"Childhood should be seen in terms of a pattern of growth where 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 Samraj
Frequently Asked Questions about Conscious Childrearing in Adidam
What is “Conscious Childrearing”?
“Conscious childrearing” is Avatar Adi Da’s term for His unique approach to raising children in the Way of Adidam.
What is the primary feature of conscious childrearing?
The primary feature of conscious childrearing is that it is based in the heart-relationship with Adi Da Samraj and direct communion with His “Bright” State of Being. Thus, the raising of children is an expression of each person’s present-time response to the Divine, rather than a strategic technique. In any moment together, children and their caregivers choose the Happiness of that primary sacred relationship rather than unhappiness and patterns of separation from others.
What are the basic principles of conscious childrearing?
Avatar Adi Da has given three basic principles to guide His devotees in raising children:
1) “Intimacy is the Healing Principle”
Intimacy is the essential foundation for all growth—without it, a child has no basis from which to make ego-transcending gestures. Avatar Adi Da has given a wide range of practices to reinforce a child’s sense of prior intimacy with Him, friends and family, the world of nature, and the Mystery, or Divine Reality.
2) “Children Must Be Liberated”
The child’s need for and heart-impulse to Liberation must always be respected and served. To this end, they need to progressively learn for real that the True Source of life, sustenance, and Happiness is the Divine Itself, not the mortal parents. The Divine is not a creator to replace mortal parents as an ultimate parent, but Real God, known in the transcending of egoity and in communion with Adi Da Samraj.
3) "True and effective discipline is always an act of love"
Effective discipline returns a child to “Oneness with the Divine Reality”. Ineffective discipline, on the other hand, punishes a child for behaviors and focuses attention on the child as a problem, which reinforces their sense of separation.
Can you tell me more about discipline in conscious childrearing?
Rather than dealing problematically with negative behaviors and reactive emotions in a child, Avatar Adi Da has instructed His devotees to give children an appropriate action that will reconnect them to relationship and intimacy.
In disciplining a child, expect him or her to be loving and give energy and do likewise yourself. Don’t make the child feel bad about themselves, or create the sense that there is a problem.
What are the three steps to follow when disciplining children?
1) Don’t assume/presume a problem (assume that the current difficulty is an opportunity to grow, and that you and the child can make use of it to do so).
2) Ask the child what they are feeling (draw them out into relationship again with humor and sympathy).
3) Provide them with an alternative action that reconnects them. (Younger children will need to have you come up with the action while older kids and teenagers will do well if they can have an input into what this might be.)