We finally made the pyramids, well they did. I wonder if we could use materials a little less plastic, a little more natural, more ‘soulemama’ as we’re starting to say in our house (please check out her blog at soulemama.com and be inspired!) After posting that I was going to ask my Mum what a flat pyramid shape was called, Matt kindly informed me that it’s a triangle. So that’s embarrassing then. Moving on with the week…
Our Monday started with a pleasing carpet picnic in pyjamas. We didn’t have anywhere to be and made the most of it. There was music and dancing and cakes 🙂
Insects are fascinating to the kids. They will stop most things in order to check out a spider or fly. At this point, I was trying to encourage them to tidy up some toys, but obviously trapping the fly and studying it, before sacrificing it to one of the cats was more interesting…of course.
A new mop bucket arrived! So we must fill it with water. Queue Me….I wonder what will float in the water?
My biggest boy is rarely happier than when he has tools in hand. He was inspired by watching the man fit a new phone line in for us this week and immediately set to taking apart our out-of-use (broken) TV set to inspect the inside.
Actually fascinating. But I couldn’t tell him what anything was.
We are planning some more resources for our little builder. I’m very aware that I can provide for and encourage activities that I myself enjoy and find easy. So that’s not building or fixing or any kind of tool-work. Matt can enjoy this with the kids when he’s at home but there are many hours in the day without him and Zachary would love more opportunity to build. Queue delivery of a pile of wood.
Me and Zachary have enjoyed some collage work this week though. All the kids have joined in in bits, but it’s mostly been me and my biggest boy having some special crafting time. It was restful and joyful with relatively little frustration, unlike trying to draw something together. I struggle to draw things ‘realistically’ and can relate to the kids’ frustrations when they can’t get something to look how they want it. I try and encourage them that art is about expression and enjoying yourself but they are not hearing that! And there is something in learning a craft, so maybe it’s something we can learn together. I find myself buying a lot of books lately!
We are very happy to receive ideas and inspiration for crafting and making.
Joseph went to a wonderful Steiner kindergarten before we moved and I remember they used a wet-on-wet painting technique (I think this is what it was called) to help the children to mix and enjoy colours, rather than ‘painting a picture’ which usually involves an object or person….And so quickly the kids get into ‘mine’s better than yours’ which is highly frustrating to listen to! Is it possible to completely irradicate this concept from their minds? Or is it a necessary concept to understand the world we live in? Perhaps I’m being idealistic. Visionary, I like to think.
I’ve been trying to change some of the language I use with the kids this week. The author of the the Unschooling book I’ve just read challenged me about how I talk to the kids about tidying up. I tend to use really negative phrases like ‘this mess’, and talk in a way which they learn that tidying and cleaning up is not an enjoyable thing (not helped by that flippin awful Cinderella story they love to read….she was made to do all the housework!) Matt and I were debating whether we can get the kids to tidy up or do certain jobs for some pocket money…to lighten the load for us. But I’ve always wanted them to join in with household tasks just because they are part of the family and not only for the incentive of money. But then, they don’t join in and I’m tired of my own voice trying to get them to do stuff….so the debate continues. In the meantime, I am choosing joy in the daily tasks of wiping many surfaces and picking up toys, inviting the kids to join with me, but not forcing them; because they learn through imitation…
Oh…and I’ve also just filled two large boxes with plastic toys that I don’t want to keep picking up…to be stored in the garage until further notice! In the meantime, I will encourage my children to play with wood and watercolours and knitted dolls. Ok, so they can keep the Lego too.
There comes a point where you start to hear your own voice in the children and we have definitely reached that point. It’s uncomfortable! ‘If you don’t….then I won’t….’ they say to each other. Hmmmm, sounds like me of old…..’if you don’t come back to the table, you will sit on the step’. The other day, I told my daughter I didn’t like the way she was speaking to me…..and she replied she didn’t like the way I was speaking to her. And she had a point! My children copy my behaviour and the way I speak. The greatest way to teach your children to be kind and respectful is to be kind and respectful to them.
I’m trying to make some big mind shifts and I love this quote from the writer Maya Angelou…
‘You did what you knew to do at the time…when you knew better you did better’
As our understanding of human beings develops; how we learn, how we grow, we should allow ourselves and others the grace to change, not judging what went before us, trusting that they did what they knew to do at the time. I became a parent only 7 years ago and my understanding and approaches have changed in just that time. I am passionate for us to discover how we were truly meant to live…and how my children were truly meant to live, and with that I offer myself and those around me this same grace and understanding.
Thanks for joining me on the journey.