Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress. In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: expectation . Read on for more…
As peaceful parents, I think we need to work within the realm of expectation. We should expect that our homes will have their very realistic moments of upset or stress, but also that the majority of the time the children (and us!) will get along in love. We are family, and family is about love and being connected.
Breathe that in for a moment. It can be easy to lose sight of that, and yet, family is really about love. It is about loving the depths of someone, child or adult, even in their darkest moments, and coming out together on the other side of that. It is about open communication and respecting the dignity of all persons in the household. It is about love and connection.
What do we do when family life is not meeting this expectation of love? I think we need to look at our expectations - are they realistic for where the children are or where our family is at this moment?
Some parents have written me and remarked that there seems to be a wide disparity of developmental expectations/behavior out on the Internet. I can only comment on what I have found to be helpful – the Gesell Institute books (“Your One-Year-Old”, “Your Two-Year-Old”, etc) and website, and the perspective of development found in Waldorf education.
When we have expectations that are realistic in childhood development, we can then look at our role in this endeavor of connecting and guiding. Are we trying to micromanage, so to speak, what is happening in our homes and in the lives of our children? Or are we not stepping in when we really need to be and then things are just blowing up? The balance is oh so important.
Often on Waldorf lists and groups, I see threads regarding puberty. These threads typically concern the outward signs of puberty, or perhaps issues not of puberty but of sexuality, such as a discussion on what to tell a six-year old or a nine-year old about sexual relationships.
I have already discussed in an earlier post how the development of the child during something such as the nine year change is viewed from a spiritual place that looks at the development of the soul, and how the curriculum and parenting in a Waldorf way meets the child during this point whether outward, physical signs of puberty are taking place or not.
This is one of the best articles I have read regarding puberty Continue reading
I have gotten some private emails lately regarding the nine-year-change and puberty, so I wanted to write something for this space for other parents searching for support and information during this time.
In the view of Waldorf Education, the soul is coming down into the body. However, I think the outward manifestation of puberty (odors, even breasts budding or getting hair in private areas) doesn’t change the course of the curriculum, nor really the developmental level that you are parenting in. A nine-year old is still a nine-year old, whether she has started her menstrual cycle or not. Puberty is an outward manifestation of the body, but the nine-year change is more an inner crisis of the soul and of middle childhood.
I hear a lot from parents of eight year olds and they are sure they are in the nine-year change. Well, the child could be, but what I often find is that Continue reading
Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress. In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: ho-hum. Read on for more…
Many mothers tell me they have boundaries, but the children rail against the boundaries, and then they end up yelling or giving in. I am going to suggest to you that you are teaching your child how to guide him or herself; that is the ultimate goal of parenting. You are also setting the tone in your home for the foundation of developmental change. Parenting a teenager is much different than parenting a two-year –old (although some mothers have told me the teenaged years are the new two-year-old year!), but yet you are laying the foundation for the future in the early years.
Ho-hum, and learning to let go of your end of the rope, is such an important skill to learn. If you apply all the things we have talked about , and you are really spending time with your child and loving and connecting to your child with warmth (not just barking orders at them or yelling!), and you are consistent, fair and just with your boundaries, then the boundaries for the big things are there. Continue reading
Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress. In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: boundaries. Read on for more…
If you take the values and priorities of your family, you will automatically find the places where boundaries matter. Boundaries will matter because they will help back up your vision for your family. It is not enough to say that you don’t want yelling in your home. It must be what you value and want to promote instead of yelling. This will help help you be “relentless” (remember that word from day six in this series?) in your pursuit.
Boundaries are also exceedingly important because many mothers tell me that they are, in fact, patient….the first ten times they deal with an issue or challenge with their children. It is by the time the child has looked for the boundary for the twentieth or fiftieth time that they begin to yell.
The important thing with boundaries is to – Continue reading
Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress. In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: joy. Read on for more…
Mothers with one child tell me that often how their family life “feels” revolves around the moods of their only child; it has such a big impact on the family. Mothers with multiple children often find it difficult and feel stressed to see their multiple children going through developmental phases and stages that they feel puts the entire family into disequilibrium. In either situation, it seems as if the sheer joy of parenting is lost and the focus is on the negative.
Finding the joy can often be as simple as shaking up the everyday routine. It may involve ditching the regular plans and going out to play in the snow, heading out for a hike, or doing something together that really builds up the connection and love between everyone.
This is not to “ignore” behaviors you find challenging within your family, but is to give you a chance to hit a “reset” button. Sometimes we all, even as parents, need this second chance to Continue reading
Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress. In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: self-care. Read on for more…
Many mothers tell me they yell more when they are completely low on the “self-care” meter. It doesn’t matter if this is caused by a mother being single, a mother who has to work full-time and also parent, or a mother who is home full-time and can’t seem to get any time to herself. The result is all the same: a lack of care for the self.
It is not a pretty place to be for most of us. Here are a few points to think seriously about: Continue reading