The ancient world near the Mediterranean boasts of olive trees that are centuries old (a few that are even carbon dated to be over a thousand years old). These trees live in groves that are obviously cared for, protected and treasured. Olympic game victors were even crowned in olive leaves because of their precious nature; they were the symbol of wisdom. Interestingly though, olive groves thrive in rocky soil of craggy areas that undergo drought, disease and fire too. The groves can remain productive for centuries if pruned regularly and correctly. When the tree is damaged by frost, it will produce new shoots from the roots and the dead can be removed and a new tree is now formed.
The above description could describe a thriving family built on a legacy of love. We as people live inside a family (our grove) and we care for, protect and treasure each other. As parents, we are "crowned" (surrounded) with our children and grandchildren for decades to come. Our family name and its legacy live on throughout time. The foundation we build and the attention we pay to pruning (think teaching respect, discipline and character) will be seen centuries later in the olives we produce (fruit our family bears). Important to this metaphor is the realization that long lasting productive groves do not require perfection, just as our lives will never be perfect or lived inside a bubble. The struggle of the family (the disease, fire and rocky soil of the grove) will be teachable moments for the members and will ultimately build more of exactly what we long for; integrity, resilience, and perseverance.
What about the lab?
It's simple really. A laboratory is defined by Webster's as "a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study". It is OOL's goal to provide just that. A safe, supportive environment for parents to 1) observe, learn, and gather tools to help them on the parenting journey 2) process challenges and seek appropriate change so that they are moving forward with their family.
Ultimately, it is a transformation from accidental parenting to that of intentional parenting that happens in "the lab"!