Discipline in the Waldorf Classroom

As we were returning home from our travels yesterday we stopped at a rest stop to use the bathrooms. My youngest, who is quite particular about things, entered the restrooms, and immediately came out again exclaiming, “THAT is disgusting. I am not using those!”

I was a little embarrassed because a woman had arrived about that time to witness the scene she was making.

I tried to laugh about it and said to the woman sheepishly, “Well, her standards are a bit unique.”

The woman replied, “Yah. I am like your daughter. If she says that…I’m not using them either.” and she left!

A little later we stopped at a gas station and my eldest went to the back of the store to get a cup, hot water and a tea bag. As she was preparing her tea the entire cup and bag fell into the garbage can (the little one located on the counter). She made herself another cup. However, when we went to pay I told the lady at the counter, “We actually have two cups of tea because one fell into the garbage.”

She laughed and said, “Oh I won’t charge you for something I would do myself! I am always dropping things in there by accident!”

These two incidents, among many others, illustrate a very important dynamic in raising children and in relating to our friends and family members in general:

How much do we ask of people that we cannot do ourselves?

Do we insist children or spouses try every food and yet we actually have a few foods that we cannot even look at without becoming ill?

As natural healers do we ask our clients to consume foods we find unpleasant?

As natural healers do we ask our clients to give up things we could not give up or do follow diets we have never followed ourselves?

Do we insist those around us get along with everyone and yet we have a temper?

Do we insist everyone keeps their room clean and yet our house is always a mess?

Do we tell others “Don’t let what people say bother you” and yet we get upset for days about a nasty e-mail somebody wrote to us?

The more we are aware of this question, the better our relationship can be with the people around us and the better we can be as people. I often joke that my children are my “spiritual trainers”. They don’t miss a thing that I do so if I am not “perfect” they will pick up on it and copy what I do. It makes me so much more aware of how I talk, what I do, how clean I keep the house, and much more. So if you work with children or are a parent this is an easy “check” for you.

If you don’t work with children you can still see yourself reflected in the people who are around you. Have you ever noticed how people act differently around others when they are not with you? Have you noticed how a different side of them comes out that you don’t usually see? Ask yourself, what am I experiencing from this person and why?

Being aware of myself by looking at my reflection in the people around me makes me much more aware of the demands I make on people, and especially my own children.

If I ask my children to do something I am very aware of my own ability to do it as well. I feel like I either need to learn how to do what I am asking of them first or I need to wait until I ask her to do that action.

Sometimes I ask my children to do things and share with them that I am also “working on that” myself.

I have caught myself so many times asking the kids to do things that I could not do myself. And some of them are funny!

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