Lessons from the Pikler Ház

So much can happen in such a short time. 

One month ago we may have not even considered a new way of living in our own bubbles to save lives. There was a 'pandemic potential' lurking in the air but somehow we may have felt invincible. 

A month ago, Tineke and I were just about to start our training journey at the Pikler Ház in Budapest. It was a dream come true walking through the gate of the Lóczy house.

On our first day we met this petite lady in her mid 80's who sat at the front of the room, facing us all. She did not smile, nor did she talk as we waited with anticipation for the lecture to begin. She waited and watched with intention and a wee twinkle in her eyes. Somehow though she radiated an intense respect and gentleness at the same time. Her name was Anna Tardos, the daughter of Dr. Emmi Pikler and a world known child psychologist in her own right. What a surreal feeling it was to be sitting in the same room with her. She began sharing her wisdom, years of knowledge and experience with such passion that we were left in awe. She challenged us, provoked our thinking and welcomed our ideas. 

"It is all about the attitude!" she declared at the end of our first session with her. Yes, we may have heard this statement before, but the way this message filled the room, we understood that this is something that doesn't just happen. It takes effort, time and awareness of our own ego, beliefs and priorities. We are fully in charge, no-one else is. There is no-one to blame. Our attitude oozes out of us through our words, touch and even the way we move. It is as if this invisible veil is wrapped around us and people in our bubble. Let's not aim for perfection (if such concept even exists) but rather awareness and acceptance. Then we will have potential to move on in our self-growth if we choose to. 

"Never be in a hurry with your own child." Another strong concept. Well, now is our chance if it seemed impossible before this pandemic was announced, before our 'hurried' way of being was put on hold. The truth is, there is nowhere else to be. Will we adjust our pace and rhythm? What does it actually mean in reality?

We may be realising, that being at home together without having much time to 'breathe' may be challenging, particularly for the adults. Time, patience and honest conversations may be needed. Yes, there may be added financial and emotional stresses. But how would rushing with our children and ourselves help right now, or ever?  

I'll dare to propose that we have entered our children's world where time is the most precious and most valuable currency. So how are we going to do this over the next few weeks and perhaps even longer? What memories do we want to keep about how our home felt during 'this pause'?

We have a choice. Can we allow ourselves to let go of unhelpful thoughts and fears and slow down together. To do that, we will need to be honest with our needs and our limits and learn to communicate them with the adults in our bubble. We have nowhere else to be unless we are the guardians who are on the front lines doing such important work. We could allow ourselves to just be with our own self and the loved ones. This is an unusual and unexpected time but what if we emerge out of it with a new attitude and values? This could be a gift to you, your family and humanity. 

S láskou,

Jana To