract ways. When

children are invited to holistically explore all of their

ways of being, they gain a sense of balance and

satisfaction that comes from within. Their authentic

self emerges and they exist in ways that are healthy,

and well. Critical to the overall wellness of children,

environments that welcome and support authentic

explorations of mind, heart, and spirit create

conditions for children to flourish.

By considering carefully each of these human

elements, parents and educators can nurture children

holistically so that they grow and thrive in healthy

ways. By nurturing from the inside, we welcome

children to experience life in ways that are

intrinsically driven so that children may develop a

feeling of contentment, happiness, and well-being. It

is through nurturing children that we support them

along their journey of self-discovery and ways of

being through The Seven Pillars of Well-Nurtured

Children.


The Seven Pillars of Well-Nurtured Children

5 Chapter

Nurturing children is important work. It is an

investment in the present as much as it is an

investment in the future. It is a commitment to the

understanding of children's backgrounds, specifically,

an understanding of the cultural, ethnic, and language

histories of another human for these are the

foundations of a person’s being. To nurture children is

to support their overall health and well-being. It is a

way to guide children through a journey of selfdiscovery

where their most authentic self emerges and

aligns with their purpose on this Earth. It is a way to

bring together mind, body, and spirit in a most holistic

and inspired way that empowers children to find clarity

and meaning all around them as we cultivate and

nurture inspiration.

seven pillars

1

the

EMOTIONAL PILLAR

2

SOCIAL PILLAR

3

PHYSICAL PILLAR

4

INTELLECTUAL PILLAR


The Seven Pillars of Well-Nurtured Children

5 Chapter

It is through our commitment to children's wellbeing

that we find ways to build relationships that

foster in children a sense of nourishment of mind,

body, and spirit. Fostering the development of the

Seven Pillars in children is to create the foundations

for a human existence that prioritizes well-nurtured

ways of being.

When we support children through a holistic journey

of wellness, we empower a sense of well-being that

children will carry with them throughout their lives.

In so doing, we contribute to the creation of a wellnourished,

well-balanced, and well-connected

holistic human existence.

Our children are the pathways and our hope for the

future. It is through our commitment to nurturing

children that we find the opportunity to make our

world a better place.

seven pillars

5

the

SPIRITUAL PILLAR

6

MORAL PILLAR

7

NATURE AESTHETIC PILLAR


When we nurture children’s emotional pillar, children become intrinsically well as their heart, mind, and spirit feel

centred and balanced. They are able to recognize and regulate their emotions in ways that demonstrate empathy,

respect, and kindness toward themselves and those around them. They become invested in their own emotional

well-being as much as the well-being of others, acknowledging their role, responsibility, and

Emotional

potential

Pillar

for

contributing to the greater good of the world.

Nurturing the social pillar in children is essential. When children are invited to explore the world through their

Pillar Social

social selves, they encounter the world through a lens that is connected to others. When children have a strong

sense of relationship with others, they are empowered to connect more meaningfully with those around them.

These meaningful relationships lead to a greater sense of purpose, and empower children to experience life with a

greater sense of belonging and a more invested sense of being with others. Through well-developed social

connections, children effectively explore, discover, and build relationships with the people they encounter each

day. These encounters form the foundation of a strong sense of community, a greater interconnection with

others, and a more deeply rooted sense of purpose in life. When we nurture the social pillar in children, we support

their innate need to connect with other human beings in meaningful ways.


Nurturing the physical pillar in children is critical. When children are invited to explore the world through their

bodies, they engage with all of their senses. Multi-sensory experiences are connected to their innermost being as

it allows them a means to connect with living, non-living, human, and non-human beings in the

Physical

physical

Pillar

world.

Through their senses, children can explore, discover, and build relationships with the world around them in ways

that are physically, imaginatively, and creatively connected. Often overlooked, nurturing this pillar in children is

essential as it encourages risk-taking which in turn breeds confidence, self-esteem, a positive sense of self, and

an overall sense of physical well-being.

Pillar

Spiritual nurturing has to do with the heart and spirit of a child. A spiritually nurtured child has a strong sense of who

Spiritual

they are and why they are on this Earth. Their sense of purpose and their understanding of the meaning of life are

foundations that complete their being. They know they are a part of something bigger than themselves and coexist

with others, human and non-human, in ways that are respectful and considerate of each being’s needs and

perspectives. Children who are spiritually well-nurtured embrace other people’s insights and draw inspiration from

new viewpoints that emerge from those whose belief systems are different from their own. Spiritually-well children

feel a deep connection to goodness in the world, and are connected to their desire to give back to the world in

philanthropic ways.


