Gentle discipline is the mainstay of parenting life, because it encompasses guiding and validating the authentic spiritual being that is every human being and child. It is a mindset to live by and parent by, and if you can master some of these techniques, you will find yourself even having more positive communication and conflict resolution with other adults. I have wanted to do a round-up of techniques by age, and here it finally is beginning. I hope it will be helpful to you, and do please feel free to add your own thoughts or experiences to this list.
In Part Two, we focused on birth through age 4. In Part Three we looked at ages five and six and in Part Four at the ages of six and seven. The mainstay of gentle discipline for these years begins with our own inner work and development, as discussed in Part One of this series.
Birth through age four encompasses a time of protection, physical movement, warmth and trust and love in a caregiver and in a good world. The ending of this stage sees the use of the words “I” and “no” not as an act of defiance or disobedience, but as growth into individuality. Ages five and six also sees the same importance of protection, physical movement, warmth, and love and trust in a caregiver continue. However, play and social experiences now expands during these years, (although some children will not blossom into truly enjoying other children until the six/seven year transformation). Play is the main theme for these years, and also a look at the willing gesture involved in roles, power, and control. Ages seven and eight see a dichotomy, with seven often being more insecure, wailing, gloomy; a time of feeling the world is unfair and eight taking the bull by the horns with brash boasting and exaggerated tall tales.
Now we head into the world of nine. The nine year change is one that gets a lot of press in Waldorf Education as a time of great change within the inner life of the child. It can also be a time of increased maturity, with a child looking for more responsibility and a time of reaching out into the world for greater independence.
The best practices for discipline with a nine year old includes: Continue reading