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.
If there is a “fit”, then it is time to keep calm and carry on. Ho-hum, ho-hum. This requires you to be know that you are doing the right thing in leading your child.
For small children, try the tips here in this post: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/12/more-about-time-in-for-tinies/
Always, always, consider sleep, rest, warming foods, food allergies, the possibility of children getting sick as possible reasons for things not going well. Rhythm and connection with love are your strongest allies for guiding at this age.
For older children, past the nine year change, please look and see: how many times a day are you smiling at this child? How many times a day do you pat them on the back, hug them, give them a kiss (if they will let you!), and generally shower them with love and connection? Do you spend any one on one time with them away from younger siblings? If setting a boundary leads to a large, disruptive temper tantrum, then you really need your ho-hum. Being ugly at home means the ugly has to stay home and we cannot take it out in the world to see friends or go to activities. Being ugly might mean the child needs to do some extra work for the benefit of the family since the entire family was disrupted. But, please, make sure the boundaries you are setting are for the big things, not the small and petty things. Please make sure you are respectful, because an older child will call you out on that every time. And please make sure that basis of love and connection is there.
For back posts that will help, try the posts by age. The ten to twelve year old does have posts on this blog. If it doesn’t come up in under the “Development” header, just type eleven or twelve year old into the search engine and see what comes up.
For back posts about ho-hum, authority, and being calm, try these:
Keep calm and carry on, with a smile! Be the sun in your home and radiate your love and stability for the children as you guide them,
Carrie, I love this post! I read your posts years ago about “ho-hum” and took them to heart – and that ho-hum has been magical for me! It has many times given me the strength to continue to parent with love and respect in the midst of a firestorm. Thank you. 🙂
I have just discovered your blog this week as I’ve been looking all around to learn as much as I can about Waldorf homeschooling. I am so grateful to have found it! I began bookmarking what I consider the most helpful Waldorf homeschooling related information I’ve found around the internet, and realized that I’ve bookmarked almost every post of yours I’ve read so far. LOL.
I’ve been slowly edging toward Waldorf for a few years. I have 4 & 6 year old daughters (soon to be 5 & 7; both have spring birthdays coming up) and we decided a couple of years ago that we would homeschool. I used to be an public school elementary teacher, and I want a very different experience of life and learning for them (and for me) than that kind of setting can offer.
My journey toward Waldorf really began when I read “Mitten Strings for God” a few years ago. I became very interested in storytelling and tracked down Susan Perrow’s “Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour” to get us through bumpy patches with my oldest who is a spitfire like Ramona Quimby. She also struggles with attention, sensory, and food allergy stuff we’ve been working through with great progress for the last 18 months. So I’ve become increasingly interested in things Waldorf-inspired for quite some time. Simplicity Parenting is one of my all-time favorite parenting books. Yet, I honestly never even considered trying to homeschool with Waldorf methods. I guess I never imagined I could do it without specialized training and expensive materials.
I started “schooling” my 6 year old as a first grader this year, and it has been difficult to say the least. I’ve met so much resistance, although she’s so naturally curious and enjoys learning. It’s been so much frustration and discouragement; worry and wondering if homeschooling was an altogether stupid notion. I finally concluded that both the materials and approach I was using just did not meet her where she is at all developmentally or emotionally. After I started researching how to teach right-brained, visual learners, I realized that what she needs is for learning to be embedded in art and movement, and that the structure I was creating was basically all wrong! She needs to live into her learning, not have it passed out to her if that makes sense. She needs to come to it imaginatively, with wonder. And she does, in fact, understand and express life through drawing and moving. She spends the majority of everyday doing those two things.
I’ve also had a nagging feeling these past several months that she just wasn’t ready. But I didn’t understand why or know how to shift it. Until now. Reading your thoughts and what Donna Simmons’ has written about the first 0-7 year cycle and First Grade readiness has turned on the lightbulb for me. Everything we’ve been experiencing this year makes so much sense to me now, and I’m SOOO RELIEVED!!!
So, here we are, starting afresh. Actually, what we’re doing is completely backing off everything academic and regrouping. Focusing on our family rhythms, unplugging, storytelling, outdoor time, play and household work together. And I’m feeling so hopeful and energized about this new path I’ve found for us to follow. And the timing of this discovery feels, well, inspired. I wouldn’t have been ready to be open to this possibility any sooner, and she will still get a chance to benefit from the songs and activities of Kindergarten for a few months yet. I am breathing great sighs of relief. I’ve been holding my breath about all of these things for quite a while.
Thank you for the wisdom you’ve shared here so generosity, Carrie. What a blessing you’ve given to us! I’m sure I’ll be bookmarking most of your other posts as I continue to read and learn more from you. 😉
C- Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel my work here is worthwhile when I receive letters like yours.
I am so glad you are here.