We have a lovely give away for you this month from Stophen Spitalny, Waldorf early childhood teacher, musician and author. To the readers of The Wonder of Childhood, Stephen is offering a copy of his book Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will.

In the words of Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie, the Wonder of Childhood Editor, on Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will:

“Have you experienced a parent night in a Waldorf kindergarten in which your child’s teacher brings some nugget of wisdom that speaks to the challenge you are experiencing with your child? This book is full of those nuggets for parents. For early childhood teachers, the book offers pictures of challenging situations within the classroom as well.

This book is a rich and helpful handbook for parents, teachers and child care providers. Stephen Spitalny weaves together words from Rudolf Steiner with the developmental picture of early childhood including: the senses, example and imitation, the language we use and the language we do not need to use, conflict resolution and  the inner work of the adult all within the context of relationship and healthy development of the will.

Spitalny gives us pictures of practical application of these ideas through vignettes of life with children, based on his own research, experience and observation. This book makes a much needed and greatly helpful addition to the few books available in the world of Waldorf focused specifically on the adult/child relationship and the tools we have for peaceful and meaningful cohabitation.”

From  Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will:

” The key to avoidance of most conflict situations is to be aware of the child’s developmental stages and their needs, and be proactive in assuring those needs are met. Plan, and plan ahead! I mentioned this earlier in this chapter – the daily rhythm of meal times and rest times, an so on eliminates so much conflict. The child’s growing body has a huge need for nutrition and rest, and caring for those needs is the adult’s responsibility. Consistently and rhythmically meeting the child’s needs for nourishment, rest, exercise, play, warmth, attention eliminates most conflicts and allows the child to be int he moment where they belong.”

Stephen Spitalny, author of Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will  is offering ONE copy of his book as a give away to ONE of our readers. Stephen and his work in the Waldorf kindergarten is featured  in this month’s  Spotlight on Early Childhood Interviewhere.

To enter, please:

1. Share the link to this Give Away or to the Interview with Stephen Spitalny on FaceBook or Twitter, on Twitter please use the hache tag#

2.  In the comments below share one of the things that makes discipline hard for you

The Give Away will close on Sunday March 4th

and the winner will be posted right here___________________

on Monday March 5th




20 Responses to Blog :: Connecting with Young Children : A Give Away

  1. Mary Fish says:

    I’m a bit of a pushover – I don’t want to override the will of another (ever), and I’m still learning to find the path and timing into the child’s circle of trust when the adult world requires he or she shift focus. This article was so full of simplicity and wisdom, and makes me realize where I have been on the right path and where I have veered away from the directness and simplicity of soul warmth, goodness and imitation, that the younger ones express as magically and purely as the spirits created in Old Saturn. Thank you.

  2. Janeen Nicholas says:

    Being consistent is hard for me. It seems no matter how well I plan things, something happens to interrupt those plans. How do people manage a cinsistent rhythm and yet deal with illness, dentist and doctor appointments, visitors, and family trios?

  3. Kristin Lambert says:

    I have a hard time doing or not doing something that will bring disappointment or upset to our children. For example, if it is bedtime and our children want to draw, I will let them though I know sleep is so very important. This leads to inconsistent rhythms and tired mama and children.

  4. M D says:

    I find it hardest to keep remembering my son is only six, and expect him to understand explanations and react the way an adult would. I want to lead more, and do a lot less talking.

  5. Kelly Hill says:

    Getting rid of the word O.K.? was one of the hardest parts for me. It had become a habit and was very hard to break. I now teach parent-child classes and I try to have a group sharing each session about this.

  6. Lucy Martinez-Zuviria says:

    As a waldorf Kindergarten teacher and a parent of 4 I have to remember when to take off my teacher hat and when to be just a mommy. This is especially important as I navigate discipline with an age span of 10 years;how I work with my toddler is very different to how I am trying ( often in vain ) to work with my 12 year old.

