Advice on bringing up children
From the moment a child is born, the parents start thinking about things that child will do: which school they will go to, which instrument they will play and what their after-school club will be. In the world of harsh competition, some only wish good career for their child, others – family happiness and health. But in the bigger picture all of us just want to be happy and we want happiness for our kids. Happiness can be seen as a harmonious state of mind. So how does one bring up a harmonious person? What is up to parents and what is out of their hands?
Vedic philosophy and psychology state that one’s development depends on three factors: karma, upbringing (education) and the social environment.
Karma can be treated as a given circumstance, with which we came to this world, psychophysiological parameters are a part of that. For harmonious development it is crucial to consider the basic facts. For example, if you are an introvert, there is no point trying to succeed at a job that requires a lot of communication and depends on good social skills — that can even be dangerous for the psyche.
Do not poison your own and your child’s life – send your child where he or she will learn in accordance with their abilities and their own nature. A lot of people choose expensive, prestigious schools: but money can come and go, unlike inner happiness.
Everyone has abilities – we all come into this world with a unique genius and in order to realize it.
Being a genius might not be so hard, but it is important to be a happy and successful genius. A lot of talented people cannot push through and self-realize, because our abilities are limited by our karma. At the same time, it is very much possible to develop our own resources, if we create the right conditions for it.
Some people think that a purpose in life is the work that brings money and does not require much effort. But if we take a look at lives of people who are successful in different fields, we will see that all of them worked very hard and put effort into self-development. It seems obvious that you have to work hard in order to develop your abilities and talents and that you have to put time into it.
They have conducted experiments in Western schools, where it has been established that the best results are achieved by thorough effort, independently of the initial abilities. It takes toughly 5000 hours to become an expert in something. And on the contrary, if we do not put enough time and effort into something, we will not become experts in that, no matter how expensive the education. To give an example, in a very famous music school they did capability tests on three groups of students: kids with the best results (advanced level), those with standard marks and those who were failing. They found out that the best results depended solely on the time spent practicing. Kids with mediocre marks spent less hours studying, and those with low marks hardly practiced, even though some were very talented.
Educating children starts with educating ourselves – kids copy our way of life. If the parents are good at teaching kids, but don’t follow their own rules, don’t behave properly – the children will copy their behavior.
As an example, in southern districts of Pskov region in Russia, there are villages where virtually most of the population are amazing at playing the violin. There are no conservatories there, no one has ever even finished a primary music school. What’s the secret then? In that region, the musical tradition is very strong and adults simply play violins all the time, make music together, sing and dance. That is how the kids learn the instrument from an early age – they simply copy what the adults do.
A lot of our thinking habits and behavioral patterns develop between the ages of 3 and 5, so that age is the most important time to attentively educate children on all four levels – physical, social, intellectual and spiritual.
It is crucial to educate on each single level, with no exception.
On a physical level – teaching calmness of mind, physical health, sports, exercise.
On a social level – harmonious communication with other people, respect for the elders, making effort to make others happy.
On an intellectual level – creating objectives and teaching the sense of purpose, thinking about why we are given life, being interested in philosophical questions.
On a spiritual level – teaching children Unconditional Love, presence, mindfulness, selflessness.
The more selfless the child is, the happier he or she will be and the more happiness they will bring to other people. But the stronger the desire to consume, the more they will feel the need to have a million things – ipads, Xboxes, etc. They wont be able to communicate properly anymore. If a child also watches pornography, which no one should watch, his or her consumerism and selfishness will go even more up. Before the age of 16-18 such movies completely cloud the mind. So it is important to protect the children from the arrogant and impassioned influence of this world.
Modern kids are all born geniuses, but they are destroyed with modern education and upbringing. That is why it is not only early development, which is important, but also the protection of the children from negative influence. Upbringing and education have more effect on a person’s life than karma.
About parental responsibility.
It is no secret that even the perinatal period largely affects later life. Different complexes already form during these first few years. Simultaneously mental habits are picked up from parents – greed, anger, envy, etc. That is why it is so important to bring up your children yourself and to not transfer responsibility to a kindergarten, school or society. Both mothers and fathers should be psychologically educated to a certain extent. For women it is important because the psychological connection between a mother and a child is extremely strong in the first years of child’s life.
It is also important that during the first three years of a child’s life the mother is free from anger, complaints, greed, etc.
Our feeling of unhappiness, of being mistreated is related to our relationships with our parents and we carry that feeling through our adult lives and it is a source of many difficulties. When an adult person spends hours in a psychologist’s office and cant achieve any results – the key is very often in the relationship with parents. Sometimes all these people need to do is really forgive their parents and sincerely apologize to them as well.
Respect for parents and family should be taught from childhood. That is your own strength and the strength of your children. Develop yourself and inspire your child to be respectful and polite to elders, which is never overlooked. Teachers are also elders – if a child does not respect their teacher, they will not be able to gain knowledge from them and really acquire it on a deeper level. That is also important for the development of a genius.
