The “Powers That Be” (Those who guide and direct me), could have just dropped me down here on Earth with a list of Conscious instructions. Or, they could have popped into my room one day, knocked some sense into my mind and “Wallah!” I would have had immediate, perfect recall of Who I Am, my role, the understanding of the principles I was to teach, along with the curriculum and lesson plans. They have not. With wisdom, I have had to learn through my own experience, just like we all do.
I have embarked upon the task of assisting You, dear reader, HOW to feel, honor, and utilize one’s feelings correctly. In today’s post, I will share how I teach small children about feelings and how to interact with others from a place of self-empowerment. Here is how I recently answered the question:
“What method of discipline do you use for your toddler?”
To “discipline” is to create a “disciple.” One must have *power* within one’s self in order to influence another to the degree of discipleship. In other words, it’s imperative for a parent to FIRST (or at least concurrently) work upon them self. I write much about gaining *Self-Love* and emotional mastery. Please follow and read my posts on this.
Few parents correctly understand how to be a powerful person and thus, capable of creating a “disciple.”
Many equate “discipline” with punishment. It is not.
Discipline might include boundary enforcement, chastisement, further lessons and training and, yes, punishment, but it goes way beyond.
When I was raising my own toddlers as well as operating my in-home day-care/ preschool, my focus for them was on establishing a firm foundation of self-empowerment in their minds. My emphasis was on “Being Happy.” That was my code phrase for them for learning to respect/ love themselves and each “other” as they would want to be respected. Their lessons in Being Happy were their initial steps on their journey of learning and utilizing the “Golden Rule”… on their level. Toddlers understand “Go get happy!”
Because I pro-actively TRAINED my children to BE Happy, very little punishment was ever needed. But, when it Was, I administered it effectively. And, they knew I would! They trusted my word because I was consistent. My goal was to assist each little one (starting as a newborn) to grow progressively into full emotional control. The ages 18 months through seven is the time to experiment with and come to understand one’s emotional climate. With a wise parent (or full-time care-giver) to mentor and assist, this can be done. Then the rest of childhood, teen years, and sailing on into and through adulthood is a much more fulfilling experience of utilizing one’s interests and experiences to Self-Actualize.
I created this simple little song/ finger play to utilize all the parts of the child’s body to assist her to understand how to CORRECTLY use her body. I had pondered upon the principle: “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Although this was the message I wished to implant in their young minds, I wanted to construct “the seed” idea in a way that would be positive and instructive of what I DID want to grow. Everything I did was intended to focus upon and accent the “Good,” the actions which I WANTED them to continue. Thus, instead of “Don’t whine! Quit hitting! etc.” I emphasized the positive. “Use a HAPPY voice.” “Are those HAPPY hands?” Then, in our daily “circle time,” we would role play various scenarios and talk about specific experiences we had had.
Here are the lyrics to our song: I Am A Happy Child (This was sung with a simple melody and sign-language/ gestures.)
I am a happy child!
My eyes see happy things,
My ears hear happy things,
My mouth says happy things,
My hands do happy things,
My feet walk to happy places,
My mind thinks happy things,
My heart feels happy.
I am a HAPPY child!
Picture these scenarios:
*Little Johnny falls down and skins his knees, screaming and writhing until all the neighbors, AND mom come running, arms outstretched to soothe their little “precious jewel.”
*Little Janey grabs Little Mindy’s doll. Mindy sulks, bottom lip stuck out, till mommy grabs the doll away from Janey and sends her to bed with no dinner. Mindy now gloats.
*Mommy works late at the office, weary and feeling guilty that she’s hardly seen her little ones for the last couple days. To assuage her feelings, she stops by the drug store on her way home and hurriedly picks up some stuffed animals in an attempt to win back their love.
What do these scenarios have in common?
Many children today learn quickly and early on to be “victims” so that they can “win” back the deficit in the ‘I Am Loved’ wars.
