The (Steiner Waldorf Education) Residential Course was soul shaping. I met kindred spirit, ate beautiful wholesome food and gained insight into Anthroposophy and the Life Phases according to Steiner as well as experienced Eurythmy and Clay Modelling classes. I had four days to revisit a part of myself I haven't been in touch with for many years. I have never been a religious person, but my personal spirituality and moral beliefs have always been extremely important to me. This part of myself was nourished as the week unfolded.
There is so much more to learn (I am only 4 months into a 2 year course) but already I feel I want to make a subtle shift in the way we have been parenting.
Here are a few small changes I am trying to consciously make on a day to day basis:
Less words, more actions.
Not asking either of my children to apologise when they've wronged another, but instead to model apologies so that eventually the apologies come from within themselves and not just as a formula that equals self-gratifying praise.
More breathing, taking things slowly, less pressure on myself to keep the house in tip top shape and more pressure to connect, remain in the moment and stay present with my children.
More singing, rhyming, storytelling and pictures with words.
More awareness of doing things with intention and reverence- even simple things like baking, sweeping or hanging the laundry.
More awareness of what to expect and not to expect of certain age groups- remembering my children's developmental limits and not asking too much (or too little) of them.
Replacing the word 'Don't with "We..." i.e.. "Don't hit!" with "We use gentle hands with our sister".
More awareness of falling into the trap of rewards and punishments. And an awareness of the negative impact this has on a child.
Some of these are changes we have already been attempting and others are newer. I know everyday is different, I am only human and I will never parent perfectly. But these are the goals I have set for myself at the moment.
This past week has been such an amazing journey but I am glad to be back at home with a renewed sense of self. I feel refreshed and inspired to keep striving for the the values I am trying to embody each day.