I recently read an interesting article in the science news. Dr. Olaf Kruse, a biologist at Bielefeld University in Germany published research showing that plants can use other plants as a source of energy in addition to the well-known process of photosynthesis. We all know that plants need water and light to grow. Dr Kruse discovered that the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, not only uses photosynthesis, but can also draw energy from other plants. This particular alga produces an enzyme which can digest the cellulose in other plants, breaking it down into sugar and using it as a source of energy. Dr Krause says this is the first time this type of behaviour has been confirmed in a vegetable organism.
“If that energy is positive, affirming and supportive, children will flourish. If that energy is negative, cynical or demeaning, they will flounder.”
I found this fascinating – that a plant can draw energy from other plants around it. It immediately reminded me of something I have often noticed in working with children over the years – something which, I’m sure, every parent will have noticed too. Put simply – children are remarkably receptive to the environment they are in and are particularly able to soak up the “emotional energy” around them. In other words, they are shaped by the climate or atmosphere they live in – often without even being aware of it.
THE RIGHT KIND OF CLIMATE
If that energy is positive, affirming and supportive, children will flourish. If that energy is negative, cynical or demeaning, they will flounder. The pioneering psychologist, Carl Rogers, described something which he had noticed in his research. It is what he called, “a growth-promoting climate”. This is a caring and supportive atmosphere which enables young people to grow and mature positively. This is the kind of climate our children need to feed on and draw their energy from.