Post 357: Equilibrium and Dis-equilibrium

I keep coming back to this page, not having a clear concise parenting moment to capture. Perhaps that is indicative of the way things are around here these days.
I think being a seven year old Luke is very intense. There has been an out pouring of feelings and the ferocity he undertakes most all endeavors is impressive.

I have to remind myself of this odd, yet totally true battle of equilibrium against disequilibrium.

The Gessell Institue has studied child development for literally 100 years. One of the many cycles they observed are the Childs developmental stages alternating in and out of whack. Called the stages of equilibrium and dis-equilibrium.

Well, I think it is safe to say the Luke is in a stage of dis-equilibrium, and it is really helpful to know that.

self portrait

Its not about being negative or brooding, more about being frustrated and filled with energy that is not yet found a path. One of the symptoms (not the right word) of dis-equilibrium is that it comes right before an outpouring of pure development, that there is all this growth energy that has not yet been directed.

What I have been seeing in Luke is an intensity and a short attention span.

As a parent it can be quite confusing. Because it feels like one moment everything is in sync and relatively calm and focused and the next it is chaotic and sharp and kind of icky. Boy can it get icky.

We all love the calm, nurturing moments and it makes for such a better easier day, but life is not that simple, so it is important to remind myself that this too shall pass. That is why I am here, to be available and thoughtful and understanding of my families needs.

Under many circumstances I would rely on caloric intake to help fix this imbalance, my experience has been that 90% of the dis-equilibrium in my family (including myself) comes from lack of proper food intake. But in Luke’s case, right now, it is not always that simple. He is just bursting with life force.


I tend not to whip out my camera at the times of dis-equilibrium, so I will not even venture to display that.

I am also sporadically reading a series of lectures by Rudolf Steiner entitled The Kingdom of Childhood. Steiner is the brain behind Waldorf Education. It can be a bit awkward because of the somewhat odd dated writing style, but the message sings to me.

“The child is curious, but not with an intellectual curiosity for as yet it has no reasoning powers; and anyone who appeals to the intellect of a child of seven is quite on the wrong lines; but it has fantasy and this it is with which we must deal. It is really a question of developing the concept of a kind of “milk of the soul” For you see, after birth the child must be given bodily milk. This constitutes its food and every other necessary substance is contained in the milk that the child consumes. And when he comes to school at the age of the changing of the teeth it is again milk that you must give him, but now, milk for the soul. That is to say, your teaching must not be made up of isolated units, but all That the child receives must be a unity; when he has gone through the change of teeth he must have “soul milk.” If he is taught to read and write as two separate things it is just as though his milk were to be separated chemically into two different parts, and you gave him one part at one time and the other at another. Reading and writing must form a unity. You must bring this idea of “soul milk” into being for your work with the children when they first come to school.”

This really helps me acknowledge again that this is their world, not mine, I am just trying to make it the best possible transit from birth to adulthood. With a splash of “soul milk”.

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