Space of a Child

Article adapted from: http://yourpresenceheals.com/space-of-a-child/, dated 12th April, 2013
– a testimonial & sharing by Ma Nithya Durgananda

Two weeks ago, I attended a mind-blowing Parenting program called “Space of a Child” conducted by the Head of Enlightening Education, Ma Rishi Advaitananda from Nithyananda Dhyanapeeta. That 3-hour session created so much awareness in me as a parent and literally at the end of the session, I came out feeling that every parent on planet earth should have this knowledge and understanding of the “Space of a Child”!

For parents, you probably would have realized this by now – being a parent is one of the most challenging responsibilities we have undertaken because there is no preparation from life for becoming a parent and each child is different. We just give birth to a new life and the next thing is, we need to figure out how to raise a child through trial and error. No amount of parenting courses or support groups out there can fully prepare us for this task because there is a deeper mystery about life that we first need to understand as parents.

VidyalayaSingaporeThat mystery is the “Space of a Child”. What do I mean by the space of a child?

The moment a woman is pregnant, for 9 months she is closest to the source of creation. From that space of creation, every soul takes a human body and lands on planet earth in a meditative state. This pure state is a space of unimaginable, unlimited possibilities beyond the perception of our limited human mind. That is why children are always so full of life, filled with creativity and new possibilities. They are the embodiment of LIFE itself, the pure energy which represents wisdom, innocence, integrity, authenticity, creativity and bliss. If children are allowed to remain in this space as they grow up, they just become the awakened ones – Buddhas of the inner world and Bill Gates of the outer world.

As parents, unless we understand the space of a child, we are not even aware of our conditioned inner space. The awareness of this space will create a cognitive shift in us and help us to bridge the communication gap between our child and us.  Without this awareness, parents constantly try to pull the child out of this space into the adult world – which is a space primarily driven by limited logic, fear, greed and limited possibilities. This fundamentally shuts down the space of endless possibilities for a child. The truth is our role as parents is to love our children unconditionally, give them a sense of confidence to explore life and allow them to deepen the innocence in their space.

When I looked within, I had also made some unconscious mistakes in the process of raising my son in the past, just like the many parents I’ve encountered. This seems to be a universal problem where many parents need an immediate “inner awakening”.

Here are some examples I could identify with:

  • Our parents brought us up without the awareness of the “space of a child”; they raised us to the level of intelligence they had at that time. As a result, we became by-products of a conditioned society where fear and greed thrived. Many times, through our lack of authenticity and a manipulative mind, we imposed our fear and greed on our children so that they did whatever we wanted them to do. When we did that, we indirectly limited their possibilities. One example is the concept of playing in the rain. Our parents had taught us that by playing in the rain, we would fall sick, so we pass this on this legacy of conditioning to our children. The moment they are conditioned, they can no longer explore the freedom and joy of playing in the rain without falling sick because their mind is already conditioned by this association.
  • I’ve seen some of the most bizarre things that some parents do to their kids! One parent I know practices a fixed sleep timetable for their baby. Even as the baby may be sleeping soundly, he is not allowed to sleep beyond the fixed time-table. They wake the child up despite his cries from the disturbance. The premise of training the child with a fixed sleep routine is to make the parents’ life manageable and also the wrong belief that the child will be so-called “trained” to have a regular sleep pattern. But they have forgotten one basic truth – the child is an independent intelligence, any effort to go against the flow of this intelligence will only create more trouble such as irritation and suppression at the later stage.A child should be allowed to be in their space as much as possible.
  • Another cultural conditioning that parents tend to make is – they think the child is an extension of them. They try to live their unfulfilled dreams through their children. Many parents force their children to take up many hobbies or go to branded schools just because they didn’t get to do it. NO! The moment they are born, they are independent beings with their own wisdom. They have come to fulfil their own life purpose and possibilities & as parents we are there to enjoy their presence and support them.
  • Another big misconception is – some parents always think that children don’t know anything about life, so they (children) should listen to them. The truth is, in that pure space, they know much more than what we know. We just need to be patient enough to listen to them and to be sensitive to allow them to express their wisdom. Only parents with sensitivity will be able to create a space for nurturing this infinite wisdom in their child.
  • Sometimes due to parents’ lack of integrity, they fail to honor the words they give to themselves or the child. Slowly, children also pick up this habit of not honoring words he or she gives to themselves and others. The moment non-integrity breeds in their inner space, they have already moved away from the space of possibilities. Parents should learn how to complete with their child every night so that both the parents and child can be in completion with each other.
  • I’ve also noticed that generally Asian parents are less able to face their in-authenticities in front of their children due to cultural conditioning of pride. It is difficult for them to admit their mistakes and be transparent before their children. Actually when we are able to admit our in-authenticities and be ready to take guidance from our children in terms of how to correct ourselves, they will feel complete and fulfilled which will also help them to open up new possibilities in their space as leaders.
  • The next dimension is a tricky one – how to define the boundaries of freedom to your child? This is one mistake that many parents commit including me. Quite often, when we try to teach our child about the danger of fire, due to our own fear or greed, we tend to give the instructions with attachment of our own fear or greed. The right approach to defining the boundaries of freedom for our child is to provide the facts about the dos and don’ts patiently about the dangers of fire without adding our own fear or greed. Two important things happen with this approach – 1) your child will not have to learn from life the hard way by exploring all kinds of fire in order to know fire burns; 2) you avoid passing your own fears to them and restrict their possibility of making their own conscious choice.
  • How do you react when your child performs something remarkable? Ordinarily we would react with surprises and praises. When this happens, unconsciously we are teaching the child the greed for appreciation in association with something done remarkably well. When we get surprised by the child’s amazing feat, we are giving them an indication indirectly that it is not an easy possibility for the child. The best way is to respond just as a spectator and enjoy their presence and creativity as-is.

The understanding above is what I got from just one parenting session – it is only the tip of an ice-berg. There are deeper insights on the space of a child that parents need to internalise and learn in order to get into a child’s space without curbing their boundless possibilities.

The moment I started practising some of the practical tips, I could see an improvement in my relationship with my son – I listen to him now with more sensitivity and he also listens to me because he knows I am relating with him in the space of a child! So beautiful! Now, I am eagerly looking forward to the next Nithyananda Parenting session!

Ma Nithya Durgananda (Teo Siew Yong) is the Founder of “The Owl Company” & “Your Presence Heals”, the Featured Author of “Adventures in Manifesting”. She is also a Spiritual Healer who teaches Yoga, Meditation & Nithyananda Bala Vidyalaya in Singapore

Ma Rishi Advaitananda is the principal of Nithyananda Gurukul who, in addition to running a successful school in Chennai and a Gurukul in Bidadi, also runs Parenting and Mentoring workshops for parents and teachers on a monthly basis. Ma Advait as she is fondly known, also conducts monthly 21-day residential en-Genius workshops for children from 4 to 14 years.