  7. TAbi says:

    I try to be fair as a disciplinarian. Sometimes I struggle with giving too many chances or wondering how many warning to give before a consequence. I mostly try to talk with my son about his behavior and he has come to trust that I am trying to guide him or help him. However, there are those times when he is struggling to listen or is seeking negative attention in a moment when I can’t give him all my attention. In those moments, I feel that follow through is required. He gets really upset when I follow through though. I often have to weigh is the lesson worth it.

  8. KN says:

    Most difficult for me in discipline is to respond differently than my instant reaction tells me to when I am tired or frustrated. Keeping myself in check is far more challenging than any behavior my children exhibit!

  9. Dee says:

    I find that with as much understanding, fostering and continued reading for knowledge that I do, I cannot seem to get through to my husband. That seems my biggest challenge when fostering and eliciting my childrens develomental stages and their self-awareness and value. He (my dear husband) is more impulsive in his delivery and responses to the childrens development (behaviour, personality traits) which stems from his defaults of old; conditioning from a very conventional childhood. I see the souls of my children and the affects of our two styles. A big desire is to prevent unfortunate confusion, or worse, shattered kindred spirits…

  10. Teri says:

    When I’m tired, stressed, or busy taking care of the baby, I find it very hard to maintain a peaceful and calm energy when I’m disciplining my 4 year old. I react to a situation and get more emotional than I’d like. I’d like to be able to keep calm and carry on!

  11. Carli says:

    I find it difficult (when I am tired) to stay consistent on follow-through. And of course my kids know this about me and so when I get tired they push the limits and a slippery slope has begun…

  12. dara says:

    Challenge balancing being with children and other work responsibilities. Not being on the phone or computer while with children is crucial !!! – and also challenging at times when (important) things call for my attention. Children always come first. Thank you.

  13. Brandy says:

    I find it difficult when I am challenged by a situation that I feel is inappropriate or unsafe but I don’t know how to communicate it in a way that makes sense.

  14. Vivian Cheng says:

    I think the hardest thing for me is keeping my emotions (mainly anger and frustration) in check. It’s hard for me, in the moment, to remember that it is a child’s job to test boundaries and that it’s healthy to do so. Parenting is so much about self-reflecting and finding a balance of giving both myself and my daughter what we need.

  15. Su says:

    For me, the hardest is that my own childhood memories interfere. My parents weren’t too strict but I was a very sensitive child and to this day I remember how they scolded me when I was 6 and I cry! I don’t want my children to suffer that.

  16. Adel Krupp says:

    Disciplining when exhausted, especially, in a consistent manner is the hardest for me, and those are the moments when I would need to be responsive the most. Sometimes walking away is easier in the moment, to keep my frustration and anger in check, but I wish I had better coping strategies.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I find it hard to balance discipline with all the age groups and temperaments in my home. My children try to point out how unfair I am because they are not all treated in the same manner. I see it as equal to their age while my 12 year old thinks is it unfair that I am “harder” on her than I am on the 5 year old. I would love to find a balance.

  18. Tracy Shringarpure says:

    The hardest thing for me, right now, is my four year old and her clothing sensitivities and the temper tantrums that erupt when she is either too cold or fighting whatever clothing I’ve layered her in.

  19. Kim says:

    My greatest struggle is staying mindful of where my son is developmentally. We spend our days together, and we have amazing days, and sometimes we have difficult days. It always comes back to me (of course) and the mindset I’m in on that day. When I’m present with him, and mindful of where he is developmentally, when we sing and are doing meaningful work together, have plenty of time outside, these days are magical. Those other days, the days that I’m in my adult world, bogged with adult issues, these days don’t go so well. Those are the days I “default” into being “wordy”, “reasoning” with my four-year-old to please give mommy space to just finish this one email and inevitably end with an upset little boy and a frustrated mom. These are not my proudest days as a mother and the times discipline can become inconsistent with my parenting philosophies.

  20. Kelly says:

    My challenge at the moment is making sure my husband and I are on the same page with how we respond to our children.

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