In recent months, we, as a nation and global community, have had to face many challenges. The state of our nation and our world weighs heavy on all of us. Since November, we have observed interactions between children playing with one another and children interacting with teachers indicating they may be struggling with processing information about world events they have either witnessed on television or through well-intended conversations with parents about troubles in the world today. Unfortunately, young children cannot process this information in the way adults can. These well-intentioned exposures to world events has a troubling effect on the very young. It doesn’t better prepare them to live in our modern world. It doesn’t foster compassion and understanding. It makes them feel unsafe and insecure.
From the Waldorf School of Philadelphia -
The first Waldorf School was established in 1919 in the wake of World War I. The impulse was to pioneer an education to help create a just and peaceful society. To that end, Rudolf Steiner crafted a curriculum to educate the whole child – head, heart, hands.
Receive children in reverence,
educate them in love,
and let them go forth in freedom.
– Rudolf Steiner
In spite of recent days, we must continue to believe that there is good in the world, and we must continue to educate our children to have reverence, respect and love for all living things.
But how do we speak to our children about terrible news events? In 2011, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia published an article written by Shannon Stevens. Shannon wrote the article as she was trying to process news of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Her advice for parents of young children is applicable today, especially as we struggle ourselves to come to terms with the never-ending war, the unsettling political climate and great divide within our nation, and the tragic refugee crisis our world is facing.
To read Shannon's article and advice from expert Kim John Payne, click the link below.