CHILDREN ARE FROM HEAVEN, WARS ARE FROM EARTH
written by Sandra
In the early years, we know that the child's self is being formed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Like a gardener with a little seedling in a storm, we can shelter it until it is strong enough to withstand violent weather.
Like a plant, as the child matures, its core becomes stronger and it can survive adversity without compromising its well-being. Around age nine, children come to terms with mortality and their fairytale rainbow world fades. Adolescents crave the unedited version of the world, sink their teeth in and cast back that which they find distasteful. They can offer insight and valuable keys with which to transform and create the world anew.
How do we use wisdom to nourish our children in times of upheaval? Even on the verge of war, we can paint pictures of hope and weave tales of peace. We can inspire them by modeling strength, love and forgiveness. In this way, we offer tools to others to become visionaries instead of reactionaries.
As technology reaches it's less than gentle hand across the globe, it's impossible to protect our children from all frightening and damaging influences. Take heart. Comfort your young children by letting them know in simple terms that sometimes people cannot use their words to solve a problem and be friends again. Some people can be greedy and want more than they need and do not know how to care for one another. Reassure your children that home is filled with loving friends and family. Although there may be fighting in far away places, reiterate that we are all safe and our guardian angels are watching over us.
Children are like sponges. They indiscriminately absorb the feelings and thoughts of others. Try to remain peaceful and positive. Telling your child details at this time will only frighten him or her.
It's important that the children see the world as a safe, beautiful and promising place. Give the experience of an ideal world, even in the midst of possible tragedy. Children must be given a healthy model from which to build their lives.
Two powerful movies come to mind, Life Is Beautiful and Jakob, the Liar. Along the way there may still be losses, but as in these extreme examples, we can aspire to prevail over despair and give hope and faith to keep one's dreams and the human spirit alive.
TEN TIPS FOR TRYING TIMES
1."NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS" - Keep them away from media news and the violent images that upset the psyche, especially for the young child. This also applies to older ones.
2. KEEP THE ROUTINE - Rhythm and consistency creates security. Keep the same schedule as before. Routine is calming and creates trust.
3. PREPARE FOR THE BEST - Act as if all is well. If your children ask about something scary, speak from your heart that you, too, have felt scared before. Reassure them that you are there protecting them and all is well.
4. GROUND YOUR CHILD IN NATURE - Plant seeds (or starts) in the earth or in colorful pots. Expect the best and prepare for it.
5. SING DRAW DANCE CREATE what we want to be - Envision what we want instead of what is presently happening. Art is healing. Create a perfect world. Have them draw or build it. Draw pictures of children safe asleep in their beds with images of guardian angels over them. Every child, young and old, can accept a guardian angel and make one from clay, or a puppet from cloth, or draw one with paints or crayons. Make a Friendship Fairy and play games. Have it fly all over the earth bringing peace, love and laughter. Sing.
6. REMINISCE - Tell stories about good times, humorous times as a family. Tell the story of their birth and what a miracle and a gift your child has been to you. Use distraction.
7. TELL STORIES WITH HAPPY ENDINGS - Read or tell uplifting, inspiring stories of triumph. Use protective symbols and images including the earth full of beauty and bounty. Adolescents write profound poetry. Ask them to write, share it with you, but shelter the younger ones from the harshness of the reality of what they may need to express.
8. WISH ON A STAR - Take turns. Make wishes for the earth and the whole world as one big family. Send blessings everywhere.
9. CREATE AN IMAGINARY "STAR WINDOW" - Visualize, filling it with happy, peaceful, delightful pictures and images whenever your child or you feel anxious or depressed. Describe the pictures in your window and help your child come up with healing images of their own.
10. AT BEDTIME AND AND EACH NIGHT, BEGIN WITH THIS PHRASE- "And all was well in the heavens and all was well on the earth."
Saving Spirituality - A New Look At Wholeness in Childhood
written by Sandra
It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Modern life challenges all of us in respect to balance, peace of mind, health and wholeness. So what can we do as parents to be the best thriving example for our children who are so dear to us?
The seasons of life follow the natural rhythms and structures of the universe to which we are deeply connected physically, psychologically and spiritually. Much healing can occur as we reestablish our bond with nature. We need only re-attune ourselves to experience more fully this innate connection to our Originating Spirit. The gift of realigning with natural cycles assists us with the processes of life, death and rebirth as we feel a part of something larger than ourselves. We know that after loss, there is rebirth and regeneration. We learn to be gentle with new growth and projects and that life has its ebb and flow.
Children are naturally tuned into this and have a deep sense of awe and wonder for nature and her cycles. They come fresh faced and wide eyed into the world without judgment or discrimination. We can learn much from looking through their eyes. How magnificent is the inner life of the young child! Like a sponge, they take in all of life's experiences. The line between life and death for them is thin, indeed, and they can accept, much more easily than we realize, the flowering and the waning of life and of nature as their teacher. The child's connection to Source is most often severed, quite unintentionally, as our adult limitations and fears instantly are transferred to the child.
In order to parent holistically, we need to recognize that the child's consciousness is very different from that of the adult. The young child lives in a dreamy or magical state, the here and now, and their concepts of time and space are still developing. The body is developing at a rapid rate and most of the child's life forces are tied up in building the body and the child needs to be playful and active rather than intellectually or academically challenged. Intellectual discussions and scientific reasoning needs to wait, for they are not yet equipped to learn in this way. This draws energy from the limbs into the head. The energy or awareness should be present in the child's limbs and not in the head. Objective thinking naturally occurs later around age six or with the loss of the baby teeth. This is a sign that the awareness is changing. Prior to this, the consciousness is similar to that of the dream state and very fluid. The child has a picture consciousness, termed by Swiss Psychologist, Carl Jung, as the 'symbolic mind'. The child is new to earthly life, right out of the spiritual world and they experience other realms that are long lost to the adult. It is important that they not be rushed at this first seven-year stage when the spiritual life is still strong. Rushing them into objective thinking and academics too soon will rob them of their the spiritual outlook and orient them too heavily towards materialism and logic, limiting their access to multi-dimensional awareness.
