Redirecting the energy {parenting reflections}

We love going to our Waldorf Playgroup
We have a great Playgroup leader who nicely sets the tone for the group. 
The setting is beautiful with many lovely opened ended natural toys, gentle light and seasonal touches. 

    

A rhythm takes us through the morning… 
With moments of breathing in together ~ such as morning tea and songs… 
And breathing out ~ like outside play.

Like for all groups, families leave and families join. 
And I’ve noticed that with each new family, especially those with energetic boys…
…Dino Boy needs to test the boundaries and find his place again
{amidst great excitement}

This can create challenging moments where little bodies and minds are not easily redirected… 

And little boys seem to feed off each others energy ~ steadily mounting!
During these times of change I always find myself reflecting on my parenting style…
I’ve come to realise that I have much less of a ‘traditional parenting style’ then some…
…but not as far along the {so called} ‘positive parenting approach’ as others.

Sometimes I wish I could just restrain the behaviours I dislike by holding on and cuddling… 

but this is because of my needs… not my little ones. 
So I try to redirect and suggest different engaging play… 
where a broom was looking like a weapon I suggest we sweep the dust in the corner…

Our Playgroup Leader also helps direct the energies…
…suggesting that the imaginary gun {oh how I dislike gun play} needs cleaning… 
Passing over a piece of fabric so that the task can be undertaken as a serious endeavour.

And when the energy levels rise too rapidly taking a moment outside to sit and reset. 
Letting the fresh air flow around us… steadying ourselves.
Outside play is always a great release… 
Little legs and arms busily working on digging holes, running and jumping. 

So perhaps next week I will aim to rise earlier to enjoy breakfast outside followed by some outside play before joining the group….

How do you redirect or manage the energy of little ones?

Warmly,
Kelly

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26 Comments

  • Reply Amie (Triple T Mum) October 26, 2012 at 3:56 am

    This is a lovely post. I have a lot of male energy around here so I can relate to these behaviours! I find distraction still the number tool in my parenting kit. I wish we had a Waldorf Playgroup around here, unfortunately small rural town, minimal interest 😔

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Amie, glad to hear I am not alone in seeing these behaviours! Distraction is always a good one, I’ve just found in this group it hasn’t always worked because the boys are so set on whatever they are doing. Will have to come up with better distractions! And I wish you had a Waldorf playgroup too – I love how you have incorporate Waldorf into your home life though. I really enjoyed reading your post about toy rotation (and have been meaning to comment all week – I’ll pop over now)

  • Reply The Monko October 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    thats so odd, I could have written this post (obviously not as well) after our nature nursery on thursday. Especially the bit about where you are at with your parenting versus others around you. I feel inadequate by the positive parenting standards of some and like I’m expected to do more about discipline with others. And Goblin is usually the ringleader of anything stick and mud related. Fortunately most of nature nursery is outside so he doesn’t need the whole calming down times (I just send him off to jump in a puddle) but I am kinda dreading them turning the sessions into more organised stiener kindie which is the plan, because I feel Goblin will struggle with the breathing in elements.
    (I learnt about breathing in and out rhythm yesterday and yours is the second post I have stumbled unintentionally on since then. I think the universe is conspiring to tell me something.

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Oh isn’t that funny (parallel universe ;-)), I feel good about my parenting approach until situations like this and then start questioning it! Dino Boy also seems to be a natural leader and that is where some of the difficulties stem from. I love that he does have the tendency to lead, and at this age it seems to be because he is wrapped up in the excitement of the play, and that other kids are drawn to that. Dino Boy took a few weeks to settle into the idea of the inside time when we started going to the playgroup, and I find after the holiday breaks it now takes a week to get back into it too.

  • Reply Caz October 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Your playgroup sounds wonderful, what a lovely environment for your kids to meet new people and learn how to flow through the day, I wish we had something like that near by. The bit about steadily mounting energies made me smile, you can literally feel them gathering momentum sometimes can’t you!

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Oh you so can, and sometimes I find my anxiety levels increase at the same rate! Have to remind myself to relax and monitor the situation

  • Reply Deborah Alter-Rasche October 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    It seems in the early years setting these days that is definitely the way to go. All about redirection. What a lovely sounding playgroup 😀

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Thanks Debs, it is a great playgroup and good to hear you think redirection is the way 🙂

  • Reply Kate Lloyd October 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    It’s so great to have kids outside playing. A wonderful sight and path for learning about the world around us. Love this.

