I wanted to write a little in response to the growing concern over raising children in our ever changing sensationalistic culture, I would like to share with you all because I love and highly esteem all the children we walk with, we share existence with, those we are so blessed to be parents and caretakers of, those who are our friends our companions, the next generation.
Recently I was on the phone with a long time friend, and she was speaking to me about many of the difficulties in her life as of the present, my heart went out to her, and soon I began to realize that not only had the difficulties influenced her as a parent, but that her children were also a part of the ongoing discussion of them, and that they were listening to her speak to me on the phone. Necessarily, we as parents must express and dialogue about our issues with other adults, yes, it is essential to have sounding boards. I know at times I feel, that “Oh, he will just be in his child bubble and not feel what I am feeling or speaking about, and it wont bother him ” Other times I rationalize myself further away from my responsibility as a parent, thinking “Well he needs to experience healthy adult dialogue so he learns himself how to be deal with difficulty.” However through out all the books I have read on child development, specifically within the framework waldorf education, like Rahima Baldwin and others, the way children carry the heaviness of the modern world and adult culture is very interesting, they do not carry it the way that we as adults do.
I will try to bring this to a conclusion quickly. (I did not succeed in bringing it quickly to a conclusion)
The child is best when he is certain of his life, 100% certain that he/she is in the right place, that everything is in its right place, that the universe is moving beautifully and perfectly, and cradling him.
A good example is as follows, there were twin girls and both their parents had passed away, they were being cared for by their uncle and by their grandmothers, it was discovered that the uncle was sexually abusing them, one of the young girls went to one grandmother and the other went to the other grandmother. The first grandmother responded as most of us will respond, “Oh my God! I cant believe he did that, what kind of mother have I been oh my God!! You poor poor thing, this is terrible!” She was crying and just in the depths of dispair, the little girl was crying. The second grandmother, had heard on the phone of what had happened, she had had a deep cry herself prior to her granddaughter arriving, when her granddaughter arrived she took her in her arms hugged her and told her firmly and lovingly. “Come lets go and wash.”, she gave her granddaughter a hot bubble bath, she washed her all clean, put clean clothes on her. “It is all finished now, we are so so safe now, everthing is well, lets read your favourite story, and then we can have lunch.”
The first girl grew up and became further abused, she never had children, and suffered many situations of difficulty, namely prostitution and abortions, tragically she died young.
The second girl, grew up, went through high school and university became successful in her trade and married, she had 3 children of her own, and is happily living to this day.
For me when I heard this from a teacher who had been actively involved in these girls lives, I not only felt myself like crying, but something deeper. It is my limited experience that the world as it seems to us, is full of what we might term as scary or difficult, but that within that there is an immense and incredible harmony, that we can be observers wondering in the incredible experience of the chaos and harmony, and remain safe within, and what is more share that with our children, the strength and safety in the certainty that everything is as it should be and everything is changing, peace is coming after hardship and hardship is met with nobility of character, strength and peace.
When the culture in multitudes of different ways (news, sex, music, advertisements, consumerism) shows to us human smallness, it shows us simple vulgarity, minamalist and limited, deluded and fleeting superficial fantasies of sexuality, or power, the posturing of the egos gratification as the ultimate success, sexuality and power as a commodity, which is in fact demeaning of the real human reality and condition.
We are invited to become part of that with the distraction of our thoughts, our feelings, and we can choose to let that influence us in fear or worry or we can choose to see that we are given this wonderful opportunity and that we are in fact not touched by it, we are powerful in the beautiful array of countless moments in which we can teach our children to feel good and victorious in and of themselves.
In a world of media, where deeper focus on and promotion of; even the glorification of the ugly aspects in sexuality exists, and becomes more and more immediate and unavoidable when we venture out shopping driving… etc. It is essential that we realize that it is really not this that is most important, the more that we realize and understand that this is only distraction, and affirm this, having no fear of it, the more we realize the superficiality of it, and our children will too.
The term sexualized media, is scary, but sexuality is not, that sexuality is beautiful and good, and a noble characteristic of human existence, something to enjoy and rejoice in as it grows and naturally occurs in us, each one of us differently, some sooner than others, the more we are comfortable with that the more the child naturally feels no sensationalization of his/her maturation.
quick mention, when i had my first period, my mother gathered all the women she knew together, they made a feast, they brought roses, and had made me a beautiful white dress, they sang songs, and washed my feet, they braided my hair, and told me things they wanted to be told at the time of their coming into womanhood. I was very uncomfortable with all the attention, but it was thus I felt that this womanhood was something to be deeply treasured, regardless of the immediate pressure to become the ultimate bimbo, and give in to sexualized medias.
And so I will try to conclude in saying that it is my experience, that when the child is listening to us, we are its experience and we are its certainty, the child is interpreting everything through us, our upheavals and difficulties are not something the child understands, or even can process and rise above, they are forming their bodies and thought patterns, and we are the organic matter with which they are creating. If we can be happy and content matter, certain and nourishing, the child will grow into the being that we can see within them and we know is there, shining and overcoming all difficulties with ease and calm. We as adults can find special timing away from children to expand and let ourselves go, to ride the currents of our heavy emotive and difficult realities, in adult space in adult time, coming through it, finding solutions, being renewed through the transformation of the burden being lifted, and meeting the children again within the certainty that everything is meant to be, that we cannot ultimately change what is coming toward us, but we can meet the events with our gifts, these gifts and their development being so essentially the major proponent of the reason for waldorf education, creativity, resourcefulness, all the protective virtues, certainty nobility patience, love and so much more.
please forgive me for this being so long, as you can see this issue is very dear to me. The children are so dear to me, and the space they have to be children so so dear to me.
If I have offended anyone or if what i have written does not seem right to you, please forgive me, and i would be happy to learn more, I am young and still have alot to learn.
peace and light and all good things
Yasmeen, a Mama