Children and their Wisdom
'The ordainer controls the faith of souls in accordance with their
Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen,
try as you may.
Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what
you want to prevent it.
This is certain.
The best course therefore is to remain silent'.
Maharshi’s message is such good news for parents. Our children are precious
from the unknown into our hands. In the play of consciousness they come to
fulfill their destiny
according to the law of the whole. In that light we can truly say 'children of
the Universe', children
of the One song, One verse. Hence we cannot 'have' them, nor 'own' them, nor
do we know what part of the play they appear to be here for.
best course therefore is to remain silent', this really is beautiful and
it relieves us directly from
the duty of having to 'make' something out of our children! The quality of
remaining silent is
'non touching'. All is perfect as it is and it cannot be anything else.
makes us the host of our children, we are here to guide them, support them and
love them, unconditionally love them. Simple? Yes it is. What does it take? It
takes all! Nothing more, nothing less.
(3 years old) and Sacha (5 years old) are taking their evening bath.
a long time they are playing and splashing in the bathtub.
to get out and be ready for their evening story ceremony.
they step out of the bathtub Sacha takes her towel.
takes the other towel to dry her youngest daughter Maaike.
decisively Maaike pulls that towel out of her Mother’s hands and says: “I
can do it myself!”
without stopping her own activity says: ”Let
mom do what she wants, she wants to touch you and mother you”.
‘d better be equipped with a tremendous amount of flexibility and a great
sense of humor. Why?
Well a clear mirror can be very confronting.... and a laughing mirror is more
fun. In raising my own three daughters, I oftentimes wondered who was raising
whom and I have probably been the one that after all matured the most in this
marvelous play of being the parent and being the child.
are wearing a certain ‘hat’ that seems to put us in a certain ‘role’; a
role that requires sincerity and full attention.
FIXED RULES TO THE PLAY
was breastfeeding her baby boy on the beach when I met her. We started a little conversation in which she told me that she was a
model breast-feed mother for the local health center. I had never heard of such
a job and asked her to clarify this a little more. She
explained that young women nowadays are oftentimes so insecure that they need
guidance and reassurance in taking their baby to their breast and feed it.
thought we have come a long way from trusting ourselves and being natural even
in such a basic action. Native
Indians have no handbook.... Aborigine’s would not even understand what we are
more ‘civilized’ we are, the
more we grab for theories and structures. In our civilization lots is said about
the upbringing of children, great philosophies evolved on this topic, the
libraries are full. Interesting to
study, nice to read, sometimes wonderful. But.... when it comes to life and
children there are no fixed rules to the play.
read, take theories in, pick out what makes sense to you and ...forget.
the 35 years that I have been working with children, as well through being a
mother myself, I
have never encountered a child that fits into a model.
concept ‘fits all’. Not even
two children in the same family can be approached in the same way.
Every child is unique in the sense that there are not two leafs on one tree that are
the same. Yes,
go outside and look at a tree, look at the diversity of all the different forms
isn’t there a perfect oneness, one dance, one song?
song is in all of us, it reveals itself in the heart through a whisper. Listening
to that whisper is listening to intuition, that song is always telling something
from the whole of the tree... Living with children is a great challenge to learn
to listen to that whisper and to act upon it.
is called living from the heart.
LISTENING IS PRECIOUS TIME
for children, who are so sensitive, this is an important point for their feeling
of well-being and self-esteem, to grow up a responsible person.
To listen without evaluating, invalidating or interrupting. In other words we
are just there, open and empty in listening. So, it is not the point that we
should agree or disagree, it is not the point to 'solve' or comment on
anything on the spot. This type of listening works so reflective, it is
respectful and triggers the intelligence of the child to listen to itself and to
find its own answers. If asked for advice still be careful, don’t jump in to
simple acknowledgment of what you have heard and a retrospective question is
such a fine invitation to really getting to trust ones 'own' resources. It
is a very intimate way of communicating, just to be there to support and dignify
those brave pilgrims. I have been amazed to see how honest and smart the
solution can be where the child comes to, they are so clear and able.
ability to respond is trained, it is called responsibility. Many times I got the
reply: “Thank you, I can always talk with you”. I never said a word. You win
on the long run too, because once the child knows that he/she can come to you
with whatever topic, without being judged or instantly being (too) friendly
advised, you keep a clear view on their sometimes scary adventures and
explorations... What you gain is unconditional trust, what you give is
unconditional love, which is one and the same.
