Activities for Kids, Food and Nutrition, Life Creativity, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness, Weekly Metaphysical Readings

2nd January 2018 – Metaphysical Reading for The Real Food Tribe (Teaching Our Kids How To Eat Real Food)


Welcome to this week’s reading by Joanna Becker, author, blogger, and healer (communication with spirits) for the Real Food Tribe Blog. As you’re enjoying the first fresh days of the new year, and setting intentions and reflecting on what was great (and not so great) about the year passed, don’t forget to listen to your body and honour its very specific needs at the beginning of a new cycle.

The body’s seasons begin fresh every year: within your body’s internal biological clock, there is a re-birth occurring. So think of it like the beginning of Spring – a fresh time, waking up, setting intentions, spreading wings, tasting new things, trying new experiences with excitement and vigour, all while being aware that you are cared for, loved and safe and have a beautiful spiritual support system on call, anytime, within your own energetic field.

Let’s talk about which foods are best for your body at the time of year when you are waking from a tiring, effortful end of year, and ready to start a new chapter of your life time with improved happiness and success.

Cucumbers, are fresh and cooling, and light on the body to process. They are invigorating, and especially great for stimulating new thoughts and generating inspiration and enthusiasm.

Strawberries, a summer fruit, are a sweet treat that are enjoyed from frozen in smoothies or ice-crush drinks. They create a feeling of safety, love, nourishment and enjoyment in the life that it is now, presently.

Lettuce, a great food for summer, and great crisp energy for encouraging you to be light-footed, energetic and embracing new experiences. Easy to digest, nourishing with a good supply of water, easy on the tastebuds. This food is good for creating an energetic field of lightness, but also grounding, with structure and stability.

Sometimes during the early parts of this year you may feel like there is no way to improve on the situations you experienced last year. It is paramount that you monitor your language, that comes out of your mouth, and is passed through your brain in thoughts, and your heart in emotions, and improve on what you say. Thoughts are the key to your ultimate fulfilment. The sense of wonder that you will have in life, this year, will be generated from the words that you speak, think and feel. Words that will be especially helpful for you this year, in creating a safe and healthy home for yourself and your children, are:

  • “Let this food inspire us to be better versions of ourselves.”
  • “Especially now, I welcome this food into my body to nourish and enable healthful growth and support.”
  • “Yes, I am willing to improve my body’s health and am ready to try new foods.”
  • “Give me the strength, courage, discipline, and ambition to try what is ultimately good for me and can inspire my children to do what is good for them.”
  • “Thank you for the food I eat, the water I drink, the air I breathe, and nature I enjoy.”

It is of course helpful to print out phrases such as the above and include them on the dining table or breakfast bar, and involve the family in reading them aloud during meals.

Thank you for sharing a wonder-full 2017 with me and the Real Food Tribe Community.

You are loved more than you know! Be yourself, bless others and live your truth.

Let love be your compass.

© Copyright 2018. Joanna Becker is an Australian author, blogger and healer (communication with spirits) at The Real Food Tribe Blog website ( She has authored books on self-healing using internal dialogue with self and spirit, positive affirmations, meditation, and conscientious parenting. In 2018 Joanna Becker will be offering free channeled messages on the topic of nourishing the body with Real Food. In addition, you can join Joanna and her tribe in the private support page Real Food Tribe – Private Support on Facebook, click here to join:


Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

The most important house we will ever live in? Our body.

dustys wonder bug photo

A few years ago we discovered how important it is to take the extra time to learn why we need to eat fresh food that grows in front of our eyes. Since then, I’ve aimed to teach parents to teach their children that it’s simple to grow and eat real food and that it’s easy to decipher the difference between REAL FOOD and FOOD-LIKE PRODUCTS (or FAKE FOODS) – and to even turn this deciphering into a fun game with children.

Like many parents of today, in my childhood and early adult years I experienced a very common detachment from the food-growing process. Sure, I played a part in a home vegetable garden, egg collecting and mulberry picking. Like many young adults, I was taught to buy food from the supermarket… the fancy packaging and cheaper prices equaled better buys.

