Monday, October 14, 2013

100 Ways To Be Kind To Your Child

In honor of my sons, my nephews, my cousins and all the other October birthdays, here is a post to inspire you to bring more kindness to your everyday life.  I'm stepping outside the Waldorf on Etsy team today to bring you the work of  Alissa, a homeschooling mom to three kids, who blogs about having a fulfilling, creative life that includes her children:  
100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child was written in February 2012 by Alissa, as a participating blogger for Toddler Approved’s 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge.  She spent a month knowing she would be writing about how to be kind to her children.  It’s not that she didn’t want to be kind to her kids all the time, but, it made a real difference to be thinking about this list.
"When I consciously decided to find ways to be kind to my kids I found I was catching myself more often before I sighed impatiently." Alissa shared,  "I started finding more times to make kind eye contact, or smile.  These are just little shifts, but they add up. "
Needle Felted Madonna and Child
Here is a sampling of ideas from the list: 
Tell your child:
2. I love you no matter what.
5. I love you when you are far way.  My love for you can reach you wherever you are.
8. Thank you.
9. I enjoyed playing with you today.
10. My favorite part of the day was when I was with you and we _______.
11. The story of their birth or adoption.
14. A story about yourself when you were their age.
16. What your favorite color is.
17. That sometimes you struggle too.
18. That when you’re holding hands and you give three squeezes, it’s a secret code that means, “I love you”.
22. Hop Scotch
23. Board Games
26. Twenty Questions
27. I Spy on long car rides
28. Catch
29. To catch their kiss and put it on your cheek.
30. That their tickle tank is empty and you have to fill it.
31. That their high five is so powerful it nearly knocks you over.
33. That you are explorers in the amazing world of your own backyard.
35. To get enough sleep.
37. To eat decent food.
38. Dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
41. Dancing in the kitchen.
45. Using a kind voice, even if you have to fake it.
46. A book of silly poems.
47. A story and then act out the plot.
48. Your favorite childhood book to them.
50. Outside under a tree.
53. About age appropriate behavior so you can keep your expectations realistic.
54. To your child in the car.
57. One second longer than you think you have patience for.
58. For the feelings behind your child’s words.

60. What do you think would happen if______?
61. How shall we find out?
62. What are you thinking about?
65. Your child how to do something instead of banning them from it.
68. How to cut food.
69. How to fold laundry.
70. How to look up information when you don’t know the answer.
72. That taking care of yourself is important.
Take Time: 
74. To look at the birds.
75. To let your child pour ingredients into the bowl.
76. To walk places together.
77. To dig in the dirt together.
78. To do a task at your child’s pace.
80. That your child is capable.
81. That you are the right parent for your child.
82. That you are enough.
84. Clean your child’s room as a surprise.
86. Put a love note in their lunch.
87. Make their snack into a smiley face shape.
89. Sit on the floor with them to play.
Let Go:
91. Of how you thought it was going to be.
92. Of your need to be right.
93. A kind look.
94. A smile when your child walks into the room.
97. Your child a chance to work out their frustrations before helping them.
99. A hug.
100. You get to choose the next one!  What is your favorite way to be kind to your child?
To read the full list, to learn more about Alissa and to connect with her, visit her Etsy shop:
And sign up for her Joyful Parenting newsletter to get more simple ideas about how to nurture connection with kids.  

A big thank you to Alissa for sharing her ideas on kindness with us!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Form Drawing

 Form Drawing 
by Brenda Massei of Pail and Pie  
My eight year old son gets to choose his daily school work from a weekly checklist. Once per week his list includes form drawing and without fail, enthusiastically, he chooses it every Monday. So, what is so wonderful about form drawing for him? "Probably, I like it because of all the crazy forms I get to draw," he answers me. It may go deeper than that. 
In 1919 Rudolph Steiner introduced form drawing which is taught to children ages 6-10 . This simple idea, of having children essentially copy freehand drawings, is more than just a crayon to paper. Before children are shown a form to recreate on their page, they are immersed in the feeling of the form. Children are introduced to each new form through stories, movements through the air, or walking the form as a few examples. The feelings from this engagement with a form can vary based on the form taught.
 For instance, if a teacher has a restless group that needs energy, a sharp, stiff form can create some liveliness. In contrast, slow, rounded forms can do just the opposite, create harmony and peace for children who need some calm. Having children focus on a form and replicate it with intention create zen like moments that can linger.
Last year my son would not stop at the end of the page. Indeed he drew form drawing borders around his pages and went on to create new forms based on his moods. This year he chooses form drawing every monday and enjoys each new expression. An acquaintance's daughter grew up to create and sell beautiful celtic knot motifs on cards as an extension from early form drawing instruction. Form drawing is enjoyable.
Form drawing gives pleasure while creating repeated patterns with lines instead of waiting to admire only an end product. It is an experience one can feel. The creating can indeed trump the joy of the ended design.
Symmetry? Counting? Geometry? Art? Form drawing can dive into any of these aspects as indeed the line is the most primeval form of creation and art. Teaching children to enjoy the movement of line over paper proves beneficial.
Read more about how form drawing affects your mood in the article Form Drawing by Rosemary Gebert. (Link:

See the connection of form drawing to art in the book: 
Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools Classes 1 to 8 by Thomas Wildgruber. 
 See more of Brenda's great articles on her blog:
Pail and Pie
 Visit Brenda's Waldorf on Etsy team shop for gift ideas: