“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”
So often you hear people talking how important it is to teach the young. Well how about allowing the children to teach us? Are they not wise, filled with love and self assurance? Do they not express all that they feel? Are they not real and fully in touch with their surroundings speaking their mind? I observe and watch people but what I see is not teaching rather enforcing one’s own personality unto the other.
“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”
Children without the influences of the external world are true to themselves filled with wonder for life and love for life. The older they get the more they lose contact with that. This happens because we try to teach them our way, our beliefs, what we think. We treat them as ignorant. But are they really? Or do we turn them into that by stripping them of their own personality?
Who are we to teach them? Teach them what? Imagine how destructive we become when we take a living being and strip it of its individuality. Trying to make them into us, instead of allowing the child to be itself. Why do we feel the need to mold them into the shape we find appropriate? Teaching the child there is only one way just like certain physical characteristics we embrace and disregard all else.
A child is naturally immune to this, to prejudice to cruelty, and fear for the most part we teach them how to behave. The child’s inner feelings and personality will always be there we just suppress it and cause problems for them later on.
“A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to.”
It is the same thing as a therapist you are there to lend them a hand, to guide, you are not taking the path for them you are not the all knowing being. You assist the other to find themselves, to discover for themselves what is right for them, to re-connect with self. You do not have all the answers for them only they do. There is respect. It is a partnership, you learn from each other.
To enforce ones opinion of view onto the other is not honoring the other as a living soul. I am not saying they do not need guidance but that the guidance needs to come from a space of love, cooperation, respect and not from fear and control. This concept that exists everywhere in different areas the idea that we know and are going to tell you the way is but ego driven and illogical. The sense of control over a child is illogical. You need to also allow the child to be. Is not the beauty to discover each other rather than try to make the other like you?
When we treat children like children, as ignorant unknowledgeable as if they know nothing we are stripping them of their self belief, their confidence. You always hear “you are just a child” or “you are too young” or when people ask parents questions about the child instead of asking the child who is standing right there. What message do you think you are sending there? Their self worth is being taken away. You are telling them they have nothing of value to say or contribute to this world instilling a belief they will take with them to adulthood.
More importantly we are teaching them how not to be themselves. That they will be praised and are good by following someone else’s values and a specific system, that only then their life has meaning. Maybe that is why we live in a world controlled by specific systems. We are taught that we have to be obedient and follow certain rules whether the system is correct and benefits the world or not. A system that is geared towards specific needs and personalities and neglects all else. If they do not follow certain rules or ideals they are wrong.
If we show love, and respect to our child, trust, they learn to believe in themselves and they do not have to rebel against you or fight you because you are be littleling them. Because that is what we are doing to them belittleling them. We miss out on the lessons and wisdom they have to offer us. The wisdom we never got to express when we were young that we lost.
The best guidance we can give them is loving them and allowing them to be them, to express themselves and treating them as equal. Allowing them as much time as you can in nature because that is the best teacher, In nature they can be clear, themselves, uninfluenced by everyone’s personalities, values, beliefs. They learn on their own respect for other creatures.
Ask them what they want, what makes them happy not what you want to make them happy or what you think will. This is the beginning of disconnecting from self, which we spend a lifetime trying to rediscover. To find again who we are and what makes us happy not that which we were told will make us happy and wondering why we are not.
“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.”
Unfortunately the biggest problem lies in that we have created these systems, schools, society where the child is influenced and taken away from self, molded into the society’s form. So whether you teach them or not they will be taken away from self, you may do all the right things but they are still being treated by the rest of the world as ignorant. So what do you do? I worry about this. Their environment is vital. We cannot stop out children from being conditioned and influenced by the world around them and neither should we because this is how we learn. We learn from each other.
However by giving them love, strength of self and belief in self, trust, instead of being molded by society they can become observers, unaffected observers immersed in the systems but still retaining their sense of self, their essence…their soul. So that they can see behind the lines what needs improvement in the system without disconnecting them. If you are strong within yourself in touch with who you are no one can take that away from you. Give them as much as time as possible out in nature so they can return to what is real what is self. I for one feel the best way to keep a child in touch with oneself is nature. Nature is the best school, everything is there, all the lessons. It connects us to our true nature.
“If you wish your children to think deep thoughts, to know the holiest emotions, take them to the woods and hills, and give them the freedom of the meadows; the hills purify those who walk upon them.”
I am not saying to leave your children to run amuck but to listen to what they have to say, to put aside your own wants and desires and explore their wants and desires. Teach them to love themselves by respecting them and their personality.
“A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.”
Maybe we should stop being preachers but practice cooperation, mutual respect…love? Allow the other whether child or not to tell us who they are rather than trying to make them what they are?
Children are one of the most beautiful gifts, treats of life because they remind us of that unspoiledness, that freedom, that individuality, that wildness, the wonder of life, the love, the expression. Maybe they have more to teach us then we have to teach them.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
Location: Maui, Hawaii.