And then, a few short years into our own parenting journey, our smothered-with-love 6yo Rhodesian Ridgeback died suddenly from poisoning in the blood, ‘perhaps cancer’, where her liver and kidneys failed and she collapsed before our eyes. We opened our eyes. I then discovered through my own research and enquiry that what we put into and onto our bodies MAKES A DIFFERENCE. My research moved past the ideal dog’s diet (which I learned is NOT dog biscuits!) and what I would always do to ensure optimal health in my pets, to the food I was putting into my own body and my children’s bodies. Through tears of sadness, I became very grateful for the message our beautiful dog had sent us.

I learned about the problems with pre-prepared foods that had traveled thousands of klm’s and had been packaged with additives, or had been treated with heat and refined so heavily that all the nutritious content was gone – and some of the ingredients had even turned toxic! Common foods that we ate very day – starting with cooking oils, through to table spreads, to sauces, to milks, and meats. I threw out many items in my pantry without a care to the cost. That food no longer had a place in our life.

I also learned about the problem with our society’s over-consumption of, and addiction to, the processed commodity of sugar. I studied and reported on my experience overcoming sugar-addiction, and the results within our family in advancing on to real sweet foods (aka, fruit) that have amazing benefits – for our body’s health as well as our mental health.

I realised that over my life, I had been apart of the complete and devastating unawareness of our body’s true design (with many influential people in society – teachers, doctors, specialists, parents), and as a result I had supported other people in believing that our bodies could tolerate eating ANYTHING.

In so many ways, our society still supports us in eating recklessly. For many, it doesn’t matter what goes in the body so long as the stomach ends up full and our craving for ‘sweet’ or ‘salty’ is satisfied. If it’s on the shelf at the shops, it must be alright, right? (And for shop-keepers: if the customer wants it, it must be supplied).

While enormous progress is being made, our society still generally believes that healthy food is gourmet and expensive. That cheaper, colourful food made with sugar and paint is a ‘special treat’. That hunger-satisfaction comes out of packets. That cakes, chips and biscuits are more fun and tasty than fruit and vegetables and are OK to have as ‘sometimes foods’ for special occasions (and for a bribe). How many people haven’t realised that the word JUNK FOOD or TRASH was created for these fake-foods because they are quite literally not food and would be better put INTO THE BIN? It took me almost 30 years to finally understand the meaning of JUNK FOOD.

What we want now is a society that teaches our children that our bodies are not rubbish bins! Our bodies are the most important houses we will ever live in. Our bodies are the only house that will ever matter.

From a parent’s perspective, I’ve learned, and I continue to study, that our bodies are designed to eat fresh natural foods to function optimally for a positive, happy and enjoyable life – fruit and vegetables, honey, sea vegetables, etc. I’ve learned clever ways to increase our children’s passion for eating healthy real foods and for teaching them to say “NO” to fake food because we care about US.

And now, I’m so thrilled to share that I have published a colourful, quality Australian-produced children’s book to help parents communicate to children that Real food is Wonder-Full.

I have so passionately written this book. I have never felt more passionate about anything in my life. Every word was carefully written, re-written, pondered over, to pass on to our most loved, treasured gifts, our children, that the environment LOVES THEM and PROVIDES THEM the food their body is DESIGNED TO EAT.

This illustrated Children’s Story, which is all about the magic of real treats growing in our very own garden, imparts a message of ‘giving thanks for our food’ to instil positive thoughts and beliefs in our children. It takes our children on an adventure to see the magic and wonder of real food growing. It teaches them that we need to care for our environment and appreciate the process, as it is what will support us in our long and happy lives.

Dusty’s Wonder Bug is a 40-page illustrated large-format book in print, with an audio CD in the back cover that features me reading the story and playing the piano. The audio CD runs for 15 minutes and is a peaceful rest-time melody, which often puts my children to sleep as we drive in the car or cuddle in bed, letting them dream a little with the story-line about discovering food growing in nature.

