I recently posted a blog about the importance of routine for young children (and their health) and gave some examples of how you can bring routine into your family life. It’s hard to know what routine to bring about, how to implement it AND how to sustain it. So in researching what to write for this blog, I discovered some notes I took at a workshop hosted by Cynthia Aldinger, a highly-revered early childhood educator in the Waldorf world.
In her seminar, she used the acronym L.O.V.E. to help deliver a message about parenting that supports rhythm in the home. I’ll share with you the “L” in LOVE and follow up in subsequent blogs with O, V and E.
L – Listening and Laughter
Listening starts with pausing. There’s a sort of sacrifice that happens when listening – become still and pause what you’re doing so that you can hear what your child is saying. This can be really challenging sometimes. A good example for me and my kids shows up in the mornings when we’re trying to get out the door for school. It feels like there are a hundred things going on in a very short period of time. And just for the fun of it, my son will want to tell me a story about something that happened in class the day before. I truly want to listen, but my mind can’t stop thinking about whether or not I’ve filled up all the water bottles for lunch, or whether everyone ate breakfast and brushed their teeth or whether they all have a sweater in their backpack in case the weather turns cold. So instead of letting my son continue on with his story while my mind is on other things, I’ll ask him to remember his story for the car ride to school. That way, I can give him the attention he deserves and I get to fully enjoy a glimpse into his life.
The other L in the LOVE acronym stands for laughter. It’s pretty self-explanatory – try not to take yourself or life too seriously : ) Children live in joy, so let’s join them in their joy! And don’t forget, children love to see what makes us happy and joyful as adults, so don’t feel like you always have to do what makes your child happy. Do what makes you feel joyful too!