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A human being is pretty much formed and programmed in his or her concepts about himself or herself and the surrounding world by the age of eight. Most of the work, which is done today by psychologists and psychiatrists, is to solve the problems and fill the gaps left by the experiences of those earlier years. Wouldn’t it make sense to pay more attention to how we bring up our children so that they can be stronger, more able, happier, more in harmony with themselves and their environment? The future of the world depends on our children. The quality of our children and their ability to create a better world depends on us, but not in the way most may think. Let us consider here how we can help our children and ourselves to find harmony, health and happiness.
Seeds do not learn to grow.
Seeds grow into beautiful plants and huge almost immortal trees with no education or training whatsoever. What they are to become, and how they are to become that, are already printed in their consciousness and chromosomes. The same is true for all the animals, plants and insects upon the earth. Is man the only exception? Are we so unintelligent that we cannot understand what we must become and how we must become that? Are we so far behind the plants and animals in this matter? Or have we destroyed this contact with our inner consciousness, our inner voice that could guide us on our way?
Adults, in their well-meaning way, with an exaggerated concern for their children, and an underestimation of the divine potential which lies within those small beings, inadvertently destroy that small inner voice, as they try to mold their children into what they believe their child should become. This is also true of the educational system as a whole. Thus the question, concerning how we can help our children, becomes, more accurately, how can we help ourselves out of our mistaken concepts and anxiety about the future and lack of confidence in ourselves, our children and mankind so as not to become obstacles to the child’s natural development?
Our emphasis should not be so much on how we can teach but on how we can learn and grow more mature emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Then the “real parent,” the divine within each child, will take over for us and for our children. We cannot help our children find the voice within them if we have not found our own. We cannot help our children to be healthy if we have not created health for ourselves. We cannot help them have self-confidence unless we ourselves have it. Their self-respect depends on our selfrespect, their inner peace on ours, and their self-mastery on our self-mastery. Learning through example is much more effective for children than learning through words. When the person who gives advice is not an example of those words, then not only do those words have no power, but they create a feeling of resentment and rejection towards the hypocrisy which is so obvious. All children are idealists. They expect there to be a consistency between thoughts, words and actions. When there is not consistency, they will feel insecurity; they do not know what to believe. Consistency gives a child a feeling of security and respect.