From an astrological point of view, a very strong influence on our epoch is the planet Rahu. It is strongly manifested through television – for children that means paralyzing cartoons, computer games or TV programs. If the parents do not control what their child receives in terms of information from the TV screens, then in a short while the pure soul and mind will become corrupted. Consistent pursuit of pleasure is cultivated in modern world, along with addiction to drugs, neglect of family values. That forms a selfish person – a consumer, who has no desire to achieve anything, but only to receive pleasure.
It is important to realize that strong forces in the modern world are interested in children growing up as mindless, stupid and selfish consumers.
How can a selfish person become harmonious, be a genius, if they don’t know how to give and be generous? A genius realizes her of his potential by sharing it with the world.
If a child gets spoiled, especially boys after the age of 5, they will grow up to be selfish. Encourage patience and sense of serving from early childhood. That can start with simple things, such as eating. Try to ensure your child does not pounce on the food: after sitting down teach them to take a little pause and pray, be grateful for their food for a short while, offer your food to someone else, and only then begin eating. Make sure the child’s first impulse is not to serve themselves – that is how they will learn to serve others, give others energy.
When I was last in Jerusalem, several times the neighbor’s children came to me – they were descendants of Jews from eastern countries. They were bringing us food, having thought that we are poor. That was their family’s rule – the best and tastiest food should be given to guests or the poor, and if there was nobody around, it should have been given to the parents. And the children who have been brought up in this spirit of serving, were absolute happy angels!
That also helps in interpersonal relationships: fights and arguments between siblings and friends are often based in greed and envy. A child brought up in the spirit of serving is happy in giving to others, he or she has no reason to fight. That child will not perceive the environment as enemies or competitors.
Generosity and the ability to give are the traits without which a genius is not realized. The more you give others, even in the context of small things, the more will God and Universe send to you. That is evident even from physics: you give and you receive, the balance is preserved.
If we do not bring up our children as giving, generous beings, then they will turn from angels to discontent little demons, who will make the lives of themselves and everyone around them much harder.
Consider that a lot of people we call genius have spent their childhood in the countryside: they had big families, they were busy not with their own pleasure, but with working, very often for the benefit of others.
A giving and conscious person, living in the energy of goodness, is given a completely different level of creativity. By giving they receive the opportunity to realize and develop their creative potential.
Cities are actually generally horrible in terms of bringing up children in happy and healthy conditions. In a megapolis the degradation of a person happens on all levels. Think about it, you never see families with a lot of children in a second or third generation in big cities, even if their parents can afford a big house or a flat.
Mindfulness is another quality that is crucial to develop in your children. Teach them to be present, to be aware of the moment, which is only possible with a calm mind. Good ideas along with the ways to realize your potential are much more likely to appear in a calm, steady mind.
A short meditation is great for that, as well as exercises for attention and concentration. For calming the mind it is great to teach kids to observe their breath.
A year ago I was visiting the best Ayurvedic clinic in Europe. Their main doctor was announced the best Ayurvedic practitioner in the world. He had 4 children: the oldest one, when he was only in primary school, was told that he is not mentally stable, as he was unable to sit still for even a minute. They said that it was the first time they had seen a child like that and recommended a special school for children with mental disabilities.
However, his mother has decided to take him to Maharishi school. As far as I know these schools exist in the UK, the USA and the Netherlands. The difference is that apart from the usual subjects they introduce short meditations. Her son has only spent a few years there and came back to Germany to go to school for gifted children. In the end, he finished both school and university with excellence and went on to become a successful doctor in Germany.
Children need discipline
But which kind? If you do not make rules/limitations, there are going to be problems in the future, that is why rigidity is necessary. But that only applies to the external level – on the inside there should only ever be love. Then even when you are strict or punishing, the child will still feel and understand that they are loved, despite the circumstance.
It is important to understand the spiritual laws: we come here to develop, to learn Unconditional Love. Before any punishment you should make a pause for a second – so that you don’t scream where its not needed, don’t lose control and get angry at the child. And if that does happen, try to transform it into a joke — be in a conscious state of mind and trace your reactions.
Reasonable limitations in food are very necessary. Also try to reduce the number of electronic devices – those are crutches in a lot of ways and it will be harder for the child to walk by himself later on in life. In prestigious schools to this day they use chalk and black board. That is because writing by hand is a good facilitator to developing the intellect.
If the parents themselves are dependent on electronic devices, then the child will aim to be the same, thinking that that is a part of adulthood. Spend time in nature, read books, and teach your kids to read books. Be an example. If needed, don’t be afraid to forbid bad and dangerous things!
For girls it is important to nurture feminine qualities, and boys should be brought up in the male energy. If a mother raises a child alone, she should bring in the male energy from a brother or an uncle, or a grandfather. If it is a boy, he should be doing sports – that will help nurture the Martian and Solar energies. But the mother should not try to be a father’s replacement and act as a man around her son.
While bringing up children, especially before school age, pay close attention to developing the motoric: it has been proved a long time ago that intellect and speech are linked to the tips of the fingers. Let kids cut and mold and craft – do as much with the hands as possible. A lot of exercises from the Montessori system are based on that and the school’s reputation speaks for itself.
