THE BATTLE BEGINS INSIDE ALL OF US
The Battle of the Wills with our kids starts within us and within our children. We have an Upper Nature that is ran by our conscious choice, our conscience. The Upper Nature perceives the world (Ant & Bee), has an emotions response to it (Macho and Cuddles), plans what to do (Geru), and carries out those plans (Rabbit and Turtle) that are approved by our Consciousness. It is so simple and usually works quite efficiently. It has helped us build our sciences, our families, our world of research and literature, and our houses and cities.
But we also have a Lower Nature, a survival mode, that can really save us in dangerous situations, and so it is quicker to respond. Fear usually sets it off. But it can dominate.The problem is the Lower Nature is faster to respond then the Upper Nature and sees way too many things and other people as dangerous and so wants to deceive (Spiedie), be greedy Raccoon), blame (Crow), and fight (Coyote) when it is unneeded.
Our Lower Natures can also be whats behind the battle of the wills inside of us that wants to fight the battle of the wills with our children. What a mess it can be. It creates most of our daily crises and takes up a lot of our time and energy that leads to nowhere or to the next crises. If the Lower Nature is stronger or bigger, by genetics or learned, then the Upper Nature, expect lots of bad decisions by Dragon, our alter ego.
The battle starts when we, or our children, do something that, like a flashback, brings up a memory, an old emotional response to that memory, a justifications of what we or others did in the past, and the old habits of fighting back. It could be that as children we were severely punished for taking a cookie and told we were no good and would amount to nothing if we were not severely spanked. So we are on auto pilot. We jump into the past and fear that if we don’t do something drastic to our kids that the crises will continue into the future and grow worse. So we are all ramped up to stop the nonsense now no matter what it takes.
We quickly rehearse the past actions, add to them our present opportunity to act, and plunge into the battle before we stop and think. We have told our our children to look before they leap as we leap into the battle ourselves before deliberating properly. I add the word properly to infer we may not have stopped and thought about it in as productive a way as we could have, or as we want to teach our children to do. We want to teach our children how their Conscious Choice can stop or step on the Lower Nature. So we too, must stop our Lower Natures from doing as our own parents or teachers may have taught us to do irrationally.
Now, you rightfully may be thinking, just what is the proper way, as you feel I may be plunging into the subject without having considered your pride and dignity. That is not intended. But, it is not in our evolutionary genetic makeup to stop and think. Yes, it takes time or experience, emotional maturity, wisdom, and trial and error experience to begin to know what to do each and every time. And even if we have everything it takes, still, maturity has a way of dropping off or we forget to use it, or it does not always seem to work in all situations.
To be more fair to you I will add, maturity is a life time learning experience as to when and where and how to use it. It is a very complex formula. So I and will try and outline it for you in simple four steps, not necessarily so much for your own behavior but to help you teach your children, especially our more mischievous children who may have been born with, or learned to have, a more active stronger Lower Natures. So bear with me until I get the next posts out.
So how do we gain maturity as fast and efficiently as possible and pass it on to our children? Lets look at each of the four steps our brains go through to answer that. The steps again are Perception, emotional response, planning, and acting. We have to hone in on better perception, workable emotionally response, better maps or beliefs to make a plan of action, and better skills and habits. The four steps need to communicate with and compliment each other, work together, coordinate together, like all the husky dogs that pull a dog sled, and keep the Lower Nature animals small and ineffective unless we need them in a dangerous situation.
Consciousness does that for us. That is if consciousness knows how. Consciousness is blind, emotionless, ignorant, and helpless without the four step widgets. And the four step widgets are blind to each other without communicating. Ant and Bee tell Macho (fear) and Cuddles (love) what is out there in the world, and Macho and Cuddles then tell Ant and Bee to look for danger or love objects. Then Geru chimes in with advice to do so or not to do so and adds what he/she thinks should be done. At this point Turtle yells patience as Rabbit expounds what he can or can not do, what his skills are. Geru then prompts Rabbit to do more, try more. Macho may yell Danger and the Lower Nature wants to take over to deceive, be greedy, blame, and or fight. The back and forth dialogue has no end or possible patterns. It can run like clockwork or it can be a complicated mess if Consciousness, Mr/Ms Do, can not focus and coordinate all the parts to solve the problems or reach goals. With the Upper Nature in Chaos Dragon can then take advantage of the situation and take the lead.
To be healthy we must balance all the widgets, keep them working together to accomplish our mission. Like a well ran dog sled, even the Lower Nature widgets.
To add to the complication of unbalance, each situation we find ourselves in can expound on or limits those possibilities and create more dead ends. And the most complicated situations of all are other people. There is nothing more complex in the Universe then another person’s mind. How can we understand others when we hardly understand ourselves. How can the brain see beyond itself to see itself and how it interacts with the the bigger then them Universe? Mr/Ms Do (consciousness) tackles that problem too. As he/she gets wiser so do we.
