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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Skills for teaching kids self mastery from across cultures

The highest goal of raising children is teaching them self-mastery, the skills they need and can rely upon to fulfill their highest calling in life. Yet many parents in today’s world find themselves focusing on their child’s outward behavior rather than their inner being.

With small children, it is easy to get caught up in matters such as repeatedly telling them to pick up after themselves, or stressing the need for manners when interacting with siblings, friends and adults. This is all well and good, but it does not get to the heart of what motivates your child. The child may grow into a teenager and adult thinking that outward behaviors are all-important, and missing the inner self-mastery that leads to true joy.

What does it take to teach your children self-mastery? There are skills and concepts found across many cultures that parents use to help their children grow into positive, confident, centered and motivated adults. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • “Discipline” is not about punishment; it is about providing parameters, structure, which children need to master their world. Having specific times during the day for certain activities that are regular and ongoing (e.g., mealtimes, bedtimes), provides consistency that is comforting and leads to greater mastery.
  • Parents should express all aspects of themselves to their children, playing with them like a child while providing discipline. This means being completely honest in communicating what is working and what isn’t, in what the parent needs as well as the child (the parent can say: “I am taking this time to do this and we will play later.”)
  • Use activities to create and energize relationships with children. Taking children places exposes them to different aspects of life and provides variety, however it is about BEING with them in relationship wherever you go together, not about using the activity to take a break or separate yourself from the child.
  • Help children develop inner discipline. Parents in many cultures tend to focus on pleasures and the senses, and use this as rewards – “you can have this sweet if you do this, if you don’t do this.” This is conditioning through gratification. Create inner discipline and patience without relying on these conditions. When the child has a tantrum, have the child go to their room to take time alone to develop self-mastery.

As parents, our relationship with our children is sacred, divine and unique. Like all our relationships, they are a mirror of ourselves. As a parent, examine your self-image. Be aware of what you are practicing through your own words and actions and ask if you are praising and glorifying your Higher Self. What does your relationship with you children tell you about yourself? Commit yourself to Love, your Higher Self, and see how your children respond.

About the Author: Sai Maa is recognized as international spiritual master, healer and leader of humanitarian efforts. With her unique combination of Eastern spiritual wisdom, Western therapeutic knowledge and maternal love, Sai Maa shares lessons to uplift humanity and help people master their own lives as she has mastered hers. She will teach self-mastery techniques at her “Healing: Accelerated Teachings for Accelerated Times” event set for the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver April 27-29. For more information, visit http://www.sai-maa.com.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their children to truly learn self-mastery.

Image courtesy of Will Scullin via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.