Children as teachers


If a child is in a supportive environment where the adults around them take their play seriously, then a child cannot but learn and grow into the very person they were born to be.

So what do us parents have to do?  Actually very little.  Depending on how you view it.
From my 13 years of extensive (24hour) research it seems that the more hands off I am the more they learn.  By that I mean, the less controlling I am.

If I have an agenda, a pack of expectations, a grand idea,  the kids will always show me up.  Say I set up an art activity, no pressure, just going to put all the gear out, show some ideas I have….Two of the kids would not be interested at all.  Charlie would, bless him, come and tolerate me for a few minutes, but quickly come up with better and more relevant ideas, things that work for him with where he is at.  He would whip up a dozen very quick drawings, then price them all, make a shop, make sale signs, work out discounts and we would have to visit and buy the art work for sale.  By the time I have packed up all the unused art equipment half the lounge would be for sale too and I would spent the rest of the day buying the sofa, piles of books, cushions, shoes,  while he is is his own little piece of heaven running a shop, working out change for complicated maths equations.   See I never would have thought of that!

They teach me that they know only too well what it is that they need to learn at this moment.
They show me that their way is the very best way for them.
They remind me that creativity comes an a million different guises and should never be controlled or interrupted (if possible).  Creativity should be nurtured and cared for, encouraged, taken seriously..

They teach me about how maths and  physics are all around us and inside us.
They show me daily what a huge capacity for thinking they have and how much time they need to think things through, think things up.

Hannah and Charlie actively take “thinking time”.  Hannah has been doing ‘Thinkings’ since she was 4 years old.  And still now at 13 she goes outside at night, on the swing and can be heard chattering away to herself….I asked her once what she was doing when she used to just lie around on her bed, she was about 7 or 8.  I had expectations that she should be producing something, or doing something that could be deemed worthwhile.   So she told me what she was doing. Thinking.  She told me what she was thinking…..I listened politely for half an hour, then silently apologised for my ignorant expectations and promised myself never to doubt her again.
I am a slow learner though and a few years later repeated a similar thing with Charlie.  He would get up in the mornings and sit on the sofa gazing out of the window to the garden.  Eventually I asked. He told me the extent of his musings I shut up with renewed respect for the him, the human mind and children in general. I only wondered why my mind didn’t operate on that level….
Charlie still lazes around in the morning, thinking.  What better way is there to start the day for a young mind?
I have heard parents say they could never be around their children all day as their grey matter wouldn’t be challenged enough!  I so do not have that problem.  The older the children get the more exciting it is as new passions unfold, new books are read, new knowledge shared.   New challenges arise, new problems to solve, new ways to think about life are discovered.  What an adventure children are.  What an honour  to be living this life of freedom with them. 
Some of the loveliest lessons are those big picture ones.
Like how they live in the moment.  This is such a hard lesson for so many of us adults.  Yet we are surrounded by these little gurus completely living in the moment.  Do they care what is for dinner later? Do they worry about having to go away next weekend? You know that blank look you get when you have to interrupt a game to  remind them that we are going out in a couple of hours….. Well I love that look!  It is the reminder to just enjoy NOW!    Enjoy this.  🙂
They are a complete blessing, those kids, those teachers, those wisdom sharers.

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