Words of Waldorf Wisdom
Waldorf kindergarten teachers bring many types of stories to the children. We share stories that reflect the season, traditional fairy tales, and perhaps most relevant to today’s world - protection stories that weave a healing and soothing presence into the child’s day. These stories are soul food during this current period of school closures and all of the uncertainty surrounding us as we shelter in our homes to slow the spread of a virus.
The Waldorf kindergarten strives to convey to the young child that ‘the world is good,’ and that they are safe and cared for. It is only to be expected that many parents are feeling anxious and even frightened at the moment. The young child is very attuned to the emotional realm of the grown-ups caring for them and will sense our worries to some degree right now. The more we can reassure them that they are safe and sound in their cozy homes the better their overall wellbeing and vital forces will be able to flourish.
This week’s puppet play, here on our community website - The Little Gnome Who Had to Stay Home, is a beautiful protection story that was written by Susan Perrow specifically for young children who are required to stay home during the current c-19 pandemic. She has written a story that reflects the current situation whilst not stating directly the reasons for it as this would not meet young children where they are developmentally. The idea being that the story mirrors their own lives enough that they will enter that beautiful dreamy state that a child slips into when captivated by a story and feel nurtured by the message it holds. The little gnome who has to stay home is reassured that although things are not as they used to be - things won’t always be like this - soon enough, when the time is right, they will be free to play with their friends again, go to school, play in the playground, etc. The story is intended to be a kind of medicine for the young child. If we were in the classroom the story would be shared numerous times to allow the children to delve deeply into the mood of the tale. It may even be useful for some families to learn this story by heart and tell it at different times of the day when they see fit. It would also be fine to alter some details to meet some of the concerns your individual child has. For example if a child is missing a certain friend perhaps interwoven into the story could be a letter sent to that special friend.
It is our hope that the stories we share with your children right now will provide some softness and solace for your whole family. Storytelling is a magical antidote as it works inwardly to transform and comfort us.
We encourage all families to use the art of storytelling as a healing balm especially in uncertain times.