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

      We love the outdoors, I really notice on the days I work how much I miss it!

  • Reply Janice October 29, 2012 at 1:34 am

    What a beautiful environment for the kids to play and I love those mudpies!! I am all for redirection of energies and use this as my first strategy with my kiddos. It has avoided many a unwanted situations and melt downs. 🙂 Breakfast in that garden sounds perfect, especially this time of the year!

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:52 am

      We enjoyed breakfast outside this morning and it was lovely, such a great start to the day!

  • Reply Penny Whitehouse October 29, 2012 at 4:37 am

    This sounds so lovely. I wish there was one near us. In fact the Twinkles have missed out on one all together, just because it was too hard and I didn’t seem to mesh with the one we tried to form.

    I wonder if I could create this time for my girls in our backyard as a subtitute.

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:53 am

      I struggled with a couple of other groups too, but am so happy to have found this one. And you could absolutely create this for your girls ~ one of the {many} things I love about Waldorf is that for young children, what the school is really trying to do is recreate the warmth of a family home 🙂

  • Reply Jackie(My Little Bookcase) October 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

    I think any child who has a parent who reflects on their parenting is incredibly lucky. It is important to think about who your child is as a person and who you are as a person, and find some actions that will work for you both.

    I love the strategies of invitations/re-directions that you’ve mentioned. Thanks

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Thanks Jackie, and a good reminder to think about each of us as individual people and how that impacts the way we react and manage situations.

  • Reply Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky October 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I’m definitely big on redirecting or distracting in moments of stress or frustration. Sometimes we need to stop and breathe and cuddle, but other times a moment is building up … but is diffused with some quick distraction. I usually suggest something different to play with or a favourite game. Lately the frustation is born of Pebble trying very hard to do everything herself, and getting very upset if I even walk into the room while she’s trying. I just calmly tell her that I’m in the other room if she needs me, and to ask for help if she needs it. And she does 🙂

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Stopping, breathing and cuddling is a lovely approach. It can be challenging when they are getting more independent, but sounds like you have established a wonderfully trusting relationship 🙂

  • Reply Jode October 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I know i already visited and commented on this post Kell but i don’t see it here now sorry! I loved the post and i always find i need to give the girls some outdoor time or gross motor play before we had out to a group or outing…seems to calm and focus them a little more!

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:56 am

      You did! I got it via email, I’m not sure where it went, sorry Jode. And thank you so much for both of your lovely comments xx

  • Reply rebekah @ justfordaisy October 30, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful post… I have really been looking at myself and my parenting approach lately as I feel the pressure of having two little ones now in my care! This post had me googling rhythms and looking through Waldorf blogs as much of the day as possible today! Thanks for the inspiration. I will be setting up our own morning and evening rhythms and making up some charts etc to help us remain consistent. Thanks again xx

    • Reply Happy Whimsical Hearts October 30, 2012 at 6:57 am

      So thrilled to have inspired Bek 🙂 I find it to be a lovely approach, and good to know I’m not alone in thinking about my parenting style – sounds like I keep good company!

  • Reply mummymito October 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I can relate as I teach all boys (Kindergarten) and they are often testing and retesting the boundaries as relationships and dynamics change amongst the group. I agree with getting the children outside. There is something about the calming effect of the outdoors that makes an impact. Have you read the book about Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph? He speaks of a testosterone spike in boys at age fourish…apparently as much testosterone as a teenage boy but in such a little body! No wonder they have so much energy!

  • Reply Having Fun October 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    That’s how our afternoons are. Mornings are calm, but by afternoons the kids are tired of being cooped up in the house. The best thing I’ve found is to get them outside and let them release their energy in the fresh air. Nature walks does wonders too.

  • Reply Hinterland Mama October 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Gorgeous post Kelly. So true! Our little boys are full of boundless energy. And WHAT IS the fascination with weapons??! *sigh*

  • Reply Annette November 7, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Such good (and important!) things to remember.
    Thanks for visiting Waldorf Wednesday. Hope to see you back this week!
    http://ourseasonsofjoy.com/seasons-of-joy/waldorf-wednesday-11/

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