Nurturing a child’s intellectual pillar empowers them to engage mentally through creative, thoughtful, and

innovative processes. Intellectually nurtured children embrace new learning opportunities, welcome challenges,

and engage in theory building as they observe and experience the world around them. They embark on the coconstruction

of ideas and solutions to problems with others. They consider how things work, and they are

Pillar

driven

by curiosity and a need for discovery. They are inspired by their own as well as other people’s questions. They

wonder often, possess an open-to-learning stance, and have a growth mindset when it comes to learning.

Intellectually nurtured children are content creators who enjoy communicating creatively in order to share their

thinking, learning, and perspectives of the world.

Pillar

When we nurture a child’s moral pillar, we foster a true sense of direction. Nurturing a moral compass that is well-

Moral

aligned to the greater good in the world, allows children to make meaningful connections about where they are

headed, why they are taking a particular pathway, and how their pathway can contribute to the greater good in the

world. Morally, when children are nurtured, they feel a sense of respect and honour for themselves and others. They

understand the value of life and the reason for all human, non-human, living, and non-living beings. Nurturing the moral

pillar is a critical layer that helps children become connected with an altruistic way of being.


Nurturing a child’s nature pillar is very much connected to empowering connections with the world around them.

When children are connected to nature, their sense of calm, balance, and wellness emerges naturally. Nature is a

place where human beings return to a most authentic place, where they connect from their inner soul, and where

they come alive with their most natural instincts. Connecting with nature through an appreciation

Nature

of

Aesthetic

its

Pillar

beauty

and peacefulness, invites children to establish a sense of serenity that goes well beyond what can sometimes be

the noise of life. Children who are nurtured to connect with the pillar of nature find ways to breathe life into

themselves and others, while seeking inspiration most authentically. It is through the pillar of nature that children

learn to communicate and connect creatively through the aesthetic beauty of the world around them.

The Seven Pillars of Well-Nurtured Children are critical in cultivating a holistic child who is able to flourish in the world.

Conclusion

These pillars are essential to the overall well-being of children. It is through the development of The Seven Pillars that

children become connected to their holistic selves and others in the world. The Seven Pillars help children gain insight

into the complex nature of what it means to be human. It is by nurturing children well, that parents and educators can

contribute to the wellness of the world and a hope for our future. Join us as we continue our journey into our Nurture

Series with the first eBook of the series, ‘Nurture Calm."


Inspirations

Nurtured

presents

Nurture Calm

W R I T T E N B Y

S U S A N W R I G H T

© N U R T U R E D I N S P I R A T I O N S 2 0 1 9


to the Nurture Calm eBook

Our Nurture Series is an extensive series of eBooks that provide educators and parents with a

Welcome

comprehensive set of resources to cultivate a culture that empowers children to flourish holistically. Our

practical resources are easy to use and inviting to explore. Children, parents, and educators will enjoy the

interactive process of coming to know themselves and others through a lens of love, kindness, respect, and

empathy. Relationships and encounters matter and that is why our resources are designed to help you guide

and nurture children by establishing secure, trusting, and respectful connections with them.

Our eBook series includes a focus on The Seven

Elements of Well-Nurtured Beings including:

1. Nurture Calm

2. Nurture Relationships

3. Nurture Well-Being

4. Nurture Creativity

5. Nurture Nature

6. Nurture Self-Regulation

7. Nurture Learning

Within each of The Seven Elements of Well-Nurtured

Beings, there are multiple layers that we unpack to

help you guide and nurture children in ways that

support their holistic well-being. As a way to

support you as you nourish the whole being of a

child, we have created the Nurture Series. Gather as

a group or cuddle up with a child one-on-one as you

connect holistically with one another. Join us as we

create relationships and encounters that nourish a

child's sense of calm and wellness.

Download Today


"Our Nurture Series is where we connect

holistically with children. It is through

relationships that children learn to connect

with their innermost authentic selves to lead

a life of meaning and purpose."

Susan Wright

Founder ~ Nurtured Inspirations


SUSAN WRIGHT

© NURTURED INSPIRATIONS 2019

Explore the

NURTURE

SERIES

for life, learning & education


P H O T O C R E D I T S

caroline hernandez

sai de silva

kelly skikkema

gift habeshaw

john mark smith

F O R E V E R G R A T E F U L

A L W A Y S I N S P I R E D


T H E 7 P I L L A R S O F

W E L L - N U R T U R E D C H I L D R E N

W R I T T E N B Y :

S U S A N W R I G H T

C U R A T E D F O R

C H I L D R E N , F A M I L I E S , E D U C A T O R S

© Nurtured Inspirations 2019

For Life. Learning. Education.

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