Waldorf and Humility
Sunday, 31 January 2010
I think one of the most important traits that a parent can have is humility. For me, that means being able to admit to my mistakes and see opportunities to do things better in the future. To parent organically; always evolving to the needs of my ever-changing children.
Lately, my mothering instincts have been leading me more towards the Waldorf philosophy. I read a lot about Waldorf when The Boy was a wee babe, and while I was inspired by most of it, a lot of it did not work for us. Since I was in the early stages of my mothering, I saw it as an all-or-nothing kind of deal. I thought that I could never possibly live up to the ideals of some Waldorfers, and that I may as well not even try. Now that I’ve found a little more balance, I am able to see that I can simply use what works for me and my children, and leave the rest.
I am by no means an expert, and if someone asked me if we were Waldorf parents, I would say no, but some of it really appeals to me, and works for my children:
- the importance of rhythms (daily, weekly, yearly) to create a sense of security and tranquility
- the importance of play and lack of emphasis on early academics and over-scheduling
- the belief that fantasy and imagination are absolutely vital for young children
- an emphasis on natural and handmade playthings
- the belief that children learn best through imitation and participation
- encouraging a connection with nature, and spending time outdoors
- the importance of movement for young children (this one is especially vital for The Boy)
- the importance of working with the hands (modeling, painting, knitting, sewing)
- the need for “down-time” and a quiet home that can be thought of as a refuge from the busy world
Since I’ve learned that parenting is not an all-or-nothing deal, I have been able to relax a bit more and welcome this philosophy back into our home. It feels so good to me and so right for where we are right now. I’m happy and delighted to discover new ideas and traditions, and and I am excited about the promise of what is yet to come. And now that I know that I do not have to hold myself to the standards of anyone else, and that I can simply do what works best for us, I feel like I’ve just graduated as a mother. Like I’ve just discovered some secret door that I didn’t even know existed.