‘Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility — these three forces are the very nerve of education.’
Lullabye by Brenda Joysmith
BEING A ROLE MODEL
The first six or seven years, children learn through imitation, the first three most intensely so. This is where as parents we can ask ourselves; what are we doing around the child, how do we respond in action, emotionally, and what are we saying in front of the child? Are these things good for the child? What is the child exposed to, are her senses being overwhelmed?
As with any human being, children thrive when they are treated with respect, understanding and have their needs met. Since a young child learns by doing and imitating what is around them, it's good to ask oneself if we are truly respecting the child's nature, by our actions and words, are we are being honest with them and ourselves, are our actions worthy of imitation? When we say one thing and our action says something else, when we lack in constancy or following through with an action, are we giving them mixed messages? Do our actions correspond to our words? Are we showing the child a unity of intention and deed? What stage of development is the child in?
On a more personal note, it seems some of these questions apply not only to parenting, but to the whole of life. If, as parents, we keep evolving and growing, we may be able to see the challenges and trying times as a time for self-examination and reassessment. We can approach difficulties as if is there is a secret gift of a life lesson in every challenge we meet. It seems that if we are always striving to do our best, listening, being present, learning from life, though we will never be perfect, we are more likely to be candidates worthy of imitation. Also, when times are more challenging, a good dose of humour is always helpful.
A few simple examples of things one could focus on: How do I sweep the floor? How do I put clothes away? How do I wipe my child's runny nose? How do I hold the door for him? How do I speak to or answer my partner? How do I speak to the cashier at the grocery store? Am I present in what I am doing? Am I doing it with attentiveness and love? What do I think about?
From Research Institute for Waldorf Education
Here is the article:
 Norrie McCain, Hon. Margaret, and J. Fraser Mustard. Early Years Study. Publications Ontario, Toronto 1999
The new baby by Ervert Pieters
FROM ONE TO THREE