I see many mothers this time of year really running themselves ragged with taking their small, preschool-aged children to “things” – museums, group play dates, the zoo, music and gymnastics and dance classes…And the mothers are exhausted and stressed out trying to get their children out the door!
I know this is not popular opinion, so please do take this and meditate on it (even if this idea totally irritates you for this moment!) and see if anything about it resonates with you! I think small children under the age of 7 need rhythm and being home, especially if this under -7 child is your oldest child. Those of us with babies and older children lament that the little ones have to come along to things – when your preschool aged child is your oldest, you have options! Trust me, there will be plenty of time for “field trips”, classes, lessons and other things as your child matures, and these things will mean much more to them at that time. I have written many back posts on this!
Here are some things I think are important for small children:
- A strong rhythm of in-breath and out-breath, ie, quiet times and more active times.
- Learning how to do lots of practical things around the house with cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening, baking.
- Having lots of time in nature.
- Having lots of time to help prepare for festivals, holidays, religious celebrations. Surrounding yourself and your child with your deep spiritual beliefs. If you don’t know what those are, now is the time to figure it out!
- Having unhurried time. Time to sleep and to rest, which a child cannot do if they are rushing around.
- Doing activities that stimulate the imagination and limiting adult stresses.
- Parents who are doing inner work in the five things that every parent needs: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/03/29/five-things-every-parent-needs/
- The Laws of Childhood: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/07/23/carries-laws-of-childhood/
These are the years that you will not be able to get back, and it is important to meditate mindfully upon what is best for your family. Please do!
If you need some back post help, here are a few that you may want to read or re-read and think about:
- Rhythm: Try this one to start, there are many more: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/09/24/rhythm-day-number-seven-of-20-days-toward-being-a-more-mindful-mother/
- Preschoolers need their family more than a peer group: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/09/09/more-about-social-experiences-for-the-four-year-old/
- Waldorf Kindergarten Tips: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/12/03/top-10-essential-of-the-waldorf-kindergarten-at-home/
Many blessings to all of you!