Published: 08/20/2014 - Updated: 08/31/2014
If there’s one thing parents want their children to achieve in adulthood, it is the ever desired happiness and fulfillment that we all search for, in one way or another. But how does one transmit something so valuable? You can undoubtedly begin to transmit this to them when they are children. Your religion or beliefs are irrelevant here, because the important thing is that they begin to feel very secure, in spite of the fact that the world often times seems contradictory, incomprehensible, and even sometimes painful. There is a tool that can accompany the in their adventures of discovering and fulfilling their deepest and most sincere dreams, and that tool is meditation.
The first thing to understand as a parent is that meditation does not imply sitting still or abstract from the world. Meditation is a means to guide us towards consciousness, among other things. Gaining consciousness means that we understand what we do and why we do it, carrying this reflection to consciously mature our actions.
So this meditation doesn’t require that your child sit quietly, or ponders certain things. That never works because children are very restless, their attention changes too quickly from one thing to another, and it is impossible, and even inappropriate, to obligate children to think about certain things because this robs them of their fresh spontaneity and their creativity.
Active meditation simply means leading children through reflection. From 6 to 7 years of age, children can already perform this meditation, which is designed to develop their ability to observe themselves, and to mature naturally through consciousness and reflection on their emotions.
The steps are as follows:
1. Every time you try to reprimand your child for something you thought was wrong, you should try to guide them with questions, more than with reprimanding words. Of course, we learn a lot better when we “realize” something, than when someone tells us something we did was “wrong”. You must keep in mind that children learn through experience, just like us. They don’t have “bad” or “good” intentions for doing things. They will feel, however, truly bad or guilty if we make them believe that what they experience is bad. Over time they will develop the idea that there is something bad inside them. You could notice this instantly, but there is no doubt that the more you reprimand a child and make them feel that they were “bad”, the more they will feel insecure. Sooner or later, they will rebel.
2. Guide with questions: The best way that children learn and value what they do is without a doubt, through guided reflection. You must want to “teach” them what is “good” or “correct”, and start by guiding them with questions like: How did you feel when you did that? How could you have solved it? Their answers can then later be influenced by our own opinions: “Don’t you think that hurt them?”, “How would you have felt if the same thing had happened to you?”
3. Do not program them with words: It is very important not to force this, and to rather, carry this out in a very friendly way. We want to present ourselves as friendly to children, and most importantly, to not fall into categorizing them with defining words like “you’re bad”, “you’re unfair”, “you’re messy”, etc. You must remember that when you speak to them like this, you are programming their mind, and the only thing we do with our attitudes is to encourage and reinforce these behaviors in them.
Even though it may not seem like it, these short steps are the preliminary steps to happiness in this future adult. Learning to observe ourselves and to consider not only what we feel, but what others feel as well, is an indispensable requisite for better value circumstances and to enrich our consciousness. This will help children develop a more mature and conscious emotional control, which translates to a fuller and happier life.