‘Situations?’ you say. ‘That’s a new step isn’t it?’
Well, you may be saying that yes, it is a fifth step. But wait, there are three more steps.
‘What? Three more?’
Yes, and together with situations that makes four more steps.
‘OK, what are the next three steps?’
The new steps are really just the original four steps but reinterpreted in a situation. So we have the biological traits of the child or we could say their predisposition to perceive, the family emotional dynamics the child was raised in, the belief systems they have, and the past, present, and foreseen future situations. In other words biology and genetics is what makes up a lot of a person’s perceptual ability, emotional limits, thinking levels, and potential actions, family shapes our emotional responses, belief systems help us plan what to do, and situations dictate which skills or habits we can use. So, really it is still four steps: perception, emotional response, thinking or planning, and actions.
‘What about Dragon and his crew? Is that not four extra steps?’
Dragon is only our alter consciousness or alter ego or our negative side. Tinted perception, selfishness, weird thoughts of blaming others, and aggressive responses are just the negative survival mode of the four steps. To perceive the lie, feel self centeredness, justify by blaming others, and acting without considering the other person’s Upper Nature is the job of the Lower Nature in situations where survival is at stake. It is fast and awkward but it still only the four steps; perception, emotions, thought or planning, and action.
So we perceive according to our genetic makeup, our raising, our beliefs, and our skills and habits in past, present, and perceived future situations. We perceive according to our genetics, our raising, our beliefs, and our skills and habits from past, present, and future. Our mood is dependent on our perceptions, emotional experiences, beliefs, and actions. We think according to our genetic potential, family dynamics, belief systems, and situational possibilities from past, present, and future. And we act according to genetic makeup, family habits, beliefs, and situational possibilities, past, present, and future.
All these variables change the size and strength of influence each widget has. Those variation make us who we are, when and where. We have a genetic predisposition that can be altered by accidents or drugs, by family, by beliefs, and by experience and situations. When widgets vary so does our limits and possibilities. Here is an example of the widgets of a typical Nurd, one who is detailed, a bit detached, concrete thinker, and inactive. Perception and patience rule and direct a lot of the show and all others are drug along. To help such a person fit into the mainstream we would need to calm down the focus on details, beef up their empathy, expand their concepts, and build a fire under their rabbit. If the Lower Nature is too active that too will have to be calmed.
Its evident that babies have genetic makeups, but until they grow, experience family, learn beliefs, and habits they are quit helpless and at a loss as to what to do. By nature their Lower Natures must be strong to survive. In young children the Consciousness is not as developed yet as their Dragon as Dragon is more hard wiring and conscious awareness is more learned so takes time and discernment. And this is where parents come in. Parents shape their children’s consciousness as they help develop their four step widgets, especially the Upper Nature.
To see the process we need to look at genetics, at family dynamics, at the structure of belief systems, and at skills and habits needed for situations of ourselves and our children. We then decide what we need to do to be able to help our children be able to control themselves so we do not have to police them constantly.
When you connect them all, Upper Nature and Lower Nature in real life situations, and you will be really cooking at the game of productive human interaction and communication and behavioral prediction.
So lets begin to look at how to change the limits of our children, what is needed to change them according to our own genetic, family, beliefs, and habits.
I will start with Infants, then toddlers, next young and older children, followed by adolescents.
That is the number one place parents come in. Consciousness coordinates with others and their widgets of perception, emotions, thoughts, and habits.
So lets start with step one perception, to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the situation, to know what really happened.
That is not so simple, and may never really be completely known. But we can look at patterns, trends, and habits of others to begin to understand what they are doing by what they tended to do in the past. This can also be used to predict what they may do in the future. But the battle of the wills is shaped also by situations, that keep changing. So we have to look at the patterns and trends of the situations people are found in. Kids tend to act differently with mom then dad, with school then home, with their friends then strangers, a church then at a party. So the patterns of people’s behaviors changes within different situations. The brat at home may be an angel at school, or vice versa.
And when the cells began to stick together and even begin to make complex organisms, each of those cells had one will, one purpose, one goal, TO EAT. Without the will the organism is not as likely to survive. We do not want to break any child’s will by overpowering them with our own. We want to enhance and direct their will with love.
And when that baby is born, every cell in its body had one will, one purpose, one goal, TO EAT. There is nothing you can do to change that.
This will does transfer to other things as the infant grows such as the will to walk, will to talk, will to get all their needs met. If you break the will of a child you have taken away part of their will to live to the fullest.
