Living a Waldorf Life

Create a Waldorf Family Life

    I got this list from {link}, and decided to put a short response to each topic listed. In the future, I might just use this list as possible topics for posts and expound upon the short responses given. I didn’t forget about this blog, we have just been seriously busy these past few days. So here is the post, I welcome comments, as always – even advice on some topics would be nice.

  • Get rid of the televisions, video games, and limit computer access until age twelve.
    • Not really sure how this would work in our house. My partner is incredibly attached to his computer, his video games and his TV. I seriously enjoy a nice show or movie, and we use the computer as our music player. Music is always playing in our house, and we do not buy disks or anything, everything is digital and downloaded. We do not have cable TV (heck, at this point, we don’t even have internet in our home). The kids don’t really watch television at all, unless we adults are sitting down to watch and they want to snuggle with us. I would love to have a specific room at some point where the computer and tele are kept, but that is years down the road when we are ready to OWN a house, not just rent.
  • Go outside and play every day, year round.
    • This is definitely something that we are trying to get into the habit of doing. Both myself and our daughter have issues with severe heat, and here in Southern Arizona it is hot right now. We are in the “wet” season, also called Monsoon Season, and that means moisture and heat all over the place. It is uncomfortable, and often times it is dangerous to be out in the heat at this time of year because of exhaustion, heat stroke and other related issues. I have this amazing dream of walking to the park every morning for Circle and Movement, then coming home and making bread, crafting and playing… but I have a conflict in myself that I really need to deal with.
  • Eat your food whole.
    • This has been in the works for a few months now, we are slowly transitioning into a more whole food diet. It is taking so long because we are still falling back on packaged/boxed dinners when I am not feeling good or when we are out later into the evening. Slowly but surely, we are working toward a more whole food diet though – we are going to start making bread daily, which will be amazing! We are bringing more fruits into the house (mostly bananas, and those are for the kids), and I am trying to incorporate more veggies into our diet.
  • Hug every day.
    • Like this is really an issue! Hugging is so natural, no matter who you are! Especially when kids are involved. I love getting hugs from my little ones, and kisses too!
  • Be open to what the little ones will teach you.
    • I struggle with this regularly… It is the difference between my rigid, disciplinary education and upbringing and the free spirit within me. Nature vs. Nurture – and it is really nerve-wracking. I know that my children can teach me so much about letting go and just living, but I find it so difficult to step back and live. This is a definite contradiction to my desires in life, and it is something that seriously needs reflecting on. My children do teach me the value and meaning of patience, though I often do not utilize it like I know I should – they have also taught me the amazing nature of childhood and growth into awesome individuals with so much intelligence!
  • Be the firm and loving authority.
    • Firm and Loving… That is a good way of putting parenting. But where do you cross the line into TOO firm, and not LOVING enough? I was spanked as a child, not often though. It really did teach me to respect my mother (who was the person who disciplined me most of the time) and also to understand that there are certain things that you just don’t want to do, because you will get in trouble (like stealing anything, lying, hurting other people). It taught me that there were consequences to my actions. Her parenting style was very firm and loving – she was firm when I was bad, and encouraged so much in me for the betterment of myself.
  • Make it yourself, and if you don’t know how, learn
    • YES. I love crafts! And I always look up tutorials, save them, and get inspired to find new ways of doing things. Some things are difficult to make yourself (a loom) and others are incredibly easy (clay)! This is going to become a much more common part of our days – the making of toys and crafts.
  • Tell stories and play games. A lot.
    • I am not a really good story teller. I am a writer, and I love reading – however, my verbal communication has always been a little lacking, and I cannot come up with a good story without writing it down. I know that this is a huge part of Waldorf education, and once again, I am struggling, but it is something for me to work on!
  • Think about how your things speak to you.
    • We have a lot of things…. And a lot of these things are not necessary. My partner is a pseudo-inventor, and because we only have a mobile home (no garage, no secure shed, no basement) his wires, gadgets and junk are in the main house. He has no designated work space, and neither do I. This is definitely something that needs some reflection on, because we have just TOO MUCH STUFF.
  • Keep the voices calm, quiet, and as natural as possible.
    • I have an explosive temper. I won’t deny that. I get angry quicker than Speedy Gonzales runs. And I know I really need to work on it, but I am struggling with it right now. I try hard to keep a calm voice when talking with our kids, but sometimes I find myself yelling (not really AT the kids, just in general).
  • “Do not worry that your children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.” ~ Robert Fulgum
    • I don’t mind, personally, if I am talking to the kids and they are watching me, but not listening. Where I have issues is when I am talking and they just walk away from me… That is disrespectful.
  • Meditate or do some form of inner work daily.
    • Oh yes… Meditating is one of my favorite things to do, and I love doing a daily inner working – but time is an issue. I am a procrastinator, I can’t deny that. I wake up, even if it is before 7:30am, and I sit down and don’t do ANYTHING… Then the kids are awake, breakfast and the day begins, and I have completely neglected my spiritual self. Not sure if it is conscious or what, but I really need to get into the habit of morning rituals again. They were helpful and inspiring when I was doing them, but something happened to keep pushing the concept further back in my mind and now I just don’t do it.
  • Rid yourself of anything that has not been touched in over a month.
