Nature and science newsletter June 2013

Some picks from our June Nature and science newsletter:


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For more great science writing, check out our lists of winners of  the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books.

Taming the frenzied pace of life

Search catalogueWe’ve all heard of slow food, but what about slow parenting?

According the Carl Honore, author of Under Pressure, the concept is about keeping

… the family schedule under control so that everyone has enough downtime to rest, reflect and just hang out together.

I guess that means my parents had a slow parenting philosophy in the 50s and 60s. Our large family spent a lot of time around the dinner table debating and laughing, there was lots of hanging out with siblings of a similar age and in winter we all  played board and card games together, both parents and children.  How many families get to do that today?

Not everyone agrees that this is the ideal way to live (I note that the Wikipedia entry on slow parenting carries the caveat “the neutrality of this article is disputed”) and you might feel it is unjustified nostalgia. However, if you want to give it a try, winter would seem the ideal time to put slow parenting into practice.

Playing board games and card games is great winter fun and a good way to connect with the kids, if you can tear them away from their computer games. The library has lots of useful books including the definitive Hoyles which give the rules of a wide range of card games and guides to board games, including Asian ones (try Mah Jong if you can find a set, its great fun). We also have lots of inspiration to get children exploring games, crafts, and science .  Maybe you could even try a bit of storytelling.

Tell us what you think about slow parenting.