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.