When it came to the printing of this book, my husband and I decided to bypass printing off-shore in China with a cheaper rate, and instead support local workers and receive an exceptional Australian-first-class product. The biggest concern for me was the process of producing the book and ensuring the paper was sourced using Australian forestry-approved standards. We ensured that we had the Australian Forestry Approved guarantee. Rather than outsource the task of illustrating to cheap and competitive websites off-shore, I proudly recruited an Australian friend and former colleague for the best-quality illustrations I could get. Bryn Rayfield, as you will see in this book, has created sensational pictures that are being adored, right now, by a collection of children who already have their copy. Bryn Rayfield has made this wonder-full dream a reality and I will be grateful to him forever.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

Honesty and lessons in humility through parenting

img_4717‘It’s ok, mum. You’re learning. So am I.’  – My Little One, 4 years old.

I tell my little boy that I’m learning how to be the most beautiful happy version of me, in the same way that he is learning how to be his best, most beautiful version of himself, and that we are both learning how to be caring, kind and helpful to one another. ‘We are both learning how to live happily with each other,’ I say.

Like most other people I know, as a child I was taught to do everything adults told me without question. Not only did this teach me to become the adult that must always be right, but I lived years of insecurity, compromised self-identity and self-confidence. I learned that by doing what an adult told me and repeating what an adult taught me, or by copying the behavior of the respected adults around me, I was good, acceptable, loveable and worthy. Weren’t we all?

Adults rarely admit they have made a mistake. That would jeopardize their authority status.

I’ve never been comfortable with an authority role in my own parent-child relationship. I have chosen to live truthfully. The truth is: I have never experienced any particular moment before. My moments aren’t any more special, or superior, than my children’s moments. Every moment is unique and wonderful and is an experience that can’t be repeated exactly. I am grateful for every single moment. I am a learning parent, and I will be for every future moment.

To act like I’m not learning, and to think I’m unable to change my position on a parenting issue, is contrary to nature. We are all learning every day, and we are all the scientists of our own lives. We are here to explore, learn, experience and reach full empowerment, and to (bit-by-bit) discover how to live the happiest, most fulfilling life that we can possibly create with our very own power.

So to act like I am always right and that my children must do as I say … without ever thinking I was ever learning myself … flies in the face of living the truth. I am learning every day, along with my children.

It made me smile when my son said to me last week that he knows everything. When I replied that he has lots to learn, he said, ‘well, YOU know everything. You can teach me everything.’ I questioned him on that, too! To my baffled little boy, I explained that I’m learning along with him, and the whole fun in living life is to keep on learning, and that some philosophers have said that ‘when we stop learning, we die.’ His reply to me was, ‘yup. I already knew that.’ Bless!

One of our favourite tv series to watch together is Dinotopia, and a scene I personally love is where the people ride on the back of the Brachiosaurus as a mode of transport. When a leading character says that, actually the dinosaurs deserve no better than to be ordered around by the humans, he is corrected by the future Matriarch. She says, ‘on the contrary, humans can learn a lot from the dinosaurs – for example, we can learn humility‘. Putting aside our own pride, status, priorities, personal intentions and our own personal need to succeed, to help another travel their own personal path, no matter how self-deprecating it is, is true humility. And I feel it is something we are not generally taught to do in our modern society.

Instead many of us have been taught (and continue to be taught by each other, not at all deliberately but perhaps a tiny bit naively), to be defensive, ‘right’, critical of each other, labeling, unapologetic, power-seeking and proud. In typical daily life, we can be intolerant of each other, impatient, and we can really lack sensitivity and empathy in our daily quest to be ‘human doings’. Do, do and do some more, don’t let another person’s emotional needs slow us down, and give praise to ourselves time and time again for how much we accomplish by doing, doing, and doing some more. Feel eeeky? For me I feel stirred on the inside just reading this last paragraph – and yet it is the context of life for many people isn’t it.

Now I’ll tell a story of my own humility in the hope of sharing a lesson I learned. Once, when  my son started reflecting on a few incidents that had hurt him, and started crying while thinking about it, I immediately sighed and thought,’why does he do this? Why does he bring up things from the past and make himself cry?’ It was mood-dampening and I didn’t feel like having a teary conversation, seeing we were having a good day and on our way to the park to have more fun with friends. Thoughts ran through my head like, ‘he has such highs and lows, when he is high he is bursting with excitement and physically jiggles and wiggles, and then he has lows where he cries, maybe I should be worried, maybe he is wrong to do that, maybe I’m over evaluating, but maybe a health specialist would call it bipolar or anxiety or something…’ All the while I was admiring him for his honesty and in awe of his childhood innocence and expressiveness. Such conflicting feelings in a 10-minute space in time!

