One significant aspect of the Waldorf teachings for the first seven years of a child's life is to sing, hum or chant through transitions. A transition can be something as simple as finishing breakfast and moving on to clean it up, leaving the park or moving from bathtime to bedtime. I have noticed as North grows into his two-year-old self that if we move from one thing to the next sloppily, erratically or suddenly he tends to melt down into a big ball of fumbling sensitive emotion. But if we slow down, take an in breath and quietly move from one activity to the next with loving intention while singing a verse or two, he joyfully takes part and transitions without stress or worry.
Here are three of the many songs we sing. Just search for "Waldorf Transition Verses" on the internet for some more examples or better still make some of your own up.
I have made up a simple tune (or reused one I already know) to go with each verse.
Farewell to Morning
(before North and Indi's afternoon nap)
The morning has ended
We've done our best
Good bye 'til we wake up
And have a nice rest.
(I tell him an oral story with finger puppets and knit animals once a day)
Quiet your tongue, be crossed every thumb
And fix on me deep your eyes
Then out of my mind a story will come
Ancient and lovely and wise
Verse before painting
Now I take the brush so gently
In my hand with loving care
Watch the color flow so softly
On the paper clean and clear.
The moon comes up
The stars shine bright
The rain falls down
The moon is high
People sleeping everywhere
The moon comes up again
(adapted from Elizabeth Mitchell's The Sun Comes Up)
What do you do to help your child move from one thing to the next with ease, calm and grace?