Book Review: Beyond the Rainbow Bridge


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Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing our children from birth to seven by Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley is a short and easy to read introduction to Waldorf parenting.  It is based on questions and answers that arose during a parent enrichment course led by Barbara Patterson, a “seasoned Waldorf teacher”.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“What may seem ‘normal’ or acceptable in society today is not necessarily what is ‘healthy’ for families and children”.

“When we provide supporting rhythms at home and school, we help our children connect in a stronger way with rhythms of nature.”

“We may not be able to complete our tasks with a child around, but how we do our work is more important than what we accomplish.”

“From birth onward, a young child is strongly affected by her parents and the other adults in her surroundings.  What those adults do in a child’s presence becomes part of her growth and development; if certain deeds are repeated regularly around the child, they become habit.  Instinctively, the child will imitate these grown-ups. A child at this stage imitates everything in much the same way that adults imitate someone they see yawning.”

The book gives a quick overview of the importance of a daily rhythm, the importance of play (including a brief discussion of dolls and toys appropriate for young children), the Twelve Senses (yes! there are more than just five!), a wonderful section on creative discipline (I love the magic word ‘may’ as in: You may pick up your toys now!), and a terrific list of resources including appropriate fairty tales for different ages and handwork instructions.

I would highly recommend this book to any parent of a young child who is interested in learning more about peaceful parenting techniques, not just those interested in Waldorf parenting and education.  It is definitely more of an introductory book than an in-depth study of rhythm, toy making, discipline and child development, but there is still a decent amount of information that parents of young children can put in to effect immediately.

 

About Kelley

Hi! I'm Kelley. Real foodie and crunchy mom to a teenager and a toddler. My husband and I live in Southern California.