But human babies, toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults also love many other things, a lot. One of those items is a loving parent, a mother figure. Some babies can not live without them. It is that bond that is the key to bend their wills enough to include what your will wants also.
Infants are born with immature Uper Natures, fear is their strongest widget. What an infant needs is all their needs met as quickly and gently as possible.
Stage One: The Perceptual stage is their main stage until they are 10 years old. This is how they absorb the world. Perceptual they need to stare in your eyes and smile back as you smile. They love to hear enthusiastic voices and movement. They will learn then to look at and try to mimic and thus learn to manipulate their world. Lots of hugs and kisses. Dance with them in your arms. Sing to them. Show them lots of brightly colored toys and things around them. Let them play with the light switch. They will make the connection.
Stage Two: Emotionally what they are learning is love and trust. Give them your word and keep it. Lots of love and hugs and ‘I love you’ over and over. Too much fear will develop the Lower Nature, that will pop up later when it is able to make itself visible in behaviors.
Stage Three: Intellectually they are learning to handle the world and will by nature begin to understand gravity by throwing things. They are learning distance and space by moving around. As they move their arms and legs and touch things their inner rhythm and tempo will measure the space and time in handling things. They are making a model of the world inside by handling everything and putting things to their mouths. They are also listening to your words and implanting the rhythm of basic words.
Stage Four: In the fourth stage they are discovering their MYSELF and physically learning mobility. Their Lower Nature is not very active other then to cry hard, older infants may hit, they may ignore you if they feel slighted, and they may withdraw and not respond at all but fall asleep when they are very afraid. Fear is their biggest widget and is what will lead to the development of the Lower Nature too soon so do not scare you infants.
If your infant spends their first few months or more crying from unknown pain, usually from colic gas, you want to get out your best walking shoes and start pacing back and forth with them trying to comfort them. My first Grandson cried so hard and long his parents took turns pacing with him while the other one wore ear plugs and head phones to try and get some sleep until their turn to pace. This went on for seven months. But it paid off. As a young adult he is the most caring and loving young man I know of. The child from hell turned into the loving saint. All that attention paid off.
Stage One: Toddlers are older infants. They have mastered a lot but they still need lots of perceptual experiences, lots of hugs and kisses, exploration of their world will include more outdoor fun, they are learning to value what you value especially other people, and they are doing more physically. But what has developed more is their Lower Nature, they have learned the word and meaning of NO. They are trying it out and can have tantrums. Tantrums tend to be from feelings of being overwhelmed but they can learn to use them to get their way if you give them that result. Instead you need to ignore the tantrum until it is over and some time has passed. Then you want to hold them more often and for longer periods. Your touch and affection will help their Upper Nature get control again and act more productively.
Stage Two: Toddlers can hoard toys, collect things, and be selfish with other toddlers. That is ok but you can encourage more Upper Nature behaviors by modeling them and giving hugs and kisses for following your example. They can learn good habits. But only at their pace. To push things too soon or too long will frustrate them and force them into their budding Lower Nature of anger.
Stage Three: If they are able to talk in phrases, sentences, or multiple words you can get a better idea of how they think. They are making judgements of you and those that can talk can tell you what they think you are doing wrong. Some between one and two may have a running list of things you did that they did not like. So be fair and loving.
Stage Four: Their Myself is getting bigger along with the other widgets. Remember they are really just bigger Infants. Do not expect too much but don’t do to little. Show them things, share joy and emotions with them, explain things, help them do things. They are basically absorbing sounds, sights, tastes, smells, textures, words and emotions beyond their understanding that they will make sense of later. Its a memory task, they are building memory of these things. They will put it together better latter.
This is where the battle really begins. Children, ages three to eleven are the most productive years in regards to teaching them your family culture, relationship rules, the basic world, and your values. It is the age of beginning to understand you and believe you. This is the age range you want to a lot of varied things. If you ignore this age range and let them raise themselves and only interact with their peers they will be naive, overly shy or precocious, they will share their ignorance with each other and their Lower Natures will probably dominate over their Upper Nature as the Lower Nature is more innate and hardwired but the Upper Nature takes a lot of care, learning, and intelligent planning
Stage One: Books, and more books. Computers are great inventions but books are more hands on, they can tumble with them, take them in the tub with them, maul them, and rip them apart. Yes, they are not interactive on the type, but kids can tough and smell the paper and feel like they can make a book too. They write on them, color on them, and do all sorts of things we do not want our electronics to go through. Electronics are ok too. Kids can even be read to. But nothing beats curling up into mom or dad’s lap with a book and being read to with maybe even the family cat or dog in their arms if not their teddy bear. Don’t forget the cookies and drinks.
