Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Phases of Childhood

"Toward the end of the child's first seven years, various changes take place. Teachers in Waldorf Education consider the most prominent physical change being the loss of the milk teeth. It is a fact well known by biologists that it takes seven years for the transformation of every inherited cell in the body. Now, for the first time in her life, the child is wholly herself. This is manifest as the child develops: on the one hand, a new and vivid life of imagination, and on the other, a readiness for more formal learning. She both expresses and experiences life through finely tuned and delicate feelings.

As the child moves through these years, the faculty for more sequential and logical thought begins to unfold. Yet careful handling is necessary, for while this faculty needs nurturing, the ability to be fully at home in the world of imagination remains the child's most vital asset."

I have been looking into the different stages of childhood. Particularly from my child development font of knowledge, Rudolf Steiner's viewpoint (see above quote). This is because it has been increasingly obvious that my 6 year old is..changing. She has become more prone to an "it's not fair!" or an outburst, more thoughtful, inquisitive, sensitive about things. 
As if her emotions are trying to sort themselves out, sifting through the big chunks and teeny grains of thought and feeling to come out with the finely tilled, soft residue that is to become part of who she will turn in to.
The reason, amongst other things, that I have been pondering Steiner's words and theories is that us mothers of 6-7 year olds seem to be in a united place right now with difficult child behaviour. The playground is awash with bleary eyed Primary 2 mothers at their wits end-myself very much included! But we are not alone. It is most definitely to be expected at this stage, and these otherwise adorable, clever, loving little people are just doing what their bodies are telling them to do. Kind of like the struggle and effort it takes a caterpillar to transform and then make its way out of the cocoon. It is no small effort! And very dramatic.

By no means am I saying we should just shrug and say "It's to be expected-leave them to it", because more than ever they need our guidance, our steadying approach and our love. Whilst this is helluva hard when you have a sudden screaming banshee for a daughter (like tonight..I am drained), if we can withdraw afterwards knowing, okay, I may have lost the rag, but I did my Darned Best, that is all we need.

And yes, this too shall pass!!

No comments: