The Spiritual Significance of the Change of Teeth in Children - Hold The Magic
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The Spiritual Significance of the Change of Teeth in Children

Hello there, Magic Maker! 

Lucy Tooth Fairy here, and I have some knowledge to share with you about the growth of human beings on Earth. You may think that the physical birth of a baby is the sudden act of the incarnation of a human soul and when the whole process begins, but it is actually a gradual process that takes years to complete. It is the role of parents and teachers to guide a child through his or her young years and help them develop into a healthy adult.

Guardians and educators need to have a deep understanding of and empathy for the child's evolving nature. They must listen to the child and put aside their own ideas and biases. Even babies communicate with us through their actions, like standing up, speaking, and thinking. These are important parts of what makes us human and what sets us apart from animals.

Now, some may ask when we should begin teaching children important skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic. Some may argue that the earlier, the better! But don’t flap your wings too fast, dear friends. Just like we shouldn't encourage a child to walk before their little legs are ready, we also shouldn't force them to learn to read or write before their minds are ready. Learning these skills too early in life can lead to nervousness, stress, and even physical illnesses later on.

Change in a Child's Soul

When a child is born, their body is far from complete. The body is always changing and growing, and its life forces, also called etheric formative forces, shift from focusing on the physical body to becoming forces of thought. 

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), a wise man who spoke about education, once said that these health-giving life forces normally complete their initial task at about the age of seven, the age when the milk teeth are pushed out. When a child's teeth change, it's not just a physical thing; it's also a sign of a deep spiritual change in the child's nature. This is a clear physical manifestation of the change that is taking place in the child's soul, and it shows us that the child is ready to begin learning in a healthy and productive way.

In a series of lectures he gave at Ilkley in 1923, Steiner spoke in a very interesting way about this time in a child's life. He says:

"The time of the change of teeth was, in Greece, the age at which the child was given over to public education. Now, let's try to picture this connection between the Spirit's relationship to the human teeth. It will seem strange that, in discussing man as a spiritual being, I speak first of the teeth. It is realized that the teeth are necessary for eating—that is the most striking thing about them. It is known that they are necessary for speech, that sounds are connected with them, that the air moves in a particular way from the lungs and the larynx through the lips and palate, and that certain consonants have to be formed by the teeth. It is known that the teeth serve a useful purpose in eating and speaking. Strange as it may sound today, a child also develops teeth for the purpose of thinking. As thinking arises spontaneously in the child in its interplay with its environment, as the life of thought rises up from the dim sleeping and dreaming life of very early childhood, this whole process is bound up with what is happening in the head where the teeth are pressing through.”

Let Children Be Children

So, my dear friends, let’s allow our children to be children and grow at their own pace. If we try to teach a child to read or write before this change occurs, we are disrupting the natural development of the child's body and mind. Let us listen to them, understand them, and guide them with love and care. And when the time is right, they will be ready to soar like little fairies, learning and growing in their own unique way.

Enjoy the full resource “The Change of Teeth” published in Child and Man, Vol.1 (England) in the online Waldorf Library.

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