Sparkle Schoolhouse
Exploring the Dry Gables Series - "Wilhelm Bauer: Carpenter and Designer"

Exploring the Dry Gables Series - "Wilhelm Bauer: Carpenter and Designer"

The stories from the two Dry Gables Series include an accompanying post from the Sparkle Schoolhouse Educator, Meredith Markow. Each post offers insights into the characters and dynamics of the stories, along with suggestions for how to use the stories as parenting or teaching tools!

Hello again, Sparkle Grown Ups! We’re so glad that you’re here to better acquaint yourself with our new friend,

Wilhelm Bauer.

Remember, the Bauers want their autonomy, and they like things to be just so. And when they don’t, well, then they can get quite annoyed.

Bauers want to be in control, they are asking us not to interfere with their boundaries, and the emotion that often underlies their motivations or that they are avoiding feeling is Anger.

Our Wilhelms strive to be correct and controlled, so they are not as likely to express their anger strongly and aggressively, but rather they are more likely to become irritated or to internalize their upset.

When your child is being a Wilhelm, you might notice that they:

  • Dislike being wrong
  • Hate to make mistakes
  • Are tidy and orderly
  • Are very self-critical
  • Can be a bit of a know-it-all
  • Can be a little bossy
  • Takes school work seriously
  • Follows your instructions
  • Has strong ideals about what is right
  • Can be quietly angry

Our Wilhelms are rational, idealistic, reasonable, truthful, conscientious, and they care about dignity of fellow human being beings. They set high personal standards, and they are looking to improve themselves and the world. They are often our wise and inspiring moral heroes. But they can be hard on themselves, and because of that, they can sometimes be hard on others, too. (Remember how critical Wilhelm was of Branislav, the pigman, when he pointed out the one flaw in the Neunstimment Meeting House?)

And because they are Bauers, they want to control their environment and resist being controlled by it. They even may bring order to their feelings. They don’t like messiness. They have a sense of how things should be. Indeed, they are in search of perfection.

But why?

The primary worry for our Wilhelms is that they won’t be good. And they so want and need to be good themselves, but also, they want and need to make the world good.

What your Wilhelm most wants to hear from you is:

When their behaviors, words, actions are challenging, it’s often because they don’t feel that they are.

Here are a few tips when you have a little Wilhelm on your hands:

  • Remind them of their goodness, and let them know that they are good even when they make mistakes.

  • Acknowledge their hard work first before you offer them feedback.

  • Communicate clearly with them. They can be put off by excessive emotionality.

  • Sometimes they do need to work first, before they can relax. Your Wilhelm will love the freedom that comes with feeling relaxed.

  • Remind them over and over that the world is Good! Even if the world isn’t perfect, it is good. And even if they aren’t perfect, they are good! (And isn’t that sometime we all have to remind ourselves, too?)

The gift that our Wilhelms give to us is:


Wilhelms make the world a Good, Better, Best place for all of us!

About the Author

Meredith Markow

Sparkle Schoolhouse Head of School

Meredith has been working with adults and children of all ages for the past 25 years as a Waldorf Teacher and Educational Consultant. She received a B.A. with a focus on child development and child psychology from the University of Michigan, in 1984, an M.A. Ed from Washington University in 1987, and her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Lehrerausbildung (Teacher Training) in Nurnberg, Germany in 1989. She was certified as a Living Inquiries Facilitator in 2014, and she completed her formal teaching certification with The Enneagram Institute in 2014. Her work in the classroom and with individuals and groups is designed to help people of all ages to drop self-limiting beliefs to live a more joyful and compassionate life.

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