The forces of growth

The third law of childhood are the forces of growth, which remains of great importance for the first years of schooling. Rudolf Steiner calls them the life forces. He describes how the formative forces, at the beginning of human life, are completely occupied with the forming of the organism. Then, as the organs grow close to their final form, these forces are gradually freed up from this task and convert then into spirit-soul forces: memory, imagination, fantasy and the power of thought.

Burdened with pedantic knowledge, children are robbed of the formative forces necessary to develop and strengthen their growing bodies. This is the reason why most precocious children look pale and wan, while children who play imaginative games have a healthy complexion. They will learn soon enough to differentiate between round and square, small and large or between the fireman and the policeman.

The life forces have an evident effect in the shaping of the child’s organism, however, what and how exactly they work is invisible to the external eye. According with Steiner, their work is only revealed through “supersensible” methods of observation.

What is already present in young children grows with them as they mature. Children challenge our adult world to critical reflection. from their point of view, much could indeed be said about the quality of our outer lives and the richness of our inner lives.

The most important thing for the first seven  years of life is to stimulate the child’s creative imagination through play and meaningful activities.

Children demand humanity from us.

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