I think this is something we should strive for in all age groups of children, don’t you agree? Cultivating stillness and silence is a way for all of humanity to hear the voices of the Heavens speak to us; it is the basis for most spiritual and religious practices throughout the world, and I think for small children it is the basis for reverence, awe and wonder in those early years of birth through age seven.
For myself as a Christian, my commitment is to show my children moments of this utter stillness and silence, this time of not “emptying myself” but of filling myself up with the Triune God. This will plant the seeds of cultivating silence for my children as they will undoubtedly enter a life full of even more busyness, sound and bustle. You may have your own spiritual or religious traditions that help you cultivate this unhurried attitude and ability to hear from the Heavens.
Many parents tell me that their small children are most quiet when they are outside. Of course! How can we, even as adults, not be silenced and awed as we see this beautiful world? Helping children find quiet outdoors is a wonderful thing; can we look at the clouds, we can listen attentively to the sounds of nature.
The other place children can become utterly silent is in a place of worship or in worshipping at home. Having a visual focus such as an icon can be a helpful portal to inner peace and silence. We can use verses to focus our children on the Logos. Each week I have my grade school children memorize a verse, we don’t always succeed, but we try anyway! For children in the Kindergarten years, you can say the same verse together every day by month, by season, or for the whole school year. I eventually want to write a post about what our typical gathering time looks like in the morning, especially since I have children who are all different ages and stages right now. For now you could see Kyrie’s post here: http://aresohappy.squarespace.com/home/2011/10/1/1-october.html. I have very few blogs I look for regularly, less than five, but Kyrie’s is on my list. Enjoy!
Last of all, everything we do within a Waldorf home – demechanizing our machines of work to include more things by hand that are quieter, a quiet time regularly scheduled after lunch where everyone rests (not where Mom scurries around to get things done, that is not quiet!), limiting media – all of these things form the basis of a spiritual life.
In Quiet Confidence Shall Be Your Strength,