Covid-19 and the resultant 21-day stay home directive has left many families with questions on how to balance work from home responsibilities, keeping their kids entertained through play, and maintaining sanity through it all. 

How you can use Waldorf rhythms to get this right

We recently had our much anticipated annual Parents Be Kids (PBK) Day at the Kindergarten. Young children just venturing into independence relish having something so exclusively theirs.

As parents we rely on PBK Day to get a glimpse of what our Waldorf Kids get up to daily.

How could we predict that less than a month later parents would be getting high-intensity insight into how our children prefer to spend their days. With adults working from home and kids not being able to go to school, families have to find creative ways to keep stress levels low and get done what needs to be done.

It’s very easy to fall into a trap of relying on technology to keep our children busy while we use that same technology to keep in touch with our colleagues and clients.

But if you quiet your angst and just allow yourself a day or two of following your Waldorf Kid’s lead you’ll see the beauty in daily rhythms and playing. Because if there is one thing that our children know how to do, it is to PLAY.

How to read Waldorf rhythms

Watch your child seek nature as soon as they wake up and heed the call…it will be good for you too. Have your morning coffee in the garden and open doors and curtains as soon as you are up to let in natural sunlight and fresh air.

As you prepare breakfast guide your children through greeting the day. Once or twice a week use this time to have a mental health check-in with even the littlest members of your tribe. Using questions like: “What do you think of having us home all day?” or “Not being able to play with your friends must be strange?” will give you a lot of insight into how everyone is dealing with the quarantine.

This is also a good time to manage everyone’s expectations. State when you need a few hours to get important work or video calls done. Or, if your day is easier, and you are able to take on some tasks from the rest of the household.

After breakfast you’ll notice your child become restless. If left unchecked this will result in frustration for everyone. Your children’s teacher would have been sharing activities, or ideas for learning from home with you, so use this time to help your children take part in these activities. Or PLAY!

After lunch you’ll notice your children automatically seek solitary time. Inevitably you’ll hear ‘TV please’. Weather the storm and the grumpiness, and then see your child beautifully engage in their favourite activity. They’ll draw, build puzzles, play with their blocks or read. Keep these activities within reach and accessible and you’ll see why resting time is such an important part of the day… especially for younger children.

Why Waldorf kids love responsibility

Your Waldorf Kid loves responsibility and working together for the greater good of their community. Their school days are centered on these concepts from a young age. They tidy and make beautiful their communal areas together, and remind their friends to help clean. The children in The Kindergarten have special days where it is their turn to serve meals to their friends. Again, this illustrates the strong desire for community and responsibility.

Use this to your advantage in managing your home over the next couple of weeks. Set times after each activity or at the end of your day for tidying communal areas and start the day with each child making their own bed. Put away your laptop and phone and have meals together, and get your children involved with tidying up after each meal. Older children should even be given days were they are responsible for making lunch.

Your children’s teachers are there to provide guidance and share creative ideas. The mental health of you and your children during this unprecedented time is important to our community. Following daily rhythms and structures will go a long way in reminding you and your families to play from home.

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