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parenting, fatherhood, dads, skateboarding

This dad exemplifies stellar parenting.

As a parent, it's not always easy to know how to help your kids learn from life experiences. Some lessons they learn naturally and others they learn through parental guidance, but discerning which is which and how those things overlap can be challenging.

Kids don't come with instruction manuals, of course, but sometimes we see examples of great parenting we can point to and say, "AHA! That's how it's done."

One such example comes from a dad named Robert. He's been teaching his 5-year-old daughter Aubrin to skateboard and set up a mini half pipe for her to learn on. In a video on Instagram, Robert shared his interchanges with Aubrin after she crashed hard on the ramp during a lesson.


It's a sweet video that doubles as a masterclass in effective parenting. Robert communicates with a perfect blend of empathy, encouragement and empowerment, which gives his daughter exactly what she needs to tackle her fears and persevere in what she wants to do.

Even his initial question after she fell—"Did it scare you or did it hurt you?"—is helpful for making her more aware of what she's actually feeling as well as knowing how best to help her.

Seeing this gentle parenting scenario play out is just so heartwarming. (And if Aubrin's voice sounds familiar, you may have seen the viral "stuckasaurus" video in which she offered delightful color commentary while snowboarding in a dinosaur suit.)

Watch:

Robert explained his thinking behind the way he responded to Aubrin's fall:

"Trying something new can be scary but re-trying something after slamming can be terrifying.

I had to re-gain her trust and she needed to re-establish her confidence after this slam and it was a tough but beautiful rollercoaster experience.

This is one of the biggest psychological battles we face as humans, because once that negative experience has made its home in our brain it’s very hard to get it out.

I know from intense personal experience that a bad fall can have long lasting [psychological] effects and truly believe, that when possible, it’s best to get back up and try it again with the goal being to end the session with a positive experience; to not have that negative memory ruminating in your head until the next time you return to try.

I’ve been asked a lot 'How do you know what to say in these moments?' and the truth is I absolutely don’t know what to say.

Seeing her slam sucks the air out of my lungs and my heart drops but I just try to stay calm and redirect with some questions or comments while surveying the situation. A parent's emotions (depending on how you instinctively react) will oftentimes influence the child’s emotional response and it’s my goal to remove my influence and allow her to just be, to feel, to hurt at her pace and it allows me to get a better reading of how she’s truly feeling in these pivotal moments.

Ultimately I just respond from the heart. If you calmly lead with empathy and support without applying pressure you’ll do just fine."

Beautiful insight and advice. Unfortunately, many parents are raising kids while working through wounds from their own childhoods, and when you're battling parental instincts that aren't particularly healthy or helpful, having it all laid out like this is really valuable. Commenters on Instagram and Reddit have expressed how much they appreciate seeing supportive parenting in action.

"I actually got emotional watching this..." wrote one person. "I am learning so much from your posts!!! As someone whose parents led from a place of fear a lot of the time, this is showing me so much possibility of what the opposite can look like. Thank you for being so open, we are all made the better from it."

"I wish I had a dad like you growing up. She’s so lucky," wrote another.

"Made me smile and also as a grown ass man, gave me watery eyes - as someone that never had this kind of treatment growing up and kind of needed it - this is the kind of dad I will be if I ever meet someone and have kids," shared another.

Whether we were raised by gentle, supportive parents or the opposite, we can all recognize effective parenting when we see it. Thank you, Robert, for sharing such a stellar example we can all watch and learn from.

You can follow Robert and Aubrin's family adventures on Instagram(@chasing.sage).

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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True

You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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