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How would a waldorf parent react to this?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I need a little advise from anybody who feels like chiming in on this.

Yesterday, we were doing an activity of wool felting. (making felted balls for the baby as a welcome gift when he arrives). Ds who is almost 5 had a hard time folowwing the steps to do the balls (notably making a hard ball out of the roving). He kept saying that he wasn't able to, and asked me to help him out.

First question: what would you have said/done? Help him out? Telling him to give it a try? Showing it again...I also had a 3 YO that was doing the activity with us and was doing fairly well.

He ended up finishing his ball, but the result was obviously not as good as he hoped. And it didn't help that his sister made a pretty good job (I didn't say anything about it). And so looking at his work, and said, I am not good.

Again, what would you have said/done?

I am asking because I am curious to compare to what a Montessorian would have said/done

Thanks
post #2 of 5
this has layers that might require more information for me to talk about.

there seems to be a frustration angle and a shame angle. i also don't know how/why/when your son asks for help. with my husband, he asks for help for two reasons: 1. to avoid an activity that he doesn't want to do, which he fumes and fusses about while doing, then "ruins" it, and then feels bad about himself and angry with whomever for "making" him do it and such; and 2. when he really wants to do the activity or learn the skill but doesn't know how (which he also feels ashamed about because he "should" know how or someone younger can do it better, etc).

from a steiner standpoint, this could be your sons karma coming through, as well as personality traits, and nothing to do with "you" as a parent. so, you can take any pressure of yourself if there is some.

at this point, it's just a matter of helping him work through it.

so, i would first try to divine whether or not he wanted "help" to get out of the activity or truly wanted help to learn how to do the activity. for the first, i would offer another activity. for the second, i would show/help him again.

if it is the second, and i was showing/helping again, but he continued to be frustrated, i would acknowledge that frustration. ask him to put words to it--see what he is frustrated about. could be finding the task difficult while his sister doesn't, or simply finding the task difficult--those are very different reasons to be frustrated!

then, i would speak to that: first that some people are just better at certain things than others, and perhaps tell a story that illustrates how people can have different talents; second that sometimes you have to try things over and over before you get good at them. i might even incorporate it into the story time, so that those needs are discussed in that way.
post #3 of 5
Five year olds learn via imitation, so I would just continued to "show" him and use lots of pictoral direction, maybe adding in some singing while working to lighten the mood. Lots of encouragement if needed. If you find that your son has tendencies toward the "not good enough", I would provide stories (not then!) about a little boy/animal/insect, etc. that worked very hard and over time, was able to accomplish something they thought was difficult.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumom2boyz View Post
Five year olds learn via imitation, so I would just continued to "show" him and use lots of pictoral direction, maybe adding in some singing while working to lighten the mood. Lots of encouragement if needed. If you find that your son has tendencies toward the "not good enough", I would provide stories (not then!) about a little boy/animal/insect, etc. that worked very hard and over time, was able to accomplish something they thought was difficult.
great response!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks for your replies. Very insightful!
I didn't think of using stories. It i not yet something I am mastering. I need to get better at this.
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