***Many thanks to Dr Mary Sheedy Kurcinka for being our guest***
Mary talks with Paul about spirited children, the importance of sleep, and what you can do to ease and prevent tension during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mary is an experienced parenting educator and the author of: Raising Your Spirited Child; Sleepless in America; Kids, Parents and Power Struggles; The Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook; and, the upcoming Raising Your Spirited Baby.
Mary's uniquely sensitive approach to children is widely recommended by experts who follow gentle and conscious parenting. Her works mark important developments in parenting culture and in the adoption of techniques that improve emotional awareness and what is sometimes called EQ. It was lovely to hear her talk about her tried-and-true, not to mention powerful, strategies for achieving happy family life.
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Who are we?
We are a bilingual family living in Australia, following secular homeschooling curricula.
I'm an archaeologist and I'm currently homeschooling full-time. My husband Paul is a moral philosopher (PhD). We have two kiddos – a little boy and a little girl.
Mindfulness and minimalism are central themes in our home and in our personal lives.
Our approach to parenting:
At base, we use a hybrid-style that incorporates principles from both the Montessori and Waldorf schools of thought. Invitation-to-play is an important part of this, as are hands-on activities and lots of time in free play. We don’t use drill and kill methods for teaching. Our strategy involves watching for which activities or subjects draw our children’s focus and then working to cultivate those interests further—a child-led approach.
We also believe that a child's self-esteem and their ability to be kind to others are infinitely more valuable than any one skill or set of skills, which is why mindfulness takes centre-stage in our home. So, although we place importance on academic skills, they are not at all our primary concern (and it's not our intention to promote competitiveness among parents or children).
An uncluttered space is necessary for effective focus. So, minimalism is key in our approach and part of that is a screen-free environment.
In their first and second 1000 days, children have the unique opportunity to learn exponentially faster than they will for the rest of their lives. We were inspired when we first learned this. We can't waste this enhanced ability to learn skills and, importantly, to build on them in the initial phase of life and beyond. So we've invested in our children's early education and in giving them the affection and time that they need and want for their thriving. Join us as we review the books we've acquired, the unit studies we've created, and in discussing the developmental toys and resources we use and our views on what we find to be some of the trickier topics in parenting. We'd love to have your company, and we'd love to hear what you think or any questions you may have as we move forward in our CuddlePot Bootcamp.