Can you all believe we up to Day Number 12? I can’t believe it either! Thank you so much to all of my readers for keeping up with this series. This blog had almost 19,000 hits last month, so I know there are many of you out there reading along and I want you to know I treasure you all.
Today we are going to talk about warmth. Warmth is a quality often mentioned in Waldorf and anthroposophic circles, and seems to get little attention outside of these realms. This is a shame, because of the importance warmth has in the development of a child’s senses.
I wrote this in a post regarding the twelve senses as seen by Rudolf Steiner:
“The Sense of Warmth – Donna Simmons calls this one a gateway to The Higher Senses. This sense does not fully develop until age 9 and can literally cause a hardening of creativity and new thought as the child matures, but also can refer to a literal inability of the child to be able to tell if they are hot or cold. Warmth implies not only physical warmth, but warmth on a soul level. Joy, humor, love, connection are all important developers of this sense along with PROTECTION from extreme and garish sensory experiences that would cause hardening. This is a very important sense, and children need help with protecting this sense until the age of 9 or 10, so much longer than many parents think!”
I think this notion of warmth really feeds off our last post regarding the home; it is one of those qualities most needed in the home and in the development of the child.
So, we can look at two separate ways of generating “warmth”. One is to think about physical warmth. I recently wrote an entire post about mainly physical warmth here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/27/what-happens-if-i-dont-keep-my-child-warm/
It is very important to keep children warm as their own sense of temperature equilibrium really does not become well-established until after age nine! So yes, this means woolens and silks and hats and layers!
But I think the other thing to think about sincerely is how to convey EMOTIONAL warmth to our children. How many times a day do we laugh with our children? Hug our children or have them sit on our lap? Smile at our children? Say positive and encouraging things to our children?
So, my three-day challenge to you is this:
Set a goal for how many times a day you are going to try to laugh, hug, hold, smile and say positive things to your child and act on it! This may seem very stilted and forced, but sometimes we all need that structure in order to make a behavior more automatic. See after three days if there is a difference in not only you and your children, but in the peacefulness of your household. Can you also do this with your spouse? How many encouraging things do you say to him each day? How many times do you walk by him and touch his hand or touch him on the back or give him a kiss?
Try it for three short days, Monday through Wednesday this week, and let me know how it goes!