6 months ago back in March 2020 just when lock down had started was when I officially started The Rooted Family. I created and published the blog and then I wrote a couple of posts and was unsure what I was doing next. I sat down one day pen and paper in hand closed my eyes, there was some time of silence where I just allowed my mind to relax completely. I held a thought in my mind. I wrote June - December on the page and imagined titles and themes coming to me that people needed support and guidance with in their lives.
When I started writing, the words just appeared to me as if by magic and there they were on the paper. I remember thinking at the time gosh what will I write about Slow Childhood when I looked at the words I had written. 6 months down the line the words are already waiting to be shared here. I didn't start writing content properly until the end of May/ June and I can't quite believe how much writing I have done and how many posts I have published I have already created in just less than a few months!
When I think about the Words " A Slow Childhood " this is what it is conjuring up for me....
Being able to wake up slowly and calmly and not in a rush to be anywhere in particular
Playing outside for long periods of time and having absolutely no need to have any concept or track of time, because no understanding of time is really present
To be able to meander and wander and just be and that being more than enough
Free to explore and play
Calm, connected and Rhythmic days
Space to grow and explore
Freely chosen, intrinsic play
Being able to spend time lying in the grass looking up at the sky and just day dreaming
Using imagination to create stories, or games or new ideas
Being bored, allowing quiet space where often the most creative ideas come from
Slow childhood makes me think of playing all day on the beach in the waves and the sand and picking up every shell and stone
Slow childhood makes me think of a peaceful childhood, one where you don't have to worry about the adult world
One where a child can grow at their own pace without too much interruption or intervention
One where children can follow their own instincts and curiosities in an environment that encourages this natural expression
Ultimately I believe that the early years of Childhood 0-7 absolutely "should" be slow
Not like a snail's pace of slow but a pace that is congruent for the child's true needs.
Plenty of space to play and plenty of time to explore.
Where adult concepts are not introduced until they really need to be, where they are able to fully be with themselves.
This really is the ideal for any young child.
It really has been through my own experiences of being a mother and each year my son grows I become closer to the understanding of why we must protect early childhood.
WE must protect all childhood ages. But in this particular post I am referring specifically to the early years.
Those first 7 years of life really are fundamental to the rest of the child's life.
It is where some of the most major developments take place.
WE are not perfect, and we won't get everything right. We won't create the perfect childhood.
We won't always feel our best and be our best. I believe it's goo for our children to see our imperfections, it helps them to understand that we are not aiming for perfection and it is what makes up human.
There's things I have learned over the last few years that I think, wow I wish I knew those things then.
The thing is as we know better we can do better. We grow and change and evolve as we learn.
As we do better it doesn't mean what we previously did doesn't make us a good parent either.
It's how we grow and learn and evolve and that it OK!
All of the choices I have made I have made through my understanding of child development, my own observations of my child, evidence based research and my intuition. But first came intuition. It was my intuition and willingness to grow that guided me to find the answers I was looking for. It was my observations that broadened my curiosity in asking "why" about the culture I live in and what is acceptable and what is not, and more importantly to question what is not being questioned.
All of these things led me to become more conscious in my understanding of what childhood really is and why we must protect this first special stage of life.
The early days and first few years led me to make choices based on the value I created "Learn about the world and what you are interested in" It was these early years of slow days that led me to a question of "Why can this not just continue?" and we began a journey of continuing and growing without opting into a system of School which went against our values of how children learn. You can read more here about family values
I would really like to encourage you to reflect on what A Slow Childhood means to you?
What questions do you want to challenge in your culture?
What do you want to learn and become more knowledgeable about?
Find out what they are and follow them.
It is only through our own reflections and observations that we can start to notice the cracks and the things that just don't feel quite right about what is happening to childhood.
It is only then that we can make changes that can impact our children for the better.