Geniuses are very intuitive and that is another characteristic that should be paid attention to. Intuition is related to creative impulse, so to develop it anything related to the right hemisphere will do: guessing games, developing the hearing, right hemisphere drawing, right hemisphere gymnastics, dancing. Even performing unusual, illogical or weird movements (or normal movements in an unusual manner), by going out of the comfort zone, you exercise your creativity and your right hemisphere thinking.
These exercises are very important before the age of 8-9. Children, especially girls, should not be bombarded with developing logical thinking. The CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. are great examples of right hemisphere thinking.
Actually, right hemisphere geniuses very often become millionaires without having higher education.
Aim to break boundaries, show your children the multitude of possibilities, read fantasy, fairytales, show exciting and surprising things. In China they have prohibited fantasy genre for many years – it was considered a waste of time. Now they found that the people excel at copying, but find it hard to create. Creativity as a category is hardly met in China, but the discipline is through the roof.
So let your kids dream and fantasize. Don’t cut their wings, support them – let them grow up in belief that everything is possible.
After the age of 9, start teaching them structure, systematization and analysis. Such thinking will help with realizing their ideas and fulfilling their dreams.
Communication is a very important aspect!
If a child ended up in bad company, in time these influences will overweigh the goodness that was given by family. Children absorb badness like a sponge: low and external values infiltrate the mind very quickly. On the one hand, children now are born very talented, but on the other hand they are very receptive and sensitive and therefore easy to influence.
Right now the bad communication skills are acquired not only in bad company. More so it happens through the Internet and TV.
In my opinion, before the age of 16-18 the child should not have free uncontrolled access to the Internet or television.
By the way, top managers of such companies as Google and other companies in information technology industry do not buy laptops for their children before the age of 16. It is only the plebeian children who will spend their childhoods facing computer games and dumbing themselves down.
It is easier to fall into ignorance than to rise into goodness – the latter requires more effort and good examples. And modern schools do not make it their objective to raise a harmonious personality. Children graduate these schools with scoliosis, having tried a million drugs and addicted to pornography – so is there any point in taking them to such schools in the first place? There are plenty of alternative methods of education and home schooling.
If a child is not taught to be present in the moment, to be here and now, if they are not taught that happiness lies within, they are going to look for it elsewhere: in entertainment and pleasure, in partying, attracting the opposite sex, and in the twisted assumption that love is sex. All of that results in dependency from positive emotions, the side motive of which is the absence of pressure, the aim for easy pleasures.
The material approach does not bring long-lasting happiness and consumerism spoils the soul, guaranteeing its degradation for few generations ahead. Many people with very good abilities have lost a fulfilling and interesting life and achievement to several years of partying and the rest dedicated to feeling empty and taking antidepressants.
To teach your child patience and the ability to wait means to make them stronger.
You have probably heard of the Stanford’s marshmallow experiment – children were given 2 options: to eat one marshmallow at that moment – or wait 15 minutes and get more marshmallows. The children who managed to wait for the given period of time and not be overtaken by their desire and impatience to get a marshmallow that second instead of getting a few marshmallows later, were much more successful in life than those who ate the marshmallow straightaway. They were also more intuitive and creative.
Children absolutely must have house responsibilities in order to develop in themselves the spirit of serving. My friends have told me about rich families in Brazil who surround their houses with fences and armed guards to protect them from poor people living there. It is known that the labor in Brazil is very cheap and you can hire a cleaner for 5-10$. That is why in some families there is a lot of housekeepers – some clean, some mop, some cook, etc. My friends’ kids came to see their friends from such a family there on holiday. They are 16-18 years old and do not even know how to wash their own clothes – all they know is to put it in the laundry basket and the clean one can be taken from the wardrobe or even put on them. In the world model of the child who has everything done for them, there is no concept of washing their own clothes! They practically cannot do anything themselves. Even when they sit down at the table, they simply wait for food to be placed in front of them. Can you imagine how impractical and dependent these young people are going to be? Such kids I met were capricious and spoiled.
That is not only the case in Brazil. I have seen absolutely spoiled children of rich parents in Russia as well. Yes, they went to the best classes and sections, but were arrogant and demanding. A child (after 3-5 years of age) should not be capricious at all, especially in front of their parents! So teach your children to give. Remember, the responsibility for bringing up the children is on the parents and not on the classes, teachers and after-school groups.
Try to spend time with people who live and think in goodness. Do not expose your kids to people who find a lot of things impossible – there are enough limitations in the world. Search for creators, genius people – such environment broadens the outlook and the abilities, it provides a resource: we become those we communicate with. If you do not have personal contact with such people, watch lectures, read books and biographies.
There is a genius in each one of us. Believe in that and make it your objective to develop your own creativity and help develop the genius in your own children. Bringing up kids is one of the karmic tasks, that is how we learn Unconditional Love. If you build your relationships with your kids well, they will bring great happiness. Be soft but firm in directing their path from the energy of arrogance to passion for goodness. The most important thing is to bring up children as harmonious people, who understand family values — other details are secondary.
From my heart I wish you to develop yourself and inspire children with your example!