Mindful Parenting Practices That Every Parent Should Know

1. Love and warmth for your child – warmth and love not only in your actions, but in your word, in your head and in your heart.  Do you love and adore your child?  Or do you secretly ( or not-so secretly??)  feel negatively toward your child?  Waldorf parenting and education views that there are no difficult children, although children can certainly have difficult behaviors!  You don’t don’t have to love every behavior, but love your child!  Give your child that warmth and energy and unconditional acceptance from your soul! How many positive things do you think and say about your child every day, especially compared to the negative things you think?!   Connect with your child, love your child, enjoy your child.

A child under the age of 7 is often seen within Waldorf parenting and educaiton as more of “neither inherently good nor bad” – rather a child that is learning and  that needs gentle guidance.

2.  Protection of the child’s senses – there are 12 senses to be protected, and the small child has no filter to “screen” things out.  This is why repetition, being home, sameness is so important to the young child.  I am going to write a post on the 12 senses soon based on some things we recently talked about in Donna Simmons’ Waldorf At Home Conference.

3.  Humor, Happiness, Joy!  Your house should have a soul-quality of warmth, humor, joy.  How many times a day do you laugh with your children?  How many times a day do you smile at them?  How often do you hug them or kiss them?  How many times a day does your children feel the joy that comes from being a family together?  You don’t need a lot of words, but to be able to exude that feeling of joy, that the world is a good place!

4.  Cultivation of gratitude is of paramount importance in the first seven years as the basis of love in the next seven year cycle and of the feeling of dedication and loyalty in the cycle after that…How do express gratitude to your children?  To your spouse?  Do you wonder at things together and find thankfulness in the everyday of your lives?  Are you doing any of kind of inner work, spiritual work?

5.  Rhythm is essential.  I am not going to go into everything about rhythm here, as there are many, many posts on this blog about rhythm, but understand this is the place that can carry so much for you without much effort if your rhythm is established.

6.  Don’t create the battlefield in your mind!  Get clear in your heart about how you feel about something, with love set it  forth and go have fun!

7.  Show your child some meaningful work, something than more than pushing a button to turn something on…..Cook together, garden together, be together in mass quantities of time.

8.  Look at play and fostering connection to nature as the essential work of the child during the years when they are small.

There are more things considered “essential” in the early years, but I feel these are the things that truly are of great importance, and also cause parents the most difficulty.

Mindful parenting, gentle parenting, loving parenting, can be a challenging path but so worth it!

Keep striving,

Carrie

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13 thoughts on “Mindful Parenting Practices That Every Parent Should Know

  1. Thank you for such such kind words.

    I have been reading your blog for a few weeks (in addition to reading many of your older posts), and I feel I have found “just what I needed.” As a mother to an energenic 4-year-old boy and a laid back 1-year-old girl, I’m striving to become a better parent while honoring who they are.

    In gratitude,

    Sarah

  2. Just wanted to say that I am a regular reader of your blog. It is a wonderful resource. I like how Sarah Jane put it – your posts are a daily meditation for me as well. Thanks!

  3. i am new to your blog and i am really loving it. i have poked around some so sorry if i am missing something but i am looking for two things:

    1. a good overview of waldorf

    2. what age to start to try to do more cooking, gardening, etc together? my oldest is three and i am doing some cooking and gardening with him but he is very fickle in his level of interest and i don’t want to force it. do i just start the activity and let him come and go from involvement as he wishes? do i create his own garden where i don’t have so many “rules” about the way i want things done (like lets not replant the plants 40 times)?

    sorry for such a long comment filled with unrelated questions! if you don’t have time to reply i will just keep nosing around until i find answers. and again, thank you for sharing such a grounded, loving approach to parenting.

    • Robin, Would you like an overview of Waldorf throughout the grades or Waldorf Kindergarten? You can try the posts on the tags box under “Waldorf Kindergarten” or “Waldorf Homeschooling” for your age range. Three is still very, very little. I would work on setting up rhythm, warmth, love, and understand he will come in and out at this point. Also, this is the key time for you to work on your own inner development and your own skills – can you knit, bake, garden, woodwork, etc? I really feel many of the things three and four year olds in the Waldorf school are done because there is that mixed group to carry them (ie, the six year olds and everyone in the class is doing “X”) that often does not work at home. On the other hand, we try to lay foundations of rhythm at home during the three’s and four’s and work on boundaries within the rhythm….If you are gardening, he could have his own plant to pot and repot or be “Chief Waterer” or “Chief Worm Digger” to check on the health of the soil. Creativity, and keeping direction within their imagination is key at this point, and to not expect huge chunks of work to get done at this point. Steiner felt even 15 minutes of work was wonderful for a child to see…..So, yes, check out the posts in those sections but if you do not find what you are looking for, leave me a comment for what you want to see and I will write on it! You may also consider nosing around the Christopherus Homeschool website, A Little Garden Flower, and some of the “national” Waldorf lists…Those may be a big help as well.
      Thanks for reading,
      Carrie

  4. Pingback: A Few Fast Words Regarding “Defiance” In Children Under the Age of 6 « The Parenting Passageway

  5. Pingback: The July Doldrums- AGAIN? « The Parenting Passageway

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