i haven't devoted much time lately to the littlest. end of summer travels, time with my little ones, and an exciting project have kept me daydreaming and away from my computer.
i read an article recently by a danish woman named helle heckman entitled "daily rhythm at home and it's lifelong reverence" that has helped feel more harmony in my parenting life. i read it aloud to my husband and had to choke back tears several times. it spoke to so much that i have intuitively felt for the past few weeks and what we all already know. we need to be present for our little ones, truly present. they know when we are tuned in to them and when we have tuned them out for something far less important, mindless, utterly forgettable.
i feel like we have inherently known the truths held in the article but have blindly staggered along making rules for elodie which aren't hard fast or thought through. we also haven't made rules for ourselves. it is not ok to stare at our phones. do one last chore instead of read a book to the girls or pick up the baby to have a dance party. it's not ok to put them off. i've been guilty of this. i've been called out on this. i want my children to see me do wonderful things so that they will go out in the world and do wonderful things. my children learn through imitation and i am less than proud of all that i have shown them. it will take intention and discipline to unlearn my bad habits but the past few weeks have made me hopeful that i'm on my way.
an excerpt from the article below:
"When you are occupied with other things, you can tell your child now you play by yourself. If you know you have been present you can actually expect them to find something to do themselves. It is very important that you are not afraid of your children not knowing what to do or being bored. It is very important that you feel it is right:
I have been there with them now they can be by themselves.
Nowadays, parents often use media or adult-directed activities for their children because they are afraid of their children being bored and assume that they are not able to do anything themselves. This is a tricky situation. If you think you have to entertain your under-seven children all the time, with media (films, TV, videogames, computers and so on), after-school classes, and/or other adult-directed activities, then they do not learn how to play by themselves. They will not have a moment where they can be in a state of not knowing what to do and from there progress into a state of finding images inwardly and thus creating things from inside out. By letting them to be bored you help them, because being bored represents the opportunity the children will have to go into this process of inner creativity. The fact that children are able to be by themselves, to create their own play without adult direction is of great importance because during the first seven years of the child everything is about being able to create. If all the activities come from outside (electronic screen, video-games, adult direction, etc.), then not much happens in the sphere of inward creation.
If you take your children from class to class or entrust them to the media in its different varieties you have less time with them. Children are small for very short time. At present, you may be thinking it is a long time to go but, in no time you will see it went so fast. By letting your child to engage in his own play while you are around doing your own chores, and being really present in those breathing-in situations, you build trust between your child and you. And this trust will be important when they get a little older and get into pre-puberty and puberty because with this, they will come to you when they have problems and listen to you when you tell them what and what not to do. But they will only do it if they trust you, if you have been there for them. And that is why the first seven years of children are so important, because their whole trust, their believing that the world is good, is the basis of their future lives."