It’s not a secret that children have unlimited potential. Aristotle professed that children can learn everything because their mind is a blank slate, Tabula Rasa which can be nurtured and influenced. Others have seen the child’s mind as a sponge that is able to absorb everything and anything from the surrounding world. As a mother and a teacher, I have found it true. This even ‘spills’ to the quite recent epigenetic movement that finds that we are not our genes after all. But that’s another story.
Having been involved in education for more than a quarter of a century and more recently in mindfulness, I often wonder how to help children to stay playful in times of stress, creative in times conflict and calm in times of pressure. It’s interesting that now as an adult I am trying to ‘undo’, what has been encoded in my mind by my teachers, parents, grandparents, friends and the world around me. As adults, we are trying to alter or erase our unproductive habits – physical or emotional. We are learning to meditate to change our brain, we are exercising more to keep ourselves fit, and we are watching what, when and how we eat so that our body remains healthy.
As centuries ago, our children still have unlimited potential.
The psychology the we used to rely on (and that I studied in the 1980s) has been changing by leaps and bounds. Many findings are evidence based and supported by the functional MRS. A psychologist of the past would be ecstatic. We all know about the mind and body connection. At school, children are taught the most recent discoveries but are they taught how to harness their energy or are they labelled as hyperactive? Are they taught self-compassion or are they seen as selfish? Now when the benefits of mindfulness and similar practices have been scientifically proven, why don’t we use the child’s ability to absorb the techniques that will help them to act nor react, to accept themselves just the way they are and to be resilient in the time of stress. Why don’t we help them to be their higher self for the highest good? After all – nothing has changed. As centuries ago, our children still have unlimited potential.