Discipline and Inner Work

This first appeared in the Homeschool Journey newsletter, January 2005

  • No whining or nagging! Identify what makes you slip into either of these and
         then do something to correct it. If you hear your mother’s (or father’s) voice coming out of your own, if suddenly you are 10 again, caught stealing cookies or lying about homework, revisit that scene, heal it and LET GO!
  • Similar to the above, stale patterns of conflict resolution (or escalation) are not the way to go! Think it through, talk with your partner and get clear. Identify what lurks behind how you bring discipline to your family: rout out fear, anxiety or control issues and LET GO! 
  • Having said all that, be gentle on yourself. You have all your childhood ‘stuff’ to work on plus adult ‘stuff’ plus any issues between you and your partner to deal with! This will take time, especially if it is new to you. Old patterns are notoriously difficult to break, especially when we are stressed or angry. Take one step at a time and feel good about what you achieve, even if it doesn’t seem like very much. 
  • And no guilt! Absolutely not allowed! Guilt shrinks the soul into a tiny hard little knot and doesn’t help anyone. It only feeds on itself and makes everything worse, thus compounding whatever it was you feel bad about. The ability for the human soul to forgive and to heal is boundless – don’t dwell on mistakes you have made. Rather, pray on them, send them Light, whatever your spiritual path advises you to do. And then, most importantly, let them go and move on. 
  • Get really clear about your understanding both of child development and of your own, individual children and who they are. If you are working deeply with Waldorf, get to grips with the 7-year phases and really understand what the developmental needs of, say, the 3 year-old are and how that differs from the needs of the 7 year-old, the 9 year-old and so on. 

* * * * *

 3 Books to Help with Discipline

New from Jack Petrash – Navigating the Terrain of Childhood. Jack literally takes us on a
journey through parenting a child using the metaphor of a trip across the
United States. This is a great book – practical and warm. There really isn’t
any similar Waldorf parenting book available.

Well, if you’ve read anything I’ve said about what you
need to read if you have young children, you can probably guess what I’m about
to recommend! Yes folks, Rahima Baldwin’s You
Are Your Child’s First Teacher
. The must-have book for anyone with children
under 7.

Lastly, one of my favorite books: Lifeways – Working with Family Questions by Gudrun Davy and Bons
Voors. A gentle collection of thoughtful articles, deeply inspired by both
anthroposophy and Christianity.

Posted on July 13, 2005 in Family Life and Parenting

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