I urged him to cheer up and stop making himself sad thinking about it. He kept sobbing. Eventually I got cross and told him to cheer up. ‘Stop thinking about things that make you sad!’ I ordered. It was then, because he quickly went quiet and meekly said, ‘ok mummy’, that I realised my massive mistake.

Now I knew myself at this time. I was always thinking and reflecting on what happened to me yesterday, ten minutes ago, one year ago, twenty years ago, as a way to build my senses for what I like and don’t like in this world. I revisited events in my imagination and validated my feelings on the experience, and came to conclusions about how I’d deal with similar situations in future. We all do. As an adult I learned to do this in my mind or in civil conversations with others – and to control child-like expressive emotions like crying out loud – but I definitely do exactly the same thing in the ‘grown up way’. And yet I ordered my son to stop because as a parent, it was frustrating to not be able to control his mood.

It is very normal that when a child reaches age 4, and can communicate freely, that he starts to repeat what he has heard, seen, experienced, to validate what has happened and to learn (and validate his intuition) on whether it’s good or bad.

I felt uneasy with the way I had shut him down. I had just taught him to suppress his emotions, to ignore his need to validate the world and his place in it. I had taught him to follow my orders, and I had missed an opportunity to teach him that he is, actually, safe in his world. It was quiet in the car, but I pepped up. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said, with a quivery voice. I noticed how hard it can be to say sorry to a small child who depended on me being right. ‘It was wrong of me to tell you to stop feeling sad. You are entitled to feel sad, to talk and to cry. I’m here for you, and I’m listening.’ (This is, in fact, what I wish I had heard many times in my life – and this is how I would like to be spoken to now when I’m unsure if my feelings.) ‘I’m learning too,’ I said.

He was so grateful. He finished explaining what had upset him, I validated his experience and repeated his feelings back to him, and he cheered up.

And the lesson for both of us was that it’s ok to say ‘I’m learning, too,’ and to be honest, humble, even humiliated, because sometimes it’s the way to better connection, happiness, and love.

We are taught to say we are learning in schools, however schools focus on the left side (intellectual) side of the brain. We are taught less – if at all – to openly say we are learning emotionally… and to allow ourselves to study, test, review and develop concepts relating to our creativity, intuition, energetic connections, and heart-based thinking. This is why I am now passionately writing material for my books, specifically for increasing vibrational energies, and for claiming your power in your life. Stay tuned and please visit my pages often.

“When you are in power of your life, you  have no need to seek order and control over another’s life. Simple enjoyment and fulfillment is all that you seek.”  (Joanna Becker)

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.


Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

Steiner, Montessori and Your Child

Montessori_educationI’m certainly not an expert when it comes to describing methods of teaching various education philosophies. But it’s an area that interests me and I’m learning quickly … so many people are asking me what the difference is between Montessori and Steiner. If you don’t know anything and are looking for a basic parent’s-view explanation, this blog is for you.

I’ll start by saying that Montessori seems to be quite serious in focus, in comparison to Steiner’s Waldorf (if you hear of Waldorf, it is the education philosophy and technique taught by Rudolf Steiner). Steiner is for the whole child with an emphasis on earth and imagination, where Montessori is for little minds who want to be empowered – to learn and develop useful skills, and even mimic adult activities in a smaller setting.

Montessori and Steiner have their similarities in that they are both child-led, individualised, gentle experiences. They both encourage natural learning and are perfect for Natural Learners.

Rudolf Steiner believed that children can be left to be children, up until the age of 7. He encouraged that they be free to use their imagination and make-believe, play, explore physically, emotionally and spiritually, and most of all, creatively. His schooling program involved rhythm and routine, group activities in 20-30 minute blocks, singing and gentle movements, ceremonies, celebrations of the seasons, and gross-motor and creative (hand making) activities and interactions with the real world, i.e., earth and its creations.

