“Something especially important happens to children between the ages of nine and ten. Speaking in an abstract way it can be said that children learn to differentiate themselves from their environments; children feel themselves as an “I,” and the environment as something external that does not belong to this “I.” But this is an abstract way of expressing it. The reality is that, speaking of course in a general sense: the child of this age approaches you with some problem or difficulty. In most cases the child will not actually speak of what is burdening its soul, and you must then find the right approach, the right answer. An enormous amount depends on this for the whole future life of the child concerned. For you cannot work with children of this age, as their teacher, unless you are yourself the unquestioned authority, unless, that it, the children have the feeling: this is true because you hold it to be true, this is beautiful because you find it beautiful, and this is good because you think it good–and therefore you are pointing these things out. You must be for the children the representative of the good, the true, and the beautiful. The children must be drawn to you yourself.”
“And between the ninth and tenth year a feeling arises instinctively in the child’s subconsciousness: I get everything from my teacher, but where does my teacher get it from? What is behind my teacher? If you then go into definitions and explanations it will only do harm. It is important to find a loving word, a word filled with warmth of heart — or rather many words, for these difficulties can go on for weeks and months– so that you can avert this danger and preserve the child’s confidence in your authority. For the child has now come to a crisis regarding the principle of authority. If you can meet the situation and can preserve your authority by the warmth of feeling with which you deal with these particular difficulties, if you can meet the child with inner warmth, sincerity, and truth, then much will be gained. The child will retain its belief in your authority, and that is good for the child’s further education, but it is also essential that just at this age between nine and ten the child’s belief in a good person does not waver. Were this to happen then the inner security that should be child’s guide through life will totter and sway.”
“This is of great significance and must constantly be remembered. In handbooks on education you find all kinds of intricate details laid down for the guidance of teachers, but it is of far greater importance to know what happens at a certain point in a child’s life and how you should act with regard to it, so that through your action you may radiate light onto the child’s whole life.”
“Not until the age of nine or ten do children really learn to distinguish themselves from their environment. This is something you must take into consideration in the strictest sense to you give your teaching a proper basis.”
~ Rudolf Steiner, The Kingdom of Childhood ~
“It is important that prepubescent children, if they are to be properly educated, can look up to an authority. Children can sense a person’s innermost being, and that is what they revere in those with authority. Whatever flows from the educator to the children forms and develops conscience, character and even the temperament– their lasting dispositions.”
“People around the children, with whom they have contact, must be their ideals; children must also chose such ideals from history and literature: “Everyone must choose the hero whose path to Olympus they will follow,” is a true saying. The materialistic view that opposes authority and undervalues respect and reverence is totally wrong. It regards children as already self-reliant, but thier healthy development is impaired if demands are made on the reasoning faculty before the astral body is born.”
“During this period of childhood, children should learn through authority. During the second seven-year period, people should instruct children and not teach through example. We form a strong memory, not by explaining all the “whys” and “wherefores,” but through authority. We must surround children with people they can count on, people they can trust–people who can awaken in children a belief in the authority they hold… You should tell children about great people, tell them in a way that great historical figures become examples for them.”
“The world of feeling is developed in the proper way through parables and pictures, which we have spoken of, and especially through the pictures of great men and women taken from history and other sources and brought before children. A correspondingly deep study of the secrets and beauties of nature is also important for the proper formation of the world of feeling. Last but not least, there is the cultivation of a sense of beauty and the awakening of artistic feeling. The musical element must bring to the etheric body the rhythm that will then enable it to sense in everything the rhythm otherwise concealed. Children who are denied the blessing of having their musical sense cultivated during these years will be the poorer because of it for the rest of their lives. .. Much can be done with the simplest resources, if only the teacher has the proper artistic feeling, joy, and happiness in living, a love of all existence, a power and energy for work–these are among the lifelong results of the proper cultivation of a feeling for beauty and art.”
~ Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child ~
Tonight we went out for a walk together, just you and I. I feel a heavy sadness in my heart over the fact that you are growing up and changing more and more into a young woman every day. I want to still share mommy/daughter moments with you and have you hold my hand.
The fact that you are growing up scares me. I know that you are not my little girl anymore. You have fallen from your child-like paradise and are beginning to face inner and outer temptations. Life will be hard. You will need to have a good head on your shoulders in order to discern what is true and what is false. Your heart will break. You will feel pain. You will give into the temptations and you will make mistakes. Your road will not always be smooth and not everybody will like you, even though you are brilliant and beautiful. You will face judgment and criticism. Doubt and fear.
My prayer is that I can be the loving authority that you need. I know that I am far from perfect, but I am conscious. I give my all to be the example and authority that you need and deep down crave. I see so much of myself in you, but also so much of your own true self shining through. You no longer care for imaginary play and pleasing me. You want your own private life and your own hobbies and interests. It is no longer cool to just do what I say and imitate my example. You see me through discerning eyes. You question and criticize me often. I know that you are seeking and searching after what is really beautiful, true, and good and what is ugly, false, and wrong. You see through me and I am more conscious than ever of who I am as your mother and guide. You need me and I want so badly to be everything you need, even though I know that I will fail you and have failed you so many times already in life.
I love you my angel. You are so beautiful to me and everything you do is perfect in my eyes. You may not always think of me as cool, or want to be around me, but I know that you love me too. As my astral covering begins to loosen from you, I pray that God and the angels will protect you and lead you in times of temptation. I pray that your heart will be pure and able to discern right from wrong, true from false. I pray that all of the memories we have made together through art, baking, music, and being in nature, as well as and all of the fables, stories, and legends we have read together, will remain in you and aide you in finding yourself and positively shape the way that you see other people and the world.
I pray that I can be all that I need to be for you and your sisters and for the strength to not waver in my role as mother, teacher, and authority.
All my love! ❤