The Indigo Childrens
by Roseanne Sands
Raising Your Child Spiritually
Over the last 32 years, as a mother and
grandmother with sixteen years experience of preschool teaching and directing, I have
watched myself and other parents face the challenge of meeting their childrens needs
in our fast paced culture. The challenge is not the same as it was thirty years ago either
because we are evolving or the little souls coming in now are geniuses with strong wills,
with zealous, abundant energy, and with loving sensitive hearts. The most caring parents
naturally want to protect their children from a materially-minded, violent world with too
much TV and unhelpful technology. But is that realistic? Possibly to some extent while
they are very young but probably not in the long run.
So, what can we do? Can we teach our children how to live in a world where they will encounter much negativity and at the same time master their emotions and keep their hearts open? Can we help them to continue to be themselves without losing their innate enthusiasm, creativity and joy? We are all learning how to live this way, and it is one of our most important endeavors to help our children learn it too.
How do we teach them? This is obviously a vast and deep subject which we could study endlessly; and, of course, wed never have all the answers. I read in a holistic education magazine many years ago some advice from a ninety- year-old previous student of Maria Montessori who advised parents to not only study books but much more importantly to listen to their hearts, to the intuition that everyone has available to them. Listening to our hearts is not to be mistaken with listening to our emotional body, though. Children can, and do, push many emotional buttons constantly with those they are closest to. I see it at school almost every day. The little 3-or 4-year-old will have a great happy day and perfect behavior all day long; and, as soon as the parent arrives, the child begins a dramatic production worthy of an Oscar. Not all children do this and not everyday. It depends on the childs temperament and the temperament of the parent. When we react emotionally either in anger and frustration, or sadly and helplessly give in to their demands, we are not doing ourselves or our children any favors.
We will cover four arenas in this article regarding raising our children spiritually. Obviously, it will not cover everything but hopefully will touch on key issues. The four arenas are: the environment we create with our thoughts; our own self esteem; giving nurturing attention; and finally spiritual practice and lifestyle.
The environment we create with our thoughts. Weve all heard the saying that We Create Our Own Reality or Energy Follows Thought or What I Think Expands. Many people see the truth of this and practice positive visualization and affirmations. Living in a world so full of negativity its essential to do this. What is your vision of your future? Is it creative, spiritual, joyful, and prosperous? If its not, then you will need to work on your own dreams in order for your child to have a positive outlook. Many times we forget that our negative thoughts and subconscious conditioned thoughts are also constantly creating our reality as well. Therefore, we have the job of becoming aware of our emotions and negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones. Negative thoughts about ourselves or others create stress, frustration, illness, debts, and accidents. We create everything with our harmonious or negative thoughts. We can joyously affirm the eternal abundant nature of Spirit and our true inner Self. Its up to each of us to master ourselves and then in Unity co-create a new light-filled future. Daily spiritual practice will help immensely. This kind of demonstration for our children is the most powerful gift we can give them.
Our own self-esteem. How you feel about yourself will have a very strong effect on your child. If you have low self-esteem, are depressed, worried, or stressed, your child is likely to take on some of those qualities. They are like little spiritual sponges, soaking up the energy around them for good or ill. I had some friends with a delightful, sensitive toddler. The couple had a very unhappy marriage and every time the parents fought and the mother was in despair, the baby would get very sick. Likewise, if you are trusting, cheerful, confident, creative, and loving, your child will probably take on those positive qualities. And, yet, at the same time please remember that each soul is unique and has its own destiny and karma. A close friend of mine, who was a wonderful mother, had a teenage daughter who tried to tell the mother that her feelings of insecurity were the mothers fault. However, looking at the girls natal horoscope, it was obvious that the soul had come in bringing those karmic issues with her. She must have chosen this particular mother to help her learn to overcome her insecurity. Maybe what was mirrored back to the mother was the need to be able to let her child learn her own lessons and take responsibility for her issues rather than blaming others. The mother had to be strong enough to say, Sorry, I dont accept that story, and Im giving it right back to you. But I deeply love you and I feel your pain and Im here for you in any authentic way I can be.
Giving nurturing attention. The best parents Ive seen over the years are the ones who really listen to their children and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings. John Gray spoke about his mother, Virginia, during her memorial service, saying that whenever I talked to my mother she always listened as if I had something important to say. What a beautiful way that is to honor your child and build their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love. The other side of listening is to watch what we say in front of our child. They see, hear, and intuitively perceive everything. Remember to let them share their dreams with you, both waking and sleeping. Help them to learn how to manifest their visions, even in simple ways like painting pictures and learning to ride a bike.
Spiritual practice and lifestyle. Recently, my five- year-old grandson took a good friend into our meditation room and showed her the altar and my fountain and spiritual books. He sat on my meditation cushion Indian style with his eyes closed and began to chant Om.
This is what my Grammy and Grandpa do every morning, he told her.
Another day he asked his mother who Buddha is and as she was beginning to explain it she said, Well, I think your Grammy could explain it better.
He said Yeah, she knows all that spiritual stuff.
Another day during Center time in the preschool he was doing chalk drawings; and, when I asked him what he was doing, with great enthusiasm he said, Im making symbols. They are for Love and Hope and Joy and to help the trees and plants grow and this is the truest one and needs to go into your meditation room.
I was amazed. Not only because hes my own grandson, although clearly I am a proud grandmother, but also because it was simply another demonstration of how remarkable the consciousness of these little children is if they grow up in an environment of spiritual awareness. We have people of many different global religions come to visit the children, from Indian yogis, who chant and do yoga and play with them, to Native American musicians, who teach through music, stories, and symbols; and we use videos and field trips as well as decor to expose the children to the great gifts of the Spirit around the globe. Some parents take their children to Sunday school, others take them to Temple. What is important is to teach them about Spirit and then to demonstrate through the way you live how to follow the teachings of love, compassion, service, creativity, and generosity.
These are just some of the issues we face in raising spiritual children; and in the future we will explore many other arenas. Just remember that the most important thing is to just love your child deeply and make sure they get lots of hugs and praise. Dont over worry about past mistakes. Take whatever lesson you need from them and then move on. A Buddhist meditation teacher told me years ago, Yes, you made mistakes raising your children, but you need to let it go now because otherwise you wont have as much room for love. Sound advice!
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