Tips to help children nurture their thoughts

Tips to help children nurture their thoughts

Every day, no matter what we do, every quest consciously or unconsciously moves us from ignorance towards new knowledge.

This wisdom can be embraced by going through deep inner introspection and constantly reflecting on imprints of daily experiences. The chaos in our mind reflects in our life; thus, time and again, it becomes vital to pause, reflect and realign our priorities. If observed deeply, the revelation comes that what you believe internally will manifest externally. So, the question arises; What are you feeding your mind? What are you creating internally? What is the choice that you are making? Notice that I am addressing these questions to you. It’s easy to get trapped in this illusion that external circumstances and people are the driving force of the significant decisions of our life. Still, in reality, every manifestation is a choice that you are consciously or subconsciously making. The input precedes the output.

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Why do we hold the power of choice?

Mind is a storage house of every thought that we encounter throughout the day. Thoughts create good or bad experiences in life—the ones we would like to revisit become established as imprints in mind. With time the impressions become our memories. Our memory of experiences further becomes the guideline for the choices that we make in life. Every choice thus stems out of the imprints embedded in our memory based on our experience. Remember, our thoughts created those experiences. Thus what we feed on becomes our mind food. Inviting thoughts may not be in our hands, but the choice to entertain and nurture them is undoubtedly a personal power that we all hold.

We all are natural geniuses!

Children are born with the four unadulterated and natural human tendencies. These are love, happiness, curiosity and selflessness. The gifts that we abundantly hold as a child gradually become obscure under the layers of expectations, competition and fear. The real challenge for every parent is not to make an Einstein out of a child; It is to nourish the divinity that already exists within the child. Once you give your child the freedom to grow internally, the external growth in life skills becomes a natural outcome. Exhausting energy in nourishing the body and encouraging children to react to stimuli from the external environment is a common mistake that most parents make. The solution lies in empowering children to nurture their inner world, so they develop the viveka; the ability to discriminate between the right and the wrong thought. Though as you go deeper into the realms of Advaita Vedanta, the wisdom prevails that there are no good or bad thoughts but for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that that duality exists.

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Tips to help children nurture their thoughts

  • Thinking is natural: Often, we tell ourselves or our children, don’t overthink or stop thinking. But is it possible? Thinking is as natural to us as breathing. When we meditate, we learn how to regulate our breathing. Similarly, with practice, we must learn to regulate our thoughts wisely. Discuss this natural tendency of the mind to think with children and explain that thoughts of all kinds are natural, but they hold the power to nurture the thought they wish. Let children be comfortable with the fact that incoming thoughts are inevitable and natural. This ease and comfort with the nature of the mind is the first step towards mind empowerment.

  • List the thoughts: Thoughts often feel scattered and seem daunting in our mind, but once they are transformed as words on paper, it becomes a lot easier to deal with them. As humans, we associate better with what we can see than what’s ambiguous and in subtle form. If your child is confused and is struggling with a decision, the best way is to allow them to list the thoughts as bullet points on a paper. Let them reflect on the list and cut out the redundant and unnecessary points. By deleting what’s not needed, instantly, they are left with a more concrete list of possibilities! This is a natural way to develop viveka as well.

  • No Judgment: Sometimes, children can be stressed about expressing and listing their thoughts with utmost honesty in fear of being judged. Allow your child to express all thoughts in a safe space. Listen intently and patiently, giving your child utmost attention all the time. This trust in knowing that they have someone with whom they can be completely honest will give them the confidence to explore deeper within and understand themselves. This can embed a strong sense of self-belief and self-esteem in children.

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In conclusion, I would like to state that nourishing childhood with pearls of Vedantic knowledge and introducing the deeper concepts in a simple way while backing them with scientific reason is a very powerful parenting method to empower children to make right choices and take greater control of their thoughts and mind. This tool will organically develop confidence, joy, perception, courage, persistence, gratitude and wisdom in children. Ultimately, aren’t these the qualities that we all strive to achieve as we grow!

Ekta Bajaj is a writer, visual artist, motivational speaker and Co-Founder of the award-winning publishing company, Author In Me. She is also the author of the empowering book, ‘The Voice of Kali’ and co-author of ‘Book of Affirmations for Children’. Her deep passion for storytelling and positive thinking has inspired her to research the ancient knowledge of Vedanta that provides a holistic approach towards developing mental and emotional strength.

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