I’m a big fan of Naomi Aldort. If you haven’t read any of her work, you can check out the link to her website below. She is dedicated to practising and teaching authentic parenting. Her book ‘Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves’ is helpful for gaining awareness of our parenting style and adjusting it to fit our values. Her newsletter arrived in my inbox this morning and I just had to quote part of one article that I particularly liked.
The now is the source of the habits your child will form. How we serve the food, how we get ready to go somewhere, how we dress and how we speak… are all models for habits. How we study, how we practice, how we sing and the way we set the table. Just notice for the sake of noticing without evaluating.
It is not that your child will have your habits. Not necessarily. But, she will absorb the commitment and priorities. “Should I devote myself to strive for the best?” ”Should I relax and whatever is easy is fine?” Or, anything in between.
The infant whose care is done with passion, whose cues are responded to promptly, whose diaper (if he uses one) is changed promptly and whose mom’s hair is combed is most likely to develop habits of seeking to excel in his own way. There is no right or wrong, just notice that whatever you do becomes the next generation’s blueprint. Not a reason for guilt or regrets, because all ways are fine. What is powerful is to watch and be sure you are in integrity with your own values.
As the child grows older, the days fill up with more and more activities, things, art, music and relationships. How we handle everything, becomes the child’s way of perceiving life and herself.
What about my reflection about letting the house be messy and keep the child’s soul nurtured? I still advocate putting the child ahead of the house, cooking or errands. To me, that’s a habit of high commitment to what is most important; the child. The child learns the habit of prioritizing humans over house work or things.
Your values may be different and no one but you knows what habits you wish to excel in with your child. Yet, while being a personal matter, it is also, in a way a “national” matter. We are streaming together as a society. Are we excelling? Should we? I love questions. When unanswered, we grow in inquiry and notice as the day goes: What am I committed to?