Embracing that the foundations for reading and learning begin with listening and interacting in everyday life, Steiner schools don’t introduce formal curriculum for learning to read and write until age seven. This is on the premise that learning to read and write on paper will distract the child from developing their gross motor skills fully, and will also affect their development emotionally, spiritually and creatively, which are the most essential skills to develop before age 7. At age 7, some Steiner schools have a concentrated 6-week literacy program that children respond exceptionally well, and usually the children can read/write even better than their non-Steiner peers. This is because they have developed so completely in all other areas, that the words, sounds and visual characters, and ability to write and draw, comes easily and naturally.

Maria Montessori developed her schooling system for children who had difficulties learning in a large group, and found that most young minds were yearning to learn and be challenged. She felt that children must learn for the sake of ‘now’ and for fully exploring and enjoying the present day – not learning for the sake of the future and what is next to come (I love this aspect).

Montessori schools focus on taking advantage of the child’s early years because the mind learns so readily and productively in this time. By allowing the child to work at their own height with materials created for their special little size, we can stimulate their current psychological and physiological abilities, and the child can easily learn and grow and advance to more difficult challenges – when they are interested and ready to advance.

I personally found that my son started to need the challenges that Montessori presented at age 3. Without the focus, individualised activities and the challenging tasks, he resorts to hyperactivity and detachment from his environment, and he started to use his energy in other obstructive ways, such as jumping on furniture and snatching from me to get attention.

But I only give him the Montessori experience 1-2 days per week for small periods – that is, as long as he is clear in focus and is interested. I feel it is extremely important to put imagination, creativity, music, candle-type ceremonies, bread-making, nature-walks, crafts, outside play and story-times, with my company, guidance and friendship, first. So Steiner influences 70% of our week – Montessori the remaining 30%.

I hope this has helped you! For those who know more than I do (I’m sure there are thousands of practised Steiner and Montessori parents around Australia) please give me feedback on how you have liked Steiner and Montessori and what you have loved most.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

Natural Learning – how I define it


My little boy is three-and-a-half. He is the sunshine of my day and the most important little heart in my world. Nothing comes easily when it comes to making decisions on his behalf about his well-being. The most important decision I’ve ever considered though is how I prepare him for life… but…

I let him be a child.

Children are naturally inquisitive from the moment they are born, and most experts and parents agree that the young child learns the most in their earliest years. These are also the years they are emotionally most fragile and are learning how they fit in within their family, their environment, and their life. They are learning how to use their body, how to communicate with their verbal and non-verbal body language, how to express their emotions using their face and words and body, and how to express their personality. They are creating beliefs about their world and themselves. Because of this, they need more love than any other human being. More understanding, more patience, more devotion, and more tenderness.

I enrolled my son in kindergarten recently so he can get just one little day to play and learn next to other children his age, and enjoy everything that is great about being three. He has loved so many aspects of the Montessori pre-school method, such as working at little tables with activities that challenge his little hands to coordinate with his eyes and mind. My heart swells to see the look on his face after he completes a puzzle, when he started off so nervously. He is so proud. And he is ready for another challenge, and eagerly looks around at what his friends are doing to see if he can have a turn playing and learning another one.

From the research I have done, this is what Montessori is all about.

It’s about individualised pacing and allocating of activities to children that suit their emotional needs and mental capabilities.

It’s about letting a child master a skill and feel confident, and letting them naturally seek the more difficult challenge in their own time when they are ready to learn.

It’s about putting them in an environment that lets them enjoy the natural challenges of their age for the pure joy of it, NOT because it is a pre-requisite to learning something harder later.

I love that my son can explore his real environment, tailor fit to suit his size and abilities, in his own good time. I want him to be taught to use his imagination because this is what he loves RIGHT NOW. I want him to be told stories. I want to him to feel and express WONDER. I want him to look-around at his friend’s faces and see that they, too, are feeling and expressing WONDER. I want him to understand why the challenge he just completed is so important for his life right now. I want him to feel like he has achieved something WONDERFUL just by being himself, picking and choosing the challenges he is comfortable with, showing how much it interests him, and shining when he has completed his challenge because he was ready to learn and has won within himself.

