Time comes to us as a straight line, from past to future, along which life progresses, evolves, becomes more refined as we go. There’s little in this now that is as wondrous or developed as its future iteration.
That seems to be a fair rendering of time as we understand it in the west. And whether or not you or I subscribe to this idea of linear progress, it finds its way into our homes and relationships, and into our parenting too of course.
Our personal views do little to shelter us, or our children, against the prevailing, bustling, winds of progress. The little one’s feel its chill creep through the cracks, wafting the candle’s flame.
How does the demand for progress show up in our parenting? As impatience when we growl rhethorically ‘how many times do I have to tell you to make your bed’? As an expectation that they are not ready, or ever willing, to fulfill. As comparison with peers who seem more advanced, or skilled, or gifted.
If we bend the line of progress into a circle, a shape more ancestrally familiar to it, some of our grievances and stresses might roll away.
Repetition becomes a welcome return to emphasizing the values or behaviors that we hold dear.
We find greater and unexpected delight as our child develops in ways we could never have imagined.
We learn to celebrate the unique ways our child expresses his or her gifts at a time that comes naturally.
Time as a circle, not a line, and the strain of progress falls some from our children’s shoulders, and ours.