The meeting place is the heart and remember, we don’t know what
direction the ‘ordainer’ has destined. We can probably extend a lot on this
subject because it is the point where our judgments, comparisons, worries,
misuse of authority jump in so easily. Here parents, lays our maturing ground!
inherited messages and believes may come to the surface and blur your clear
we are encountered with the challenge of letting go.
we do NOT use:
am your parent, so I know better".
my time we weren’t even thinking about sex at your age......”
at your older sister/ brother, take an example".
ought to be ashamed".
behave like a child”.
make a shame out of the family”.
will the neighbor’s think when you wear that”.
you, you have no feeling for it....”
have the character of ......”
make your Mother feel so sad when you don’t go to church".
will come out of you”. (Here you are probably right...)
to the list, it can be great fun to do it with your partner or some friends. See
for yourself, investigate this matter, it can be a valuable meditation.
(medication) If we try to control
according to our opinions, what we think is right, what we expect, how it should
be, we are bound to be split, split up, the wheel turns..... Don’t be afraid
that you will not be involved in your child’s life, don’t be afraid that you
are ‘left out’. You will be called upon action when the time is ripe.
is another line NOT to be used: ”See, I could have told you!” Real listening
implies precious time, it is being in the moment, it is intuitive common sense
that is coming out of that moment. Once in a while you may sense a secret, you
might even know what it is but please play the game of not knowing. Remember how
nice and thrilling it is to have a secret? It happened more than once that my
children came to tell me their 'secret' without realizing they were exposing
(3 years old) is playing outside with her friends. Suddenly she is screaming
like a siren. Crying
she is running into her house. Her mother asks: “what happened"? “Peter
kicked me”, she
replies. “Oh, I see”, acknowledges her Mom. At this point Ann calms down,
she is being heard.
Then her mother asks: ”What did you do that caused Peter to kick you?”
The end of the cycle.... she runs off again to play with Peter.
does not take a long ‘pedagogic’ talk to push the point of cause and effect
through their little brain. We
see here that Mom has not done anything but listening and being reflective.
middle daughter Marlene (14 years) has a visitor in her room, Karen, same age.
She asks to come upstairs to talk with Karen. Karen has a problem. As I come
into Marlene's room I see Karen’s pale face and eyes full of fear. Marlene said:
”Karen slept with her boyfriend and now she is scared she is
pregnant.” I said: ”O.K., Karen do your parents know you have a
boyfriend?” “No”, she replies, “my Daddy would be very angry”. This
point causes the girl to lie to her parents and to live a double life, to
pretend to be someone else, the ‘good girl’ that does not disappoint. her
parents. The morals of her father did not prevent the exploration of sexuality,
obviously. Here the parents lost sight of their daughter, where they could have
been of help. In the further conversation she told me that she hadn’t had her
period in three months. I gave her some information on doctor’s secrecy (she
was scared to see him, her parents had the same physician), to ask him for a
pregnancy test and advise on birth control. Karen was already so relieved, the
next day she got her period......
naturally want to participate. We all know the two year old that wants to set
the table. Please be inventive enough to give them a job adjusted to their
level. It takes attention; it gives a happy child. Attention is what our
children require anyhow and they will get it! Positive or negative. The funny
thing is that we tend to neglect the child that sweetly plays and goes about.
Tantrums, nagging, pulling and pushing, even illness are certainly not to be
neglected; there it is... attention!!!!!!!!! It brings about a certain
conditioning and since we are bound to condition our children anyhow we might as
well do it in a positive way. This is done by really spending quality time with
our children. By quality time is meant really be with them. Please be alert not
to interrupt the moment by a half hour phone call with a friend suddenly. O.K.
we can watch TV for a bit, but by quality time is meant doing games, going for a
picnic, baking cookies together, getting the blankets out for building a hut,
covering the carpet with newspapers to paint, etc. You teach the child that
being healthy and sociable is a lot of fun! You teach the child being creative
in sharing time in positive attention. Really it works wonders to both sides.
Once the child knows those moments you will be amazed how reasonable your fellow
will be at other moments when you do need your time for something else.
real gem is there is no reward'.
is a hell of a job. Taking a break from time to time keeps it fresh, it is not
the only “hat” we wear and balance keeps it balanced. I found it the
strongest, most challenging, beautiful and clarifying training in understanding
and living in unconditional love.
Mother and Father are your attachment
beliefs and blood ties
desires and comforting habits.
listen to them!
seem to protect you
are your worst enemies.
make you afraid
living in emptiness.
day you’ll weep tears of delight in that court,
your mistaken parents'.