Childhood should be seen in terms of a pattern of growth in which the child is always served to transcend the limits of his or her current adaptation, through living association with the Spiritual Principle of Happiness.
—Avatar Adi Da
Basic Principles of Conscious Childrearing as Given by Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The following guide summarizes Avatar Adi Da's instruction for caregivers who serve His young devotees:
I) “Intimacy is the Healing Principle”
Be ecstatic with children—never talk the talk, always walk the walk!
II) “Children Must Be Liberated”
Without this, children eventually get the message that “we are supposed to depend on our parents as the source of love, but it is not reliable and it does not fulfill us absolutely”. Binding patterns of hopeful dependence and reactive independence follow; patterns of seeking for and withdrawal from love shape the personality.
Infants should be nurtured completely, breastfed (unless unable to), carried in slings, slept with, etc.
As they grow, the sphere of relationship should always be broadened. The aim should be to always serve the child’s individuation through relationship, not identification with the mother. A child should never be pushed away from the mother, but rather, suported to go beyond fears and move out of themselves into intimacy with others. Generally, this is not difficult—children naturally want to be independent. To this end, parents need a wider context of like minded individuals for their children to relate to.
Children’s Intimacy with the Divine Reality in their relationship with Avatar Adi Da Samraj should always be presumed, and enacted daily (at storytimes, during guided meditation, contemplative walks and so forth).
III) True and effective discipline is always an act of love
Rather than dealing problematically with negative behaviors and reactive emotions in the child, give an appropriate action that will reconnect him or her to relationship and intimacy. Expect your child to be loving and give energy and do likewise yourself. Don’t make the child feel bad about himself or herself, or create the sense that there is a problem.