Archive | June, 2015

Stuff vs Stories

25 Jun

At the end of the school year, my daughter brought home a folder with all the things she did on the school project, which was about pirates. Apparently this subject was chosen democratically, by means of a poll held among all 126 toddlers of the Primera de Infantíl. The poll was included in the folder and showed the various options as well as the votes each option received from the 3-year-old electors.

They could choose between:

*fairy tale characters

* vehicles

* the circus

* toys

* pirates

As you can see in the picture below, pirates celebrated a landslide victory that day, followed by the circus and fairy tale characters. No doubt a memorable party followed in Neverland. And the big losers were: toys.

Isn´t that remarkable? We live in a time where children are absolutely overloaded with toys in any shape and colour, where they get toys on every possible occasion, where we live under the impression that, to make our child happy we have to give them something material, and to stimulate their development they need educational toys specifically devised to meet their needs at that specific age.

Of course every child pressed with his nose against the shopping window of the Disney store will dictate to you an exhaustive list of things he wants to have.

But if we give children a free choice, if we ask them what they really want, toys apparently are the last thing on their mind.

They want adventures.

They want stories.

And I know this wasn´t in the poll, but I bet their favourite storytellers are the people they love.

poll

Horizontal Parenting

15 Jun

What you need:

* one tired parent, in shorts and a tank top

* one bored child

* a set of face paint crayons

Procedure:

The parent hands the crayons to the child with the instructions to use the parent as canvas.

Then the parent lies down on the sofa, and the child starts colouring.

Note: you will have to wash the colouring off afterwards (or not?), but at least you can rest for a few minutes while keeping your child entertained with a creative and educational activity.

Religion

9 Jun

At my daughter´s Kindergarten, there´s one hour a week where the class is split up into two groups: those who take religion and those who take an ethics-class. Since my husband is a typical Spanish Catholic, we have our daughter signed up for religion. One of her best friends, Dani, takes ethics.

This is the conversation we had at the breakfast table this morning.

Daughter: “I don´t like religion.”

Me: “Why not?”

Daughter: “Because then Dani is not with me.”

And I thought: wow, what a grand lesson she has already learned.

Religion is no fun when it divides people.

Things I´ve Learned Along The Way

6 Jun
  1. We are vulnerable but resilient
  2. Adults don´t know what they´re doing either
  3. You have to take care of yourself
  4. We have to take care of each other
  5. Dualistic thinking is incompatible with understanding nature and therefore ourselves
  6. Your heart does a lot more than just pumping blood around
  7. Your body does a lot more than just carrying your brain around

and 8:

“Over time, she had painstakingly erased all womanly urges to question her shape, looks, role in life, or effect upon other people. She would watch, analyse and conform to codes as she observed them, without allowing them to affect or compromise her own identity.” (Helen Fielding, Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, p 12)

girls

(picture by Katerina Plotnikova)