An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Lessons from snakes and ladders

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I knew about peppa pig – but who or what are octonaughts? I decided to investigate at a toy shop and surprise my daughter with a toy when she would get back from school. As I looked around the educational games section, I thought, snakes & ladders would be a fun engaging game to play before I introduce her to chess. So, today we played snakes and ladders – I got much more than I had bargained for. My father once said life is like a game of snakes and ladders – one unlucky move and you end up on square one again’, The lesson I learned from my daughter was a bit different. Round one: I was explaining the rules to her. Round two: she kept making mistakes and I kept correcting them. Round three: I thought I’ll let her learn in her own time and kept silent. Round 4: I had an epiphany: Why insist on her following rules, let her play to her own rules- it’s only a game!. I found we both started enjoying the game much more – one board space two sets of rules. It didnt make much sense as far as the game went but it showed me that I was playing as an adult with my ideas about how the game is supposed to be played. She lives in an entirely different inner world to mine; there isnt right or wrong other than what’s taught to her.  I asked myself – can I enter her world and meet her there? Rumi did.

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language
– even the phrase “each other” –
do not make any sense.

Mevlana Jalaludin Rumi

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  1. Excellent inroads into the workings of relationships. This takes me to those beautiful days when i played cricket with my sons. We got rid of the boring rules. Leg before wicket was eliminated. Catches counted even if the ball bounced off any object. A batsman was sometimes given three chances when he was bowled out. Everyone was happy. We threw all the other boring rules out. This allowed us on the broad level to create our own world. Very often we impose our structured and sometimes polluted thought patterns onto those fertile young minds. We expect them to be like us. But in reality they are unique and they should be given their space to develop. Kahlil Gibran summarises this thus:
    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    (The prophet..Kahlil Gibran)

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