I have a mentor who is a Waldorf-style home-schooling parent. She wrote once that the curriculum for a young child is absolutely laying a foundation. This is done through:

  • Warmth
  • Security
  • Unrushed time
  • Love
  • Cuddling and Snuggling
  • Singing, fingerplays and toe plays
  • Playing, especially in natural environments where they can get dirty!
  • Real work and helping you do real things
  • Experiences that nurture and protect the senses
  • If they are 5 or 6 years old, artistic experiences
  • Physical play and mobility – riding a bike, running, climbing, balancing,

And in my opinion, this list is in order of priority.

First: Warmth.

Second: Security.

Third: Unrushed Time.

Unrushed Time.

Child-development experts agree that children learn best when they are permitted to explore and challenge themselves when they are ready. In their own time. When their care-giver notices that they have found something interesting, they are wise to stop and share the joy of discovery (or step away to give the child uninterrupted time to explore) until they have fulfilled their hunger for learning and are ready to move on. Even if it means the child moves away from ‘the herd’ for a few moments.

From the moment babies realise they can move their hands, we surround them with age-suitable props and environments to help them discover what they can do with their body and their new-found capabilities in a time that suits them. When babies learn to crawl and walk, we let them stop on the pavement to explore leaves and ants, in their own time. When they are learning to talk, we know it works best to set a good example and assist them in finding and pronouncing words when they find a need to use the word.

Seeing an immediate reward that is usable in today’s life is what learning is all about.

What children are taught to learn NOW must be usable and relevant to their present life.

  • My son learns how to wash his hands, because he needs this skill to be able to survive now in his environment. He can get his hands dirty and germy all by himself these days, so this skill is relevant.
  • My son learns how to select and eat fresh fruit, because he needs this food to fuel his play-time. He wants to play and use energy, so this skill is relevant.
  • My son learns how to paint and draw creatively and without rules and guidelines, because he needs creativity now to see what he is capable of producing for himself to feel wonder and satisfaction. He loves colour, crafting with his hands and seeing his completed work up on the wall now, so this skill is relevant.
  • My son learns how to speak to me and communicate, with his whole body and range of emotions, because he needs me to understand what is important to him. He wants to get along with me, to feel secure, and to feel understood, so this skill is relevant.
  • My son learns how to sing the alphabet because he likes the tune and quirky riddle, and he can sing with his friends for fun. It brings a smile to his face and it’s a playtime activity we can all enjoy together today, so it is relevant.
  • My son learns how to tidy his toys and clean up spills because he knows that a clean workspace gives him room to play and build. He wants to feel like he is helping and he likes his belongings to stay in good working condition, so it is relevant.
  • My son learns how to sew with a needle and cotton, to cut paper and trim flowers with scissors, to make paper, to climb ladders, to build sand-castles and towers, to clean with a cloth and spray, to break-open eggs, and to feed the pets, because he enjoys using his hands, body and mind. He can see an immediate reward and can reach a new level of interest that he has his heart set on, so it’s relevant.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce, photo of girls playing by Nir Nussbaum, some rights reserved.

Parenting Ideas

Play-along parents supporting natural development

My 15 week old is beside himself, screaming and choking in hysteria: he loathes the car. We have just visited the local library; this is just my 3rd trip out of the house in as many weeks to try to spare my young baby the agony of car-travel. My three-year-old darling son (DS) is sitting in quiet shock next to his screaming baby brother. These days car trips are equally stressful for all of us.

We now arrive back at home and I pull in front of the electric gates. Thank God we have arrived. I reach for the gate remote control – it’s missing.

I turn to my DS and quietly ask him, ‘Do you know where the gate buzzer is?’
I remember he was playing with it before we left the library car park. His eyes are wide open as he shakes his head at me. I quickly run over in my mind how easily I can unload the kids and car from the street and jump the gate to get inside. But DS speaks again.
‘You can use my phone, if you like.’
I sigh with relief. Baby boy is still screaming, but I smile at DS and reply.
‘Thank you darling. I’d love to use your phone’.
And he reaches into his back pocket and pulls out the remote and passes it to me.

There’s one phrase we use a lot in our home, and it’s “Play along”.

My DS is a very imaginative child, maybe more than some of his friends but not unlike many other three-year-olds, I’m sure. We play along with his stories, characters and imaginings not because he is highly imaginative by personality, but because he is living in his age-relative world and I do not want him to step out if it earlier than he is ready.

