As my littlest approaches nine, wonderful and great changes are staring to show. He is moving out of dreamy early childhood and into a more conscious state, where he is starting to recognize that he is different from the people and things around him. He is becoming aware of himself as an individual, separate from the world. Until now, he has been wonderfully part of everything… he and everything else have been one. Now, as nine approaches, he is entering a curious and inquisitive phase where his sense-of-self is developing.
This can be a tumultuous time for children, parents and families.
This paragraph from The Parenting Passageway describes it perfectly, “Children at this age often have a quiet, not verbalized, “inner crisis” where they begin to have questions about themselves and their purpose in the world, about whether or not rules are really justified, whether or not adults really do know everything, and whether or not adults believe in something higher than themselves and how is this expressed.”
As Waldorf inspired parents, it is a relief to be able to understand the changes that are taking part in our nine-year old’s psyche. And there are many ways for us to help them transition through this phase in a positive and happy way.
Here are some of my favorite articles to hep understand the Nine Year Change :
Being Nine Years Old – Waldorf Publications
Parenting The Nine Year Old – by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
The Nine-Year-Old – by Carrie Dendtler
Paradise Lost – by Thomas Poplawski
The Fall From Grace – by Catie Johnson
The Nine Year Change – by Renee Owen
As always, helping our children though their challenges in a quiet, calm and compassionate way and letting them know that they are not alone is important to give them the confidence that they will need to lean on though this difficult time in their development.
Be a lighthouse that they can always see but let them feel the prickly discomfort of their own developing self. Don’t try to fix this. Let them struggle though this uncomfortable awakening as you hold the space around them with love and truth.
They will come though it beautiful and strong and whole.
“Awakening to the world and a new sense of self brings with it a new need: to understand the real world of everyday life, while at the same time long for intimations of something beyond ordinary life. As parents and teachers, our task is to become loving authorities for the growing child, sharing both a true picture of the world and a sense of our own inner striving.” – Rahima Baldwin Dancy
If you would like to read an article on a specific topic, please let me know in the comments below. If you would like to submit an article for Discovering Waldorf Education, please get in touch with me through the contact form… I’m always looking for new Waldorf content.
Blessings and magic,