As human beings it's natural to recognize each other by our external appearance.
For example, you might recognize someone by the car they drive, the way they look, or their personal achievements and accomplishments. Children, too, are taught to be recognized for their personal efforts and successes.
Recognition like this can be a wonderful contributor to the development of a child’s self-esteem. However, to truly build confidence inside and out it's important to connect kids to their soul.
Typical measures of success allow your child to feel good in the moment, but feelings derived from accomplishments tend to fade. The soul on the other hand, is eternal, and therefore will maintain your child’s confidence and resiliency for the long run.
Here are five ways to keep your child connected to his soul:
One of the best ways to connect children to their soul is to make time for play no matter how old they are. For example, you might have a family volleyball game or board game. Play brings up all sorts of emotions including excitement, frustration, and disappointment. It is an opportunity for your child to feel emotions and move through them at the same time. Without these chances kids don’t really get to fully digest their feelings in a healthy positive way.
It's no surprise music gives kids a clear connection to their soul. That said, it's important to check in with the type of music they're listening to. Music with violent or degrading lyrics may not only negatively influence your child’s soul connection but also his human connection.
Take time to get to know the music your child listens to. Some hard rock music can actually be grounding for a child. Trust your gut if you believe your child is being negatively influenced by his choices. Talk openly about your values without judging others. Keep the lines of communication open.
Whether it's structured (e.g. sport) or unstructured (playground), exercise positively increases the movement of energy in your child’s body. It's also a way to get your child to drink more water which further increases energy (soul connection). Encourage and support any kind of movement through family walks, bike rides, or perhaps a membership to a gym. Regular exercise gives your child a chance to be in his body. The body and soul are inherently connected.
Getting kids and teens outdoors in all the elements (sun, rain, etc.) is one of the quickest and most gratifying ways to connect to the soul. This could be as simple as a walk to the bus stop or a regular time frame where no television or computers are allowed. Nature – like the human body – has its own life force. Both your child’s life force and the earth's are nurtured by the sun. Without the sun, nothing would be able to flourish on the planet.
Human touch is one of the most powerful ways to connect your child to his soul. And teenagers need hugs, too. Be sure to take time to give your child a pat on the back, or a gentle hug. It's not so much what you say but how your child feels when you take the time to do this.
Finally, don’t forget to connect to your own soul. Parents, too, can get caught up in human recognition. Keep the soul vibe strong in your home by taking time to pause, breathe, and count your blessings.