We are back with Part 3 in the Chakra and Child Development series. If you missed Part 1, you will want to check it out before going any further. Part 1 gave a general overview of the Chakras and outlined my thoughts on how this view of child development aligns with natural/attachment parenting principals as well as the child development work of Rudolph Steiner. I also explored the 1st and 2nd Chakras in depth. Part 2 explored the 3rd and 4th Chakras in depth.
Today I will explore the 5th, 6th and 7th Chakras and how they relate to child development.
Chakra Five: Vishuddha (sound, creative identity, oriented to self-expression)
Child Developmental Stage: Ages 7-12
The Basics: This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here children experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
Signs of Deficiency in the Fifth Chakra
- Being introverted and shy
- Having a soft, weak voice
- Fear of speaking
- Difficulty using words appropriately
- Being secretive
Signs of Excess in the Fifth Chakra
- Excessive talking
- Talking loudly and quickly, using talking as a defense
- Poor listening skills
- Interrupting others, inability to be silent
Emotional issues related to the Fifth Chakra
- Inability to express oneself
- Being critical and judgmental
- Having a lack of will
- Being dishonest and/or giving mixed messages
Health issues that may arise from Fifth Chakra imbalances
- Chronic sore throat
- Mouth ulcers
- Gum difficulties
- Joint problems
- Swollen glands
- Thyroid Problems
How Parents Can Support the Fifth Chakra in their Child
1. Support communication.
Your child has a solid command of language now. Help her use it. Have long discussions with her about the nature of the world. Encourage her to ask questions and take time to answer them. (You can also let your child wonder.) Ask her questions about herself, her feelings and her friends that she can talk about. Be an attentive listener.
Cognitive learning is enormous at this period. School is the major arena for learning and development of confidence. Show interest in your child’s studies. Help her with her homework. Ask questions, supply added information, share what you know. Get involved in school projects. Model good study habits.
2. Stimulate Creativity.
Success is the greatest motivator for developing competence. Supply your child with creative opportunities for industrious expression: art supplies, musical instruments, crafts, dance classes. Model the creative thinking process by searching for new ways to do things, even if it’s something as mundane as setting the table. Teach her to use tools. Stimulate creativity with books and movies, concerts and plays.
When your child presents you with something she has created, be sure to appreciate it, even if it only looks like a silly blob. This teaches her that her creations have value, and supports her creative identity. Show the drawing to others; put it up on the refrigerator; invite grandma to the school play.
3. Expose to larger world.
Take your child to new places. A trip to the museum, street fairs, the zoo, a traveling vacation, a campout in the mountains. Allow exposure to different ways of life and encourage her horizons to expand.
Chakra Six: Ajna (light, archetypal identity, oriented to self-reflection)
Child Developmental Stage: Adolescence
The Basics: This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens children’s psychic faculties and their understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy it allows children to see clearly, in effect, letting them “see the big picture.”
Signs of Deficiency in the Sixth Chakra
- Being insensitive to situations and others
- Poor vision, not able to see the future or image alternatives
- Difficulty visualizing
- Lack of imagination
- Poor memory
- Denial (unable to see what is happening)
- Rigid thinking, one way is the only way
- Inability to remember dreams
Signs of Excess in the Sixth Chakra
- Difficulty concentrating
Emotional issues related to the Sixth Chakra
- Inability to or resistance to self evaluate
- Difficulty with intellectual ability
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Close minded
- Doesn’t learn from their mistakes
- Incongruence between mental and emotional self-narratives
Health issues that may arise from Sixth Chakra imbalances
- Brain tumors, hemorrhage
- Neurological disturbances
- Blindness and deafness
- Full spinal difficulties
- Learning disabilities
How Parents Can Support the Sixth Chakra in their Child
1. Support identity formation.
Your adolescent is now searching for his own identity. This is not a time to become controlling over details that are not of direct harm, such as hair, clothing, or harmless activities, such as listening to music. Respect his expression of individuality. Encourage his own thinking by asking questions rather than giving answers. Instead of telling him what you did when you were his age, ask what he might tell his son if he were a father.
