Children need so much in the way of guidance. In the absence of guidance, they miss those important experiences never introduced to them. Or, they are left to their own interpretation of the things they do experience.
Kids also need balance when it comes to experiences! But what kind? There is static balance and dynamic balance. Static balance is the numbness of existence. A bored child slumped in a chair is in physical balance but mental imbalance. An active child may fall while running or fail while trying in seeming imbalance, but they are in the dynamic balance of experience, resulting in constant mental growth.
The right experiences are vital in finding the right balance of learning. One child may be exposed to nature and find a love for it while another may be exposed to violence and become numbed by it. Children that come from violent neighborhoods have experiences resulting in extreme unbalance. So do children from extremely overprotective families. The only differences are the consequences.
In the beginning of one’s life, experiences are influenced almost entirely by the family environment or the lack of one. Because of this, some children have tremendous advantages or disadvantages over others. Children need a broad range of experiences to thrive because static balance can be boring! It is boring when there are no choices; or boring when a mind has little to pull from to support their imagination; or boring when they have few positive influences or mentors. Those that have little exposure to the world around them become disinterested in learning about it.
If one always lives in the light, they will be afraid of the dark. If one never looks up, they will miss the clouds and stars. You may love the beach until you find the mountains. An Eskimo may think 45 degrees is warm while in the Congo one would shiver at 70 degrees. But when one experiences the dark, their fear recedes. When one looks up, it will give new depth to their existence. Travel and conversation will teach one that perceived extremes of any kind are relative to your familiarity of the topic, and can be changed.
This brings me back to families. A child will prosper when he or she has different viewpoints allowing for choices and thought. They will prosper when they are exposed to more things, opinions, and places. This exists naturally in most families by having both a mother and father in the home! A male and a female, a father and a mother, are the perfect yin and yang. Kids need interaction from both because they learn different things in different ways from both. A mom and a dad are true opposites that allow for balance.
Only true opposites can create a dynamic balance. Balance that comes from a lack of input is static and stifling. For instance, a rubber ball lying in the gutter is in balance, but it is boring. A rubber ball bouncing off the wall is also in balance. It is balancing momentum, gravity, the density of the ball, and force of our throw, all placing the ball in different positions of balance at different times as the inputs change! Much more exciting!
A child living with only their mother, or only their father, will need a way of balancing the yin with yang. In other words, a boy needs a masculine model and a girl needs to know how to be treated by a man. A girl also needs a role model and a boy needs the calming influence of a mother. While there may be a dominant parent, both parents need to be involved in raising their children. When trouble exists between the parents the children should neither be ignored, nor held as bargaining chips. They still need positive, dynamic, and safe experiences to thrive.
Always think of your children first!
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