    • Honestly, depends on what it is. I haven’t touched my beads in about a month, but I am NOT getting rid of them. I haven’t made candles in about a month, and I won’t be tossing the wax. But the kids have toys that they just never play with. Seriously, almost four boxes of toys… 90% plastic and nasty and gross. We are going to get rid of them. Clothes can be gotten rid of too, there are probably other things that can be gotten rid of somewhere around here.
  • Sing and share lovely verses for important days and every day.
    • Struggle, struggle, struggle. I don’t even celebrate half the time that I want to, or even plan to. I don’t sing as much as I would like, and I just give up on important days because my partner does not care to celebrate anything. But that needs to change. I need to bring the seasons indoors, introduce my children to the magic around us and create a warm, safe and happy home for them.
  • Create rituals around bedtime, light a candle, sing lullabies and pray to the guardian angels.
    • My childhood was filled with little rituals – grace before meals, teeth brushing, bath before bed, tea and a book with my mum… But as I look at my children and our routines, I see that they are lacking. Our days are all wonky and chaotic, most of the time. There is no security, no rhythm in our day, and that is killing me inside. Not to mention, to get my kids ready easier for nap and bed, a ritual may be a good idea.
  • Hold back intellectual concepts from under 7 as they are in the motor centre still.
    • Struggling again. I grew up with a rigid public school education – I only attended a Waldorf school for one year, and I wish even now that I could have stayed. Damien, our 4 year old, wants to write, and he can trace his name rather well. He is picking up on the ABC’s, numbers, colors and shapes – all the basic concepts taught in preschool and kindergarten, he is learning. I won’t hold him back if he wants to do these things, but I wont stress teaching it and force him to learn something that he is not interested in. If he asks me to write words with a highlighter so he can trace it, I wont say no, because THAT would be holding him back from his potential. My partner and I agree though – we wont force feed him academics. We will let him find his own path, and encourage him the whole way.
  • Try and keep a dreamlike quality in everything you do.
    • If school taught me one thing, it was this: Dreams have no place in reality. I was ridiculed and punished for being creative and dreamlike in public school. The single year I spent in Waldorf was the only year I truly felt free to be myself. Having a dreamlike quality was not allowed, because it was a ‘distraction’. And now, all these years after public school, I am still struggling with my outside looking like my inside. Inside of my body is this free spirit, dancing and singing and tambourine playing girl who goes barefoot and talks to flowers – outside, I am an angry and self loathing, rigid and cynical woman who cannot figure out what happiness is. I need to connect more with my Inner Self, and I know that.
  • Slow down and take time.
    • In today’s society of deadlines and hurry, I find it hard to slow down and take time for anything. I don’t see there ever being enough time in the day to do everything I want. I cant even seem to find the time to eat most days. But when I look at my day, I always, ALWAYS question: “What did I do today?” And I can rarely give myself a good answer. I don’t slow down to see my little girl putting her shoes on for the first time, or my amazing little man sort all of his toys into sizes and colors. I don’t take the time to ask people how they are really feeling, or to ‘smell the roses’. I feel constantly rushed by the society, and I want to stop that, which requires inner work and reflection.
  • Establish rhythm, use repetition, foster reverence, awe and wonder.
    • In order to bring these concepts to my children, I really need to realize them for myself. I need find a rhythm, revere life and Nature and the energies around me, and I need to bring the awe and wonder back into my life. My children can help with the awe and wonder, but the rhythm and reverence… that’s all me.
  • Create a beautiful and harmonious environment.
    • Our house is a mess. It is a disaster. I want a beautiful home, and a harmonious environment… but I find it hard to experience beauty and harmony in a slum of a trailer park with cockroaches on our counters and our house falling apart. One day, we will have a beautiful home, but for now that will just have to wait.
  • Honor the need for time and space.
    • Our children share a room – they do not have their own space. They are constantly with one another, and I know for a fact that that is part of their anxiety and defiance. They need their own time, their own space and their own things. But for now, this is what we have. I know that I need my own space, and so does my partner, but again, for now, this is what we have.
  • Sing through the day.
    • Struggle….
  • Have conversations with the spiritual world.
    • Seriously struggle……………..
  • Remember the elemental beings.
    • Though I never forget them, I also rarely honor them – something I need to work on, I know.
  • Be authentic in what you do and say.
    • This requires reflection….
  • Involve the children in household tasks in all areas of domestic work from a very young age.
    • I have started to involve our oldest, Damien, in domestic work – our daughter, Alex, has not demonstrated a desire, nor the coordination to be able to sweep or wash dishes yet, but we hope she will enjoy making bread with us, and other aspects of cooking. At this point, she just wants to drink her juice and color, lol.
  • Active learning – learning by doing, by observing, by making, by experiencing.
    • Definitely something I agree with! That is the only way TO learn – just do it! You may not be perfect, or even good, the first time you try, but if you don’t give up, you’ll succeed!
  • Make things from scratch, let the kids be involved and observe the TIME and love necessary to create something beautiful and lasting, soup, bread, cream, butter…
    • This is a great idea. I love the Bread Shaping concept during the morning in Waldorf schools… And we will be implementing homemade foods like this as we embark on our adventure. :D
  • Create gardens, meals, tree forts, gifts, art….
    • When we have the free space for the things like a garden, a tree fort and other creations, they will happen. But we have to be careful what we do here.
  • Working on ones self (meaning the parent)
    • I need a lot of work… And I know that, and accept that, and am trying to work on myself more and more each day.

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