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Young Children

Mothering as translating ...

As our children begin to explore the outside world, whether this means playing with neighborhood children at their homes, or attending pre-school, or encountering other adults and children on buses or on playgrounds, we are called upon as our babies become children to provide a frame of meaning in understanding the world outside our doors. Their brains are developing and absorbing enormous amounts of subtle information. We are their translators - perhaps interpreting literally from one language to another about what the neighbors say to them or what the children say to others at a doctor's office - but most definitely interpeting cultural messages: which, if any, television programs, or Barbies, or junk food. Are they required to say 'thank you' and 'hello and goodbye'.  Do we encourage them to 'push back when pushed' or 'look down when spoken to' or 'look the adult in the eye when spoken to'? readmore logo

Resolutions for the New Year

by Megan McGrory Massaro and Miriam J. Katz

"Little children experience big feelings. If adults can be overwhelmed by strong emotion, imagine the experience of a child who has no coping tools and very little power.

We can help children move through the turbulence of emotion by naming and validating their emotions. By making their emotions both relatable and acceptable, we give our children a safe space within which to grow. "You're feeling angry because Johnny took the ball away from you," we might say after witnessing our toddler's rage. Offering to hold your child or speaking together to Johnny about the incident may help the child work through their feelings." go to otherbabyblog

"An easy relationship with the children who live nearby is beginning to be important to your child now and will be increasingly important all through childhood. So think carefully before deciding that the local children are not suitable friends. If you really cannot accept your local community on your child’s behalf, you may have to move [orig. more] rather than commit him or her to a lonely and isolated childhood." [View source]

Leach, Penelope, "Your Baby and Child", 1994, Alfred A. Knopf, pg. 414


No, children are not that resilient

by Daria Narvaez

""Kids are resilient." How many times have I heard that in a Hollywood movie as a self-centered adult 'does his/her thing' at the expense of the children? How resilient are children? If you look at the whole picture of health and well-being, not that much. Believing in children's "resilience" actually may be undermining parenting and social policy." go to Psychology Today

Online source of Hindi rhymes and songs

"You want your child to learn all those nursery rhymes that you grew up listening. But you just can't remember all the words. Browse this section and teach your child some of the most popular Indian rhymes. We have provided audio clips for some rhymes to help you sing them to your child.


Machhali Jal Ki Hai Raani

Chaand Id ka

Pyaasa Kauwa

Dhobi Aaya

Chunnu Munnu Thhey Do Bhai

Billi Mausi

Meri Gudiya


Naav humaari go to


renewal logo"Many of us who work with young children have noticed that in recent years children have changed in ways that concern and alarm us. More children today are showing physical and and social difficulties than we have seen in the past.

"In pre-schools and kindergartens, many children, for example, are thin, pale, and chronically tired.  They are nervous, cannot sit still, and are so fidgety that they often fall off their chairs. Movement and play do not come as easily as they once did. Many children are uncoordinated in their movements and seem clumsy. Some move with unconscious and uncontrolled abandon, smashing and crashing into their playmates. Others find a quiet corner and just stay there, avoiding movement at all cost. "Touchiness" -- overreacting to the slightest brush against another child -- emotional fragility, and difficulties with eating are also common. many children reject the wholesome, simple foods that are prepared for snack and prefer instead only a few, often highly refined, foods." [View source]

Clark, Laurie and Blanning, Nancy, "Strengthening the Foundational Senses of the Young Child", Renewal, 13, pp. 4-9.


Gift Suggestions for Young Children
Basket of cloth scraps (to go with sewing basket)

Basket of wool fleece
Bird Feeder and Seed
Colored Paper
Doll Clothes
Handmade Picture Book
Play Cloths
Sea Shells
Sewing Basket with needles, thread, buttons, lace, scissors, pincushion
Small wooden bowls and spoons
Special Treasures Box
Tea Set
Tool Belt with a few simple tools


Folk and Fairy Tales (European) for 3 to 6 year olds, by age
for 3-year-olds:
The Little House
Sweet Porridge
Little Louse and Little Flea
The Turnip
The Bun
The Old Woman and the Pig
The Cat and the Mouse
Little Red Hen
Little tuppens
House on the Hill
My Household
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Billy Goats Gruff

Folk and Fairy Tales for 4-year-olds
Shoemaker and the Elves
The Pancake Mill
The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids
The Three Little Pigs

Folk and Fairy Tales for 5 and 6-year-olds
Star Money
The Frog Prince
Mother Holle
The Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle
The Queen Bee
The Seven Ravens
Little Briar Rose
The Hut in the Forest
The Donkey
Snow White and Rose Red
Bremen Town Musicians
Boots and his Brothers
Lazy Jack
Little Red Riding Hood [View source]

collected by Janet Kellman, Rudolf Steiner College


children playing

How to Get a Young Child to Do What You Want Without Talking Yourself to Death

by Nancy Blanning

You're Not the Boss of Me"Young children may seem logical and reasonable to us, but this really is not their primary mode of being. They live in their limbs, in movement, in forces of will.

When you really want a child to move into action, speaking to him or her can actually freeze the child into immobility. All the child's forces have to rush up to the head for thinking and nothing is left over for immediate movement." order "You're Not the Boss of Me", ed. Ruth Ker, via


"When you really want a child to move into action, help him move before you speak. Take him by the hand or arm. Say 'It is time for coats now' while at the same time offering the coat. Limit the choices you give your child. Then, do not ask too many questions. Don't say, 'Are you ready to go?' but rather, a statement of fact, 'it is time to leave now.'" [View source]

Blanning, Nancy, "How to Get a Young Child to Do What You Want Without Talking Yourself to Death," in Ker, Ruth, "You're Not the Boss of Me!, from

"Consistency is an integral part of expecting children to obey -- it allows for a child to predict the consequences of his behavior. … Parents create rules and children test them. After all, testing is a child's only way of discovering whether a rule truly exists. Telling a child 'This is a rule" isn't convincing enough. … Consistency is a demonstration of reliability. The more children feel they can rely on -- believe in -- their parents, the more secure they feel." [View source]

The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children pg. 84




"One morning, I (jkz) heard myself telling one of our daughters when she was about four years old, "Hurry up. I don't have any time," as she was selecting which of three dresses to wear that day. What a message."

"There are things we can do to give ourselves more time, and to make the best use of the time that we have. We can wake up early enough and get the children up early enough to have time in the morning without rushing. I can help if they pick out their clothes the night before. We can work at keeping our own time urgency from coloring everything we do. ... It is helpful to listen to the tone of our voices as we realize that we are going to be late. As an experiment, we might try lowering our voices and dropping more deeply into right now, into our body, into this breath. We can also try to not overschedule our children so that they are always going somewhere else." [View source]

Everyday Blessings, pp.201-202

Interested in more? Here are other articles:
toys play
manners language
India fairy tales
customs consistency
child development bonding

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