Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter and Kids

With the arriving of spring comes the beautiful Christian holiday Easter. We live in a multicultural society and even though not everybody acknowledges and celebrates this day, it it good to familiarize with your kids with it and the traditions associated with this day. 

Easter has a much deeper meaning than celebrating of the resurrection of Jesus. The symbolism of the story of Jesus rising from the dead sends a very strong message for the new beginnings in life - just as Nature awakens in spring after a long and cold winter. 

 The most popular of Easter traditions - the colouring of eggs has similar roots. Since the beginning of life eggs have represented new life and the liveliest of all seasons, spring. The red colour symbolizes the joy of the awakening, the renewal of life, good health and fertility. Over time more colours were introduced and the colouring of eggs has become so elaborated, it truly is a form of art. Yet, the first egg must always be coloured in red.

The rest of the Easter traditions - the bunny, the Easter bread, the egg hunt vary depending on religious denominations and cultural differences, but they all symbolize the renewal of life and fertility.

So whether you are religious or not, whether you are Christian or not you have reasons to acknowledge this day and to not deprive your kids from enjoyment. Be open-minded. It doesn't really matter how old your kids are, it is never too late or too early to explain Easter and its symbolism and traditions to your kids in a way they can understand and embrace. Unleash your imagination and stimulate your kid's creativity - from colouring eggs to turning cups or paper tubes into cute bunnies, to making colourful cupcakes or cookies you can all have fun and build precious and lasting memories.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Words and Water ?

Words are powerful - they can make us or break us; they can shatter our world; they can help us raise or they can take us to the bottom. Dealing with the issue of kids' language and the use of  bad words to a great extent reflects our natural strive to always be a better person - as a parent, a friend, a partner, and of course, to raise our kids as good persons. However, not too many of us realize that carefully selecting and using our words is extremely important not only as main means of communication, but, a bit surprisingly - also strongly affects our health.

According to a new, very interesting and controversial study by Dr. Masaru Emoto there is a strong correlation between thoughts, music, art, health, words and...the harmony of water on molecular level. It has been known that humans begin their life as embryos and exist as 99% water before birth, retaining 90% water content after birth. In adults the content of water decreases to 70% and towards the end of our lives we only have 50% water. Clearly physiologically we exist and function thanks to water.

 Dr. Emoto believes that frozen ice crystals - water cooled to -50 C, form differently depending on how we treat the crystals. The crystals will express themselves in different ways if we are either kind and loving to the water or mean and cruel to it. He claims that positive thinking and words like "love", "beauty", "thanks" lead to the formation of magnificent, delicate and intricate formations in the water molecule. At the same time, negative thoughts and words like "stupid", "hatred", "fight" result is tempestuous, fragmented  formations in the water molecule. Music, paintings, writings produce similar effects.  According to Dr. Emoto the proof of his theory lies in the difference between how water crystals treated with love and kindness form versus the shapes of crystals that are treated with hate, anger, venom.

The logical conclusion is that as long as man remains selfish and believes that he deserves anything he wants in life at any cost, the water he drinks and the water behind his skin will remain polluted, corrupt and sick. But when man begins to love nature and humans, to live by the laws of love and respect, his soul and spirit will remain healthy, alive and vibrant. Our earth, our universe, our water will then reciprocate by bestowing upon us the most beautiful landscapes, the clearest snowfalls and the purest spirits. It's never too late or too early to embrace these beliefs and install them in our kids.

Whether  these findings are believable or not, real or pseudo-scientific, they certainly are excellent thought stimulators. They provoke us to be better, to raise our kids as even better people, to make this small and beautiful world of ours a better place for the generations to come. Because if thoughts  can do this to water, what can they do to us?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Bad Words

You pick up your kid from school and you  greet him with the usual questions: How was your day? What did you do? Your sweetie starts babbling and all of a sudden completely out of the blue and, of course out of place, there it is -  the bad word. Parents have different reactions to this first unexpected  richness of their child's lexicon. Those range from rage, to disbelief, to laughter. Nowadays more and more parents face the same problem - their kids' vocabulary very quickly, literally before they know it, becomes full with bad words. A basically unnatural phenomenon is gradually becoming natural. Who is to blame? Kinder garden, school, nannies, TV, IT and social media?

Well, there isn't a single culprit. Young kids are like sponges, they quickly absorb everything; they imitate adults; they try to be like their TV or game heroes and unfortunately all these use  inappropriate words. Sometimes, we parents tend to think: "The kid is still almost a baby, he doesn't know what this means". But the word is already engraved in this young mind and when the time comes, it simply pops up. And shocks everybody around.

What is actually the root of this problem? Yes, it is our contemporary language which the kids hear ever since they arrive to this world. As they grow up, they try to adapt. To a child's mind  imitating adult's vocabulary is not only a way to adapt to the world of grown-ups, but also to a new tool to fight aggression - be it the, true sometimes involuntary, aggression of parents, siblings or friends, or to cope with extraordinary stress.

What can we parents do about all this?

  • Watch our own vocabulary and do not allow ourselves to use inappropriate words in front of the child.

  • Never in no way encourage that kind of language. Sometimes this first out of place or out of context use of a bad word can be funny, but if we even smile, let alone laugh, our kid most likely will take this as encouragement. And that's the last thing we want.

  • Never reply back with aggression. Often kids use bad words as a defense mechanism against something they sense as aggressive. Our aggressive reaction will only add more to the overall confusion. Instead we must be calm and patiently explain what we do not like and approve and why. This is absolutely the best way to face and fight kid's aggression.

  • If we see a friend's influence behind our child's way of expressing himself, it's best to first approach the parents and openly and honestly discuss the issue with them.

  • Last, but definitely not least, we have to talk to our kid and try to understand what is the reason for the change, try to make sure this is not the tip of an iceberg in which case the issue becomes quite different.

We should try to always wisely and carefully stick to our principles. Stubbornness, plain aggression and roughness are quite typical at a certain young age, but if we have systematically, carefully and wisely given our life lessons, this will quickly pass and be forgotten.
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