Think about it: Everything we do is because of a payoff of some kind. Children learn quickly that the “gods” in their lives (parents) will jump up and down and do virtually whatever they train them to do if they whine, sulk, scream, tattle, bite, punch, etc. They are tremendously smart! Parents usually have no clue that THEY are the ones being “trained” to cater to the child’s mis-placed “needs.” Parents learn quickly to pamper, coddle, scream, scold, buy-off smiles, etc., instead of parenting with equality and long-term happiness as the compass.
So, what happens? Johnny, Mindy and all other “little ones” grow up. Their antics, sulks, screams, tattling, punching often become more sophisticated. But they are, invariably, conducted for similar purposes: Win back the “territory” lost to the Big Bad Menacing Demon——“out there.”
Thus, victimhood rewarded leads to victimhood rewarded leads to victimhood rewarded…. And the list of “victims” grows and grows. “Casualties” loudly pontificate the grievances perpetrated against them. Thus, “narcissistic seeds” are implanted. Victim-mentality is programmed in. Children are TRAINED to used their minds (and ABUSE their minds) in ways that end up in established manuals with designations that fit neat little categories with labels such as “sociopath,” “narcissism,” “borderline personality disorder,” etc. These are just fancy titles for faulty mental programming within one’s childhood.
THEN, adults are told it’s too late, the brain is no longer “plastic.” Their mental and emotional traumas early on are now concrete. They are stuck good, firm, and eternally within their emotional prison. Damaged. Invariably damaged are each of their future relationships as well. NOT!!!!!
There IS another way!
Christ taught: “turn the other cheek,” “give your cloak also,” “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” I have learned further the magic of “never ever ever taking offense.”
Is that punch to the shoulder by his “friend” done to provoke a fight? to get his attention? or to say “hey pal! good to see you!” ???
Since one can never truly know what another is thinking or feeling or intending from any action or inaction, the only appropriate response is… Happiness. And non-judgment.
As I have fine-tuned and applied these principles to my own children and to those who have been in my daily care, I have witnessed miracles. So have their parents.
Children quickly learn that smiles, happy singing, and peaceful interaction pay off with further opportunity to play and interact with others. They are the benefactors of my arms and smile. My eye-contact. My loving words.
When one occasionally lapses, he is reminded by the (peaceful yet firm) words “go get happy” to leave the company of their friends, go into the hallway for (solitary) sitting and bringing themselves back into “balance” and “happiness.” Do I love Dominick more when he’s happy? Absolutely not. He just gets the rewards he craves for acting sociable and in harmony… further interaction and attention.
I raised “my” children with the end in mind: Independent Strength, social harmony, and the ability to quickly get back to their “balance” (Happiness) should they ever de-rail.
And it works. Parents enjoy increased peaceful relationships. Children learn the joy of interacting as friends… no matter what the other friend does, says, or doesn’t do.
This is a profound secret of life!
Hanging out with whiny, crying children that expect to be catered to and treated as “victims” is my idea of “hell.” Hanging out with happy, peaceful, creative children, sharing with their parents the things that we are learning and experiencing, is my idea of “heaven.”
The wise parent builds his child’s life upon the “rock”… of solid self-empowerment and mutual respect. The “Golden Rule.”
Tomorrow’s post will take us into the realm of the older child, the adult, and our Self. How do we delete improper foundationalization and correctly re-parent our self or an older child? Again, I will be utilizing personal experiences. Please join me here.
In my pursuit of Real Truth, I have given up everything. Crawling through the “eye of the needle,” I have learned the *mysteries* and am now giving my life to assist YOU to dis-cover Who *YOU* really are, along with your unique gift to offer humanity. As you learn to seek (in the right place and with purified intent), you WILL find treasures of lasting value, along with every promised reward. Together, we will establish a society of humane beings and live life ALIVE, on PURPOSE, and with a sociality unequaled… because we will each BE and view each other as equally and profoundly DIVINE! Please… catch this Hope and Vision and join with me.