Last week I wrote about raising children and teenagers and I got a lot of feedback as it is obviously a topic that every mother and father has something to say about. I liked the feedback of one of my friends on facebook, Annan Boodram. He said: “Speaking from experience, Swami Ji, the first step is making an emotive connection. Once that connection is established you can begin to win their trust and then they make you their confidante.”
I fully agree with these words and I believe that an emotional connection is necessary in every relation. Especially with children it is easy to have this emotional connection because they understand the language of emotions better than the language of intellect. If you talk to them with intelligent words, definitions and facts, they won’t understand you. If you reach out to them with love and happiness, you establish an emotional bridge in between you and them.
The base for strengthening this emotional connection however is physical closeness. For any close emotional relation, I can only repeat it again and again, you need to be close physically. And then it doesn’t matter whether this child is your own child or someone else’s child, with physical closeness you create an emotional connection and you feel love and trust in between each other.
We experience this here often with children who come to the Ashram and stay for longer. Additionally I believe every kindergarten teacher and primary school teacher can confirm this theory. You spend a lot of time with a group of children, you play with them, you teach them, sometimes you have to be serious and scold them, too. At the end of one year however you realize that you developed a personal bond to these children whom you had not even known one year ago. You spent several hours nearly each day with them and thus have an emotional connection with them. They developed trust in you and many early school teachers and kindergarten teachers are remembered a whole life long.