The Blessings of Childhood, Part 1 – Generosity

Waldorf Parenting

Melissa McGroartyMay 25, 2020

postcard red riding hood

A child is full of a generous heart. They long to share, and do share freely, no matter if you are their parent, friend or a stranger at the bus stop. Children are “noble-minded” and abundant, their love and friendship knows no boundaries.

The adult world of hurts and anger and dislike and fear and loathing, have yet to break the spirit of the child. The child can mend broken hearts and bruised egos just by being open and non judgmental. They live to love, to cuddle, and spend time by your side. A child’s desire to laugh and play and run and swoop and swing and dodge and eat and cook and dance is matched only by their need and want for you to join them in the fun! They cannot understand our need to work, or clean or make phone calls. They know life is more than that, and desire to share this wondrous life of exploration and adventure with those who have seemingly lost their way. Most of us could pay more attention to their generous nature and heed their gifts!

Not only are children generous of their time and spirit, they too are generous with their curiosity. Never again do we see a fountain of desire sprout so highly in wanting to know every single little thing about the world. They want to know why the sky is blue, why the man over there has only one leg, why caterpillars and worms undulate like waves and the name of every single kind of truck. My son knows no bounds when it comes to sharing picture books or hearing me sing him songs. A child’s energy and will for living a ‘big life’ is unstoppable.

And if we are too busy and cannot answer them, or, purposefully leave a whisper of a breath before answering, their generous nature serves them once again. They make up their own answers! Little ones, so close to the angelic realm from whence they came, hold tight to the golden cable of imagination and creativity and Do Not Let Go. They swing from the cables, and delight in any and every possibility of thought and art. And it is here, in this moment, if we take time to heed their words, that we may be generously gifted with a golden drop of “truth”. Truth is a rare, yet wonderful, gift to treasure for life and children generously share.

So our goal as parents could be to preserve this generous heart. We can heed their natural gifts of childhood by striving to be more like them in nature. When we live by their rule of generosity, we become role models worthy of their imitation, and thus, living a generous life remains natural and normal. (What a wonderful paradox! This idea that by trying to be more like them, we actually help them to be the best they can be, full of beauty and goodness and generosity towards others. ) Our personal quest calls us to leave our preconceived ideas and hurts and endeavor to regain trust in the goodness of people, to know that things will work out for the best, to believe in our own abilities, to see the world of possibility and to recognise the abundant gifts in nature. If we were somehow able to reclaim our childhood generosity and bring it back as adults, just imagine the world we would be creating.

Guest Writer

Amber Greene

Amber Greene is a Steiner Kindergarten teacher and wrote a series of articles entitled “The Blessings of Childhood” for Honeybee Toys in 2010.  This is a part of that series.  Illustration by Marjan Van Zeyl, Illustrator of Waldorf picture books and postcards (available in store).


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