The roles he tries on will change many times before he settles into his adult identity. Don’t worry about the ones you don’t like. To strongly oppose it strengthens the likelihood that it will last longer.
2. Support independence.
Allow your child to have more of his own life. Encourage ways he can earn his own money, take responsibility for more aspects of his life, such as buying clothes, having his own transportation, creating activities. Let him make some of his own mistakes. If he feels you believe in him, he will more likely behave responsibly.
3. Set clear boundaries.
Adolescents nevertheless must have a clear and consistent sense of limits. As they are now old enough for sophisticated reasoning, it is important to include them in the thinking behind those limits, even to the point of letting them suggest alternative ways to address these limits.
Chakra Seven: Sahasrara (thought, universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge)
Child Developmental Stage: 18 years and beyond
The Basics: This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is a person’s connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
Signs of Deficiency in the Seventh Chakra
- Learning Difficulties
- Rigid Belief Systems
- Spiritual Cynicism
- Overly focused on materialism, greed and power over others
- Excess focus on first three chakra issues
Signs of Excess in the Seventh Chakra
- Spiritual addictions
- Dissociation from self and body
- Inability to stay present
Emotional issues related to the Seventh Chakra
- Inability to trust the life process
- Disruption in values and ethics
- Detachment from humanitarian issues
- Inability to see the larger picture
- Lack of faith
- Loss of purpose and meaning in their life
Health issues that may arise from Seventh Chakra imbalances
- Extreme sensitivity to light, sound and other environmental factors
- Spiritual depression (loss of meaning in life)
- Chronic exhaustion unrelated to physical disorders
- Migraines and headaches
How Parents Can Support the Seventh Chakra in their Child
Seventh Chakra modeling actually occurs throughout childhood. By the time your son or daughter is truly at the seventh chakra stage, they are on their own and your influence will be minimal. But here’s some general principles to practice beforehand:
1. Stimulate questioning.
Ask don’t tell. If your home is a safe place to question and discuss values, your child will learn to think for herself. If she is taught to think through her own problems, with support, learning that there may be many answers to a single situation, she will be more open minded. Involving her in intellectual discussions and asking for her opinion makes her feel that her thought processes are worthwhile.
2. Offer spiritual variety.
Spirituality should not be forced on your child. It is better instituted by modeling conscious behavior, and sharing what you can as there is interest. In addition to exposing your child to whatever religion you practice, you can make their spirituality even more solid by giving them some exposure to other religions as well. Explain why your family has chosen the religion you practice. Allow your child to research other cultures and styles of worship. If your religion is best for her, she will come back to it on her own, more solid in her commitment because she’s been offered choice. If she chooses another that she finds more fulfilling, it will be an informed choice, rather than a rebellious act.
3. Provide opportunities for education.
Learning is the way we feed our seventh chakra and keep our operating system up-to-date. Support learning in whatever way you can, whether it’s attending local community college, weekend workshops, a trek to the Himalayas, or a self-imposed course of study. Teach your child to find the lessons in experience. Ask what she’s learning from different activities.
4. Let go.
When it’s time for your young adult to leave home, support and celebrate their independence. It doesn’t help to hang to her on nor does it help to push her out the door. As the parent withdraws control and attachment, the young person will naturally gravitate out into her own world.
As children grow up through the chakras, they don’t immediately outgrow the needs of the previous chakra. Children need physical affection all through life, not just in the first and second chakras. They need continual approval for their self-esteem. They need to be talked to, engaged with, included in family life and activities.
Children need love and attention, time and approval. They need to be encouraged, not discouraged. They need to be part of adult society, and they need their individuality to reform that society in ways that are in better harmony with the body, soul, and spirit. Children are the sacred beings of the future. They are the hope of humankind.