When we shift into their reality, we can preserve their natural magical state as nature intended. Children see life as miraculous. The more we adults attune to that state, yet still be the guiding light of authority, offering love, beauty and inspiration, the more we ourselves are enriched. Today's young children are starved for this kind of role model.
Children have a need, just as we have, to observe the changes in nature and the most common way we can, and often do this, is through festival celebration and, optimally, a hands on experience with nature. This is a wonderful anchor as a grounding connection as we go about our busy lives. We can offer organic gardening, however modest, and a simple nature table in our home reflecting the season with flowers, rocks, feathers crystals, etc., compatible with the current season. This "garden table" is a nice focal point bringing reverence for the earth into the home.
We can share during the early years in that world of wonder and strengthen that in ourselves by spending time with our children, joining with their consciousness, still knowing that they are following our lead. Young children are in the imitative stage of development, so parental example is the key. They need to be active, exploring and experiencing their natural environment. Obviously, their emotional and physical safety on earth depends on us. We are the wings of their angels. Remember that whatever we want the child to do, we need to do ourselves. It's all about doing, not thinking or discussing much. As strange as it may seem, this leads to optimal brain function, physiological health and intellectual development later on. Start in your own backyard and slowly venture out into the community, their immediate world, with singing, games, simple nursery rhymes, poetry, art dancing, gardening, and wholesome nourishing nature songs. Respect and nurture all life. It is the early years that build the foundation for a lifetime of wholeness.
Enthusiasm is the ticket. The word enthusiasm stems from a Latin word meaning "God within". Enthusiasm is contagious and they will feel nurtured profoundly by this, as this is a natural state for the child. Daily rhythms are important and create a sense of security, so try and establish a predictable schedule for waking time, breakfast, dinner, story time, bedtime, etc. When we give this kind of quality time, this greatly nourishes the child's spirit and body and transfers into self discipline later.
We must give our children the time that they deserve by providing beauty, joy, patience and activities worthy of imitation. The early life of the child is the model for the rest of life, so we need to give them a positive picture of the kind of world we would like for them to create for themselves. They are being, in a sense, programmed(for better or worse) as they are forming, and an abundant, healthy adult life is easier to create if they have seen this in the first seven years. Just like a young plant is shielded from the rain, wind and storms, we need to protect our children from the violence and harshness of life during the formative years until they have healthy images and experiences to fall back on. They will then have the tools to integrate it and not become weakened, frightened or apathetic by being given too much too soon. Avoid over-stimulation, stress and budding cynicism. One is not prepared for a bad experience by being given a bad experience.
Children have one foot in the spiritual world and one on earth so let their incarnation be slow and gentle in order for their spiritual life to be intact throughout life. They come to earth as if surrounded by a sanctuary, a holiness about which poets of all ages write and this is most obvious in the pure and na´ve face of a newborn. A gradual waking up out of what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious, provides the foundation for the most favorable balance for life and ongoing connection to Source. It is the moral and spiritual life of the child that is at stake today.
Although computers can play an interactive part in learning, technologies are not advanced enough to participate with physical contact, not to mention the vast amount of content that is available without censorship. How shocking for a tender little soul, straight from heaven, to be subjected to the ills of our society all at once before it has time to form itself! Life's experiences actually DO form the child during these crucial years, so be careful what they see and hear. At this time, heart to heart relationships teach precious lessons of embracing, sharing, trusting in the world, and giving and taking. Moral and ethical codes of conduct are learned through example, not words on a computer screen. They have the rest of their lives to sit at a computer. Young children need to be active for optimal growth. Parents can learn about activities on the Internet or elsewhere and then share this with their young children. This is what the child needs most, human interaction and time with those that they love.
Human connection provides confidence and emotional well-being. Children will venture out when they are ready, a little at a time. In the meantime, provide a wholesome childhood. Reveal the magic of life to them and approach them as spiritual beings.
Play is the child's work and children are hardwired to develop in this way, skills that are much needed later in life. Physical and emotional growth is optimized, as well as brain development, when the child is allowed to play freely up to at least eight years in a nourishing way, as even Jean Piaget, renown child development psychologist and specialist, has said.
Old-fashioned activities, such as gardening and baking, and interactive projects allowing observation and celebration of the natural surroundings is paramount. Rhythmical, creative movement, aided with simple nature stories and song, provides right-brained activity that promotes even academic strength for later on. The human voice is the best instrument during the early life. A pentatonic harp is second to that. Gardening, feeding and listening to the birds, watching butterflies, just BEING in nature is what the young child needs. He or she is naturally enamored by this and will explore for hours. The birds, the leaves, the bugs, the earth and the streams actually speak to the child. The earth, in its natural rhythms, teaches the child, who lives purely in the present. Since they are imitative, and may have seen violent images through the media, be sure to model stewardship of the earth and, walk gently on our sacred ground.
This pure experience the young children need most. Their rapport with nature is profound. Not only will the child delight, rosy cheeked and full of joy, but so shall we, as adults, have an opportunity to revisit and embody the pure essence the child brings. This is reminder from where we all came and where we shall all return It's this fundamental connection to nature and to Source, our Originating Spirit, which can serve us all in our own evolution as spiritual beings in this precious human life we live.
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