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Teaching Children Values

By S. Santokh Kaur Khalsa

Originally titled "Children of the Khalsa" and printed in A Man Called the Siri Singh Sahib Page 240-242

Introduction

“One thing to remember is, all things come from God, and all things go to God.” Everything comes from Him; and then goes back Home again.”

Yogi Bhajan has humbly shared this teaching with us. It can be seen as a foundation for all other teachings, and very well describes his teachings about children, those souls newly reincarnated into this dark age to bring light, truth and hope to the dawning Aquarian Age.

The first principle which Yogi Bhajan shared with us is that no parent should feel that the child is “mine.” A child comes from God and in the end will return to God. We are custodians, serving their needs on physical, mental and spiritual levels to give them direction toward God.

This process of education starts long before birth, even before conception. While in the womb, the fetus is taught through the vibrations of the mother, learning how to interact with itself and its surroundings by her ways of relating.

Learning through Example

A child learns best through example. If parents live the concepts that they wish their child to live, there will be no problem. If what is said is inconsistent with what the child sees, he will learn early that double standards and hypocrisy are an expected part of life. Yogi Bhajan said that we must always speak the truth to our children – to do otherwise is an insult to them and is a grave injustice. On a vibrational level, they will know whether it is true or not anyway. To speak the Truth and live the Truth is the highest teaching they can learn.

The First Six Years of Life

The first three years of life are for learning about time. “It’s time to go to bed now” means it’s time to go to bed now. Saying this and then standing and talking with someone for another five minutes gives the child a false conception of what “now” means. If he learns to respect time, then he will not be caught by it later. From three to six years of age, signals may be used to cue the child to an action which was previously demonstrated. Instead of “Please listen,” a cupped hand may be brought to the ear. Cues teach the child to mentally process information which was learned earlier on less subtle levels and also makes him more sensitively conscious of his environments.

The Natural Order of the Universe

The first six years are crucial in the child’s development. Through consistency in instilling discipline, the child learns very early about the natural order of the universe. The child learns, for example, that the cosmos is able to function because there is a balance between cause and effect: for every action, there is a reaction. Again, the best way to teach this is through the parents’ example. To follow through on what is said is a must: “Please sit down while you eat” means to sit down while you eat. If the child does not do it, the adult must be willing to act appropriately. From this, the child learns many things, primarily to value the word. Besides this, a sense of security comes from knowing there is order in this world.

When raising children, their negative egos must be confronted and their energy directed toward God. In the first three years parents must direct a child’s will; they must build it in five years. They must teach their child to walk on his own feet in seven years and to have self-respect in eleven years. After eleven years parents are wasting their time. If children are not trained in discipline in these areas, they will be likely to leave us, as we left our parents.

There is One Creator of All Creation

As a framework in raising a child, a beautiful outline has been given to us. The foundation of our life is Ek Ong Kaar – There is One Creator, Who has created this creation. With this knowledge, the child will know how to relate to his fellow creatures and his environment: There is One Creator. He made me and He also made everything else. I should treat everything and everybody just as I would treat myself, just as I would treat God. Obviously such an awareness and consciousness is a blessing for all of humankind. Call this Creator, “God,” call it, “Allah,” call it, “Jehovah,” call it, “Sat Nam, “ or “Truth,” it does not matter; each Name refers to the same One. People have a right to call this Creator what they please, and a right to worship Him as they see fit. Demonstrating this to children helps them to learn tolerance and compassion.

All Things Come From God

We can apply the above to a teaching for which we are very grateful to Yogi Bhajan. GTD: “The Greatest Thing of the Day” is: “One thing to remember is, all things come from God and all things go to God.” Everything comes from Him and then goes back Home again. By this cosmic law, they will become fearless of even death. After all, what is there to fear? Fear comes from unawareness. But awareness that the energy from which we are made comes from God, that which surrounds us and sustains us comes from God, and when the cycle here is over it all goes back to God, to merge and be redistributed as He sees fit, gives the young one a faith and trust in the Creator which will give him hope even in the darkest times.