Read all the kiddy books in the library that interest them. Go weekly and check out a dozen or so. They are really good for helping the child touch the world that is out of their reach otherwise. Around five or so begin to read them the larger books, the classic literature books. They will understand more then you think. Kids have unbelievable memories for collecting bits and pieces of our world that they will put together and make sense later.
Stage Two: Pets are great for teaching a concept that they are biologically not programed to finish until their twenties, empathy.
When a child hurts or is too rough with an animal cuddle the child and the animal and talk about how the animal and child feels as you comfort them both demonstrating how to handle animals.
Fear is still very big in children, natures way of keeping them safe. They may love horror movies but keep it at a minimum. Children below the age of 11 should not be playing kill them games on electronic devices. If they show blood and gore it is too hard on them. Studies show that because they can not distinguish real from unreal it is like putting them on the front line of a war. It will activate the survival mode and the Lower Nature can click in. But more devastating is the shock of death and anxiety parts of the brain can shrink. You don’t want them to have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in the name of fun.
Stage Three: I always did science projects with the kids when we usually think they are too young. They are little sponges. But don’t do directions of frogs or other animals. They are not ready for that shock. However, you can get the plastic version that take show what living things have inside. They love those.
When it comes to gifts always include what their passion of the moment is. If thats cars get cars, if it is art get lots of it, if they want to be a fireman well, get that stuff. You want to teach them how to follow their passions. How to collect or work with their productive inclinations. They will change over time but you will begin to see their pattern, if they lean toward music. art, science, history, and on and on. One of my son’s loved music and does to this day recording and publishing, another loved philosophy. How did I know he did? Because he loved role playing games with different lands and cultures along with reading thick books of stories about the same. That is thinking games that explore the human psychic. Sure enough, he obtained a master’s degree in philosophy. The third child love to build and was very practical. He went into business but always works on his houses to improve the. The musician son also builds, even more and improves but his love is music.
Stage Four: Gymnastics, sports, hiking, camping, what ever floats their boat. My philosophical child had nothing to do with any of that and was drug along for the sake of the other two, otherwise I may not have ventured out much with him. To this day he is a homebody, Mr. Mom to his kids. Every kid is so different. Play it by ear but do offer as much as you can to them.
Home routines are great for some kids and chaos for others. But don’t forget about your own sanity. You may have to impose more routine then they want.
THE BATTLE: The battle is to get them to clean their rooms. They need help. Clean with them giving them small chores. Don’t expect them to do it on their own. Very few children have the ability to plan ahead and execute the plan if it is not innate. Yes they can plan what they are playing with and follow through. But play is natures true teacher. Nature does not want us or animals to waste time on tasks that do not lead to future survival. So young animals, like young children, wrestle a lot and are very curious. There is no room there for clean your room, what is room a youngster would have in nature. Their parents take care of them. Kittens don’t even bath themselves until about three years old, the equivalent to an older teenager. If parents bath their kittens they smell more like momie and she can find them easier.
Kids are not lazy, they are just genetically programed for survival, survival 60,000 years ago or even earlier, the primordial goo that was looking for something to eat.
Step Three: We want to teach our children that not all is what it appears to be and to ask questions. Before the age of ten children usually can not tell reality from fantasy but many question their existence. When one of my 7 year old grandson’s had figured out there is no Santa Clause I asked if the tooth fairy was real. ‘Of course,’ he announced, ‘I have proof.’ His hefty little hand held out a Canadian quarter with a picture of the fairy. He had found it under his pillow where he had placed his tooth.
Children need to learn to be fair. They are very good at knowing when we are not fair to them but they have a hard time translating that to others. Pets are great lesson givers on how to be loving and gentle to the inept. They are great for teaching empathy. Transferring that to other kids or adults can be innate lessons on compassion. Animals are easier to understand as adults are very complicated to them. Until they are adults they will never really understand what we go through.
Kids will believe anything before the age of ll.
How to self correct, the turtle for little ones. Discipline and Love both.
But keep on helping them understand the world. I was not very old when an older brother told me there was no end to the universe because if we came to the end we could open a door and there would be more space behind it. That concept stayed with me to this day. Einstein began think about his theory of relativity when very young as he watched a train go by at high speed but the passengers moved around with ease.
Young children ask a million questions, a good time to give accurate answers as long as they do not scare them.
Step One: Teaching children to stop and observe without thinking to just observe the patterns. To look at what is the same and what is different. To see if things change because of different factors such as gender, age, time of day, time of week, month, or year. Factors can be weather, people involved, festivities, and as you get more sophisticated such as politics or beliefs. At this point step three of being fair see step two
Step Two: Teaching children, who are not real judgmental anyway, how to view others from different angles so they do not become judgmental. I like to teach a way to look at others. Children show distinct intolerance to the actions of others. They begin to not want to go to religious events, or school stating they have no reason for it.