As parents, our desire and role is to have children who have a positive sense of self, feel fulfilled and can lead a positive life with the ability to thrive on their own after leaving the nest. We want to give them necessary tools to move easily through challenges in life and create the best life they can.
We want to know that our children are living aligned to their passion and remaining true to themselves.
Here are 7 steps that I believe will support this desire for parents and will serve as a foundation for children and youth to use throughout their life journey.
Encourage your children to go within themselves and dream. Inner dreams that are not influenced by outside pressure or conditioning are linked to a person's passion and purpose in life. Connecting children with a sense of inner purpose and passion will help them to feel aligned to their true-self, giving them meaning and fulfillment. Using their imagination activates the use of the right hemisphere of the brain that is an important part in creativity.
If as children or adults we wish to create the life we desire we need to be able to see it within ourselves first. Teaching children techniques of visualization will be useful for this process.
One of the greatest things that prevent people from living a fulfilling, peaceful and love-filled life is fear. There are two kinds of choices we can make for ourselves in life, those made from a place of self-love and those that are fear based. Teaching children to make choices based in love will give them the ability to be kind to themselves and others, to move forward in life towards their dreams. Decisions based in fear keep us stuck, not allowing us to progress or to develop ourselves towards greater fulfillment.
Help children to know that fear is completely normal, that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that there are ways to overcome it. Teach them to recognize that there are two kinds of fear, the first being a healthy sense of danger to keep themselves safe which is not really fear it is discernment and the fear that sits in the mind and body that stops them from moving in the right direction.
Through challenges in life we learn a great deal. If we are open to challenges they soften and strengthen us. Soften refers to the heart teaching us to be more compassionate and understanding of others and ourselves. Strengthen is about developing resilience, the ability to bounce back and continue moving forward. Compassion is one of the greatest values we can cultivate in ourselves. When we view the difficult times in life as a positive this is a great gift.
Giving children this perspective will give them the ability to relate to other people going through a hard time and have the ability to utilize their tough times as a reference point for experiential learning. This is all about using our life as the greatest teacher. I always ask the question when reflecting – “what can I learn from this experience and how can it make me more compassionate?”
Teaching children to be kind is so important, possibly more important than anything else. If all people and children are kind, issues such as bullying no longer exist. Studies have shown that children that are kind and are shown kindness are proven to be happier. This happiness gives them the freedom to be children and develop through life with more joy and ease. Everyone has the ability to be kind.
In order to be fulfilled in life as humans, because we are social beings, we need loving, kind and positive relationships, be it in the home, at school or at work. People in general are more willing to help and befriend individuals that are kind.
Meditation has now become a normal practice in schools and homes due to the positive affect it creates. Having the mind trained in peace and cultivated in love and compassion is essential for physical health and mental wellbeing.
There are many ways to practice meditation and when learned early on, as children, it can give an inner compass as to which actions and choices will lead them to greater peace and joy in life, free from fear. Meditation helps to release stress, anxiety and fear and replaces it with stability, self-confidence and self-love.
Of the many meditation techniques I have used, Transcendental Meditation is the most effortless and effective and can be learnt at a young age. No matter how challenging life may seem it always feels easier and more joyful after meditating. This teaches adults and children experientially that fulfillment comes from within them.
Guiding children to live their lives with integrity will benefit them in so many ways as they become adults. Integrity is about truthfulness, honesty and reliability. Three very important qualities that are essential for good relationships be it intimate relationships, friendships, or working partnerships. In relationships, people need to feel as if they trust us. If we are truthful, honest and reliable we can trust ourselves, and others can too. Having good relationships is extremely fulfilling.
Basic examples would be to teach children to always honor their word. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. Respond to text messages, calls or e-mails within good time even if it is to say no thank you or I am not interested. It is not good practice to leave people hanging.
A large degree of our happiness is a choice because happiness is subjective and our own personal perspective. Happiness comes from joy and joy is a practice. When we constantly say I am happy and refrain from complaining, then that is the state we create. Your body and mind hears and feels everything that you say.
Help children know that joy comes from within and not from outside themselves. Writing down, drawing or saying what we are grateful for helps us to feel joy. Children can do this on their own. When we do this regularly we begin to see our lives with a positive perspective and the mind becomes trained to focus on the good in our lives.
Freeing Freddie the Dream Weaver: The Reader
by Brent Feinberg
This is a beautifully illustrated book that captivates children through the character of Freddie, a young boy who lives in a magical rainforest. The reader accompanies Freddie on a journey of discovery as he meets Mr. Cotton, the giant friendly spider who teaches Freddie how to let go of his fears, become part of a loving world, and create the life of his dreams. Throughout this magical tale, the reader learns important life lessons and acquires tools that enhance development.
BRENT FEINBERG is a best-selling children's book author from South Africa and is an integrative healer and practitioner in consciousness-based health care. Beginning his training at the young age of 13, he is now a triple Reiki Master, a Body Talk Practitioner, yoga teacher and well-known speaker. Brent is passionate about empowering children and youth in order for them to live healthy fulfilled lives. He is an author and creative force of “With Love From Freddie LLC” www.tomorrow.org.za