Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek and turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion. 🌿 #richardlouv #lastchildinthewoods #tuffomuddybuddy
I went to an inspiring talk today by parenting expert #alfiekohn. I was already very much aware of his work. I agree with his core message that both punitive and reward based behaviourism is unhelpful and counterproductive, and yet there is still so much information to digest and mull over. It’s certainly never an easy task taking intellectualized concepts and bringing them into real life practice, is it? When I read parenting books (or any self-help books for that matter) I find it’s always really helpful to sit with the information you’re presented with before trying it on. Once I’ve slept on it, I relate it to what my own unique core values are and then take some time to observe before “doing” or “changing” and then, only then, do I attempt to put the concepts that truly resonate with me into action. It cannot be emphasized enough that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to any problem- parenting or otherwise. Parenting advice can be invaluable, but only taken with a healthy dose of mindfulness and conscious consideration of your very unique family culture and the original individuals in it. #wholefamilyrhythms
When I was a kid I used to tiptoe out of bed at 5 in the morning and watch two hours of cartoons before school with a big bowl of sugar cereal in front of me. From memory I also watched another hour or so after school. It was a numbingly soothing way to be in the world. Am I now a smart, capable, articulate and conscious human being. Yes! Would my life be totally different if I hadn’t spent hours in front of the screen during what Rudolf Steiner calls my “formative years”? We’ll never know. Were my mother and father bad parents because they allowed this. NO! (Mum, do you hear me? No- I had a blessed childhood for which I am eternally grateful!). But here’s the most important question and answer that needs to be heard and echoed around the world: Would I have found something else to do with my time if I hadn’t had the option of that screen? Would I have seeded and birthed ideas from deep within myself? YES! The answer is a resounding YES. Spaciousness (what children sometimes refer to as boredom) allows for presence. Spaciousness allows for creativity. Spaciousness allows for deeply rooted gratitude. Spaciousness allows us to sit and listen and be comfortable in silence. Spaciousness allows us to rest in the “as is”- to feel into pain, transformation and rebirth all at the same time. We are all running around, desperately groping for this sense of spaciousness in our lives. We want more freedom, more inner calm, more patience. We long for meaningful relationships, for communion with the earth and connection with our highest self. And this spaciousness is and always has been right here. It’s just that so many of us were conditioned at a young age to drown it out. Discomfort was seen as something to be avoided. We are all beginning to be more mindful of the food we feed our children. We want them to grow to be strong and healthy. I’m here to tell you, to beg of you- be just as mindful of the images and messages and sounds you feed your little ones too. As they grow older there will be ample time for them to enjoy and even learn from visual media arts, computers and entertainment. But early childhood is not that time. (continued in comments)
If we can’t find Spring outside, we’ll find it inside with farm fresh eggs, tulips, sprouting wheat grass and homemade cookies. Each one brightening up these cold dreary days until the sun shines again. Also in the Journal you’ll find a Waldorf/Conscious Schooling and Parenting Essential Reading list. If you’re looking for some informative and inspiring reading material all of my favourites are listed there. Just head to the website and click on Journal. 🌷
Before the storm...
We hung the bird feeders just before the big ice storm hit and I tell you- the birds have been mighty appreciative. So far we’ve spotted Blue Jays, Dark Eyed Juncos, Sparrows, Chickadees and a few different kinds of Woodpecker. And one great big fat grey squirrel who also enjoyed her share. #findthesilverlining #whereisspring