How To Give Our Children The Gifts That Matter

Kids in the United States are one of the unhappiest in the world (Ranked 2 unhappiest. UK takes 1st place. UNICEF child well-being research)

Boys now spend 44 hours in front of a TV, smartphone or computer for every half hour in conversation with their fathers. (The Guardian

"Something is a amiss. We need to sit up, pay attention, and  raise our children differently."
Dr.  Shefali Tsabary
Clinical Psychologist & 
Best Selling Author

We all like to think we are doing the best for our kids. And in our ignorance we are doing our best. 

What we need to realize is the powerful impact we have on those initial first few years of the lives of our children. Those first few impressionable years will have a very deep and profound impact on them for the rest of their lives!

There are two parts to this post. Part 1 focuses on throwing light on the issue of parenting and how deeply our simplest unconscious actions have repercussions in the lives of our children. Part 2 is a creative challenge for parents and children to do together.

Part 1: Be Inspired To Make A Shift Today! 
Watch the following series of 5 short videos (about a minute and a half each). From Oprah's Super Soul Sunday with Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist. 

What It Takes To Be A Fully Present Parent

Video 1: What Is A Conscious Parent? 


Video 2: Children Don't Need Fixing

Video 3: How You Could Be Burdening Your Child And Not Even Know It 

Video 4: Why It's Important To Celebrate Your Child's Ordinary Moments

Video 5: The One Thing That Children Want (That Money Can't Buy) 

Part 2: Creative Challenge
Create An Experience With Your Child.

As many of us come to realize, the power we have on our children; we usually are at a loss of ideas of where to begin. This week we have a creative challenge for parents and their children - Create an experience with your children. Set up a small station that will continue to nourish and nurture their impressionable spirit!

Project: Help/Guide Children To Set Up An Inspiration Station

Objective: To help children create a small area of their own, based on what drives them, what delights them, what they are passionate about. In the process giving them invaluable gifts.

In particular from Becker's 35 gifts your children will never forget (refer resources below) - Affirmation, Art, Challenge, Contentment, Curiosity, Determination, Encouragement, Imagination, Intentionality, Love, Opportunity, Pride, Self-esteem, Time, Undivided Attention, Uniqueness, and A Welcoming Home.

Phew! That's a tall order! 

Time: About 1 hour (or less for smaller children)

Skills: Your creativity, imagination, and undivided attention

Choose a room, preferably the room the child plays the most in. Determine the North East (NE) part of the room. You can use a basic compass or a free compass app on a smart device.

Allow the child to pick one thing/topic/idea they love - it could be dinosaurs, or tonka trucks, barbies or the color green, sports or cheer-leading; whatever they choose or absolutely love. Be sure the choice is theirs.

In the NE part set up a small inspiration station. This is a special zone or place that you create to celebrate their unique identity. It is a personalized space that displays a few objects that are filled with meaning (to the child).

Its not the size of the display that matters; what matters are two important aspects: 
  1. The display enriches the quality of the child's life 
  2. Location in the NE part is of utmost importance. 
Why NE? 
Cosmic energy (Magnetic & Solar) and Spiritual Energy flow into any enclosed space through this part (NE). As this powerful energy flows in, it carries the properties of the NE part of the room through the space. 

Creating a meaningful station of inspiration here will carry that essence through the whole room nourishing the children with the same feeling (of celebrating their unique and special identity). As they spend time in such a space, their life experience will take a strongly positive turn.   You will observe an increase in their confidence, their resilience, their creativity, and their happiness. 

Here are 5 Ideas to get you going
Note: This does NOT have to be grand or a large project. A space of just a few inches on a window sill will do or a small section of the wall is just fine too. 
  1. Make a mobile: Use small objects based on the idea/topic you have chosen to create a mobile to hang in the NE part of the room. Click here for more ideas on how to of mobiles
  2. Re-purpose a small book shelf: small book shelves can be used to create a very meaningful display of items selected by your child. Here are images to get your creative juices flowing
  3. Display Board: Hang a small display board or a pin up board to hold objects or pictures chosen by your child
  4. Wall Shelves:  Add two or three small display shelves  on the wall 
  5. Command Hooks: Add a couple of command hooks creatively on the wall to hold their objects.
Here are some Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind as you undertake this challenge.

  • Allow children to take the lead, your role is to be present, guide when needed and encourage. You will be surprised at what they come up with if just given the opportunity.
  • Help get their creativity going by making suggestions using words like "How about you try this .....", or "May be doing ....... will be a good idea, what do you think?"
  • Help them maintain focus. Kids have a hard time maintaining focus. You have to do it for them. 
  • Let their work be as is, even if it is imperfect, uncoordinated, or not the best from your perspective
  • Listen, laugh, play, and partner with them on this project 

  • Jump in and take over the project doing it perfectly yourself
  • Discourage, be critical in any way, or push them to achieve 
  • Use too much of the color black or heavy furniture

More Resources
Craving more fuel on the topic of conscious parenting? Here are a few of our favorite resources for parents
  •  How To Teach Your Kids Good Habits. Gain insights from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits on teaching our kids good habits. He home schools and draws from his experience raising six kids. 
  • Dr. Shefali Tsabary talks about how to rejuvenate the parent/child connection and changing our destructive patterns. Her talk is inspiring  laying out what it takes to make positive, conscious change.
This is one video that will make you rethink your parenting. While the two videos together are about an hour, do make time to watch them even if you can just spare 15 minutes at a time. Its worth every minute of it.
Part One
 Part Two 

Let us know what you think of this post. Did you have any insights about your own parenting? Were the resources useful? How did you and your children do at the creative challenge?

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