Steiner Methods:
You may have heard of Steiner schools. Rudolf Steiner (1864 – 1925) whose philosophies have greatly influenced the way we live today, developed an education system that nurtures and enlivens children within their natural developmental stages. Steiner Educators believe that children should not be rushed into adult consciousness but allowed to savour their childhood. To quote the Steiner child care provider Fingerprints:

“During the first seven years children are physically forming and live very much in their imagination. This great capacity to enter into imaginative pictures is a good place to begin the process of learning. Steiner teachings strive to support the development of well-rounded human beings who are able to feel deeply and broadly, think penetratingly and clearly, and then to act rightly out of conscious and free choice.”

This philosophy used at home is a great tool. I find that joining in with DS’s stories and playing along, we both learn. By using imaginary characters and voices, I learn why he’s afraid to sleep alone in the dark. He learns all about volcanos, space and fire during daily conversations with ‘the sun’. We both learn how to choose healthy food at the supermarket by pretending to be grocer and customer.

For most of the day that is spent with parents, young children are subject to living in an adult world and are surrounded by adult responsibility. I believe we sometimes forget to look at the world from a child’s perspective.

Montessori Methods:
You may have heard of Montessori schools. Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952), whose research, findings and recommendations has changed the lives of parents and children for over 100 years, presented a very simple idea that can be effectively applied to all children:

When children are placed in an environment that is set-up with activities designed to support their natural development, children have the power to educate themselves.

Montessori schools are subsequently set up to provide child-size resources so rather than live in an adult world, they can explore a world that is within their level of understanding and physical reach.

A Montessori kindergarten teacher loaned me her book on Montessori style activities two years ago and although I can’t remember the name of the book, I remember this piece of advice:

Rather than help a a child develop skills that are needed for performing a future task, teach them what they need to know and skills appropriate for now. When they get to later, they will easily learn what they need to know, using their previous education as a foundation.

An example is maths. Rather than teach children to recite one to twenty as a foundation for the mathematics they will learn later in primary school, teach them what they need to know now for applying to their current life and way of living – such as counting the vegetables on their plate, or ‘twenty more swings until we hop off and go inside’. Another example is art: rather than teach them how to draw circles and figures that will be the foundation for adding more complex artwork later, teach them to express themselves creatively using their own ideas and imagination – such as by mixing colours and using different tools, textures and strokes, and likening their artwork to objects they are familiar with in their daily life.

Our Parenting Idea:

If we need DS to help us, or we need him to answer a question, we observe what he is doing first. Rather than demand he leave ‘his zone’ and join ours, we tailor our request to meet him on his level. For example, we explained to DS via a conversation with his toy car that it hurt when the car drove on our arms, and we asked the car politely, ‘could you drive on the ground like a real car?’ Doing this, we had a great response from both the car and DS.

We regularly praise DS and show we are proud of what he can do, to help him live happy and self-sufficient life NOW. We realize that he can’t understand that we are dreaming that he will one day be able to do more.

A parent with a strong focus on the child’s future abilities might result in the child always striving for a future perfection and not believing they are enough now.

Think of how often your child asks you a question on why they need to do something, and your reply talks about the future: ‘Because one day you will be …’ It may be more helpful to explain how the current activity helps them right now, and help them fully develop the skill for how it relates to their present life. Explain and assist them to believe with you that they are behaving perfectly, for right now. Because… all we really have is now.

You may be wondering the end of our remote control story?

After using DS’s ‘telephone’ to open the gate, I returned it to him and thanked him. When we had all hopped out of the car, he walked around the yard holding it to his ear, pretending to chat to his friend about his trip to the library. When the pretend conversation ended he updated me on his friend’s day. Then passed me the phone – now a remote again – and agreed that it should go back into the car. And he thanked me for letting him play with it.

Further reading on Montessori and child-led education:
The importance of mixed age grouping in Montessori

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Joanna Becker is a professional writer for ideas and products that will motivate, inspire and change lives in a profound way. For more information on natural opportunities and ways to change your parenting experience, or to promote your healthy idea or product, visit

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