"..we must, therefore, quit our roles as jailers and instead take care to prepare an environment in which we do as little as possible to exhaust the child with our surveillance and instruction." - Maria Montessori
The following is an excerpt taken from the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
The ego knows nothing about Being but believes you will eventually be saved by doing. If you are in the grip of the ego, you believe that by doing more and more, you will eventually accumulate enough “doings” to make yourself feel complete at some point in the future. You won’t. You will only lose yourself in doing. The entire civilization is losing itself in doing that is not rooted in Being and thus becomes futile.
How do you bring Being into a busy family, into the relationship with your child? The key is to give your child attention. There are two kinds of attention. One we may call form-based attention. The other is formless attention. Form-based attention is always connected in some way with doing or evaluating, “Have you done your homework? Eat your dinner. Tidy up your room. Brush your teeth. Do this. Stop doing that. Hurry up, get ready.”
What’s the next thing we have to do? This question pretty much summarizes what family life is like in many homes. Form-based attention is of course necessary and has its place, but if that’s all there is in the relationship with your child, then the most vital dimension is missing and Being becomes directly obscured by doing, by the “cares of the world,” as Jesus puts it. Formless attention is inseparable with the dimension of Being. How does it work?
As you look at, listen to, touch, or help your child with this or that, you are alert, still, completely present, not wanting anything other than that moment as it is. In this way, you make room for Being. In that moment, if you are present, you are not a mother or father. You are the alertness, the stillness, the Presence that is listening, looking, touching, even speaking. You are the Being behind the doing."