Around 200 years back, famous English author William Wordsworth had put it beautifully: “The child is father of the man.” Today’s child will be tomorrow’s man, i.e. he will lead the society in the years to come. In a way we can say that today’s parents are directly responsible for the society’s future.
This also makes parenting a very challenging work.
There was a time when joint families were a common feature of the society. A kid brought up amid several other kids and adults inevitable had better interpersonal and social traits. He was more social. But nowadays, we mostly see nuclear families. Here too, as both – the father and the mother – are working, they get very little time to spend with their kid. In turn, the kid’s attachment to his parents is also not very strong. Loneliness makes a child emotionally and intellectually weak. Now one can well imagine what sort of leader such a child will turn out to be. So it is very essential for parents to understand the five stages of a child’s transformation into a youth.
These stages are:
(i) Physical body (0-5 years)
(ii) Energy body (6-10 years)
(iii) Mental body (11-15 years)
(iv) Intellectual body (16-20 years)
(v) Bliss body (21-25 years)
In the first stage which spans from 0 to 5 years, the physical body of a child develops. In this age, parents take special care of the infant’s food requirements as his different parts like brain, bones, heart, liver etc are in developing phase. This stage is very important as only a healthy child will transform into a healthy adult.
The second stage is the energy body (6-10 years) which actually operates the physical body. This energy can be divided into two parts:
(a) Active energy
(b) Reserved energy.
The active energy is 40% which a body uses during its daily routine work, while the remaining 60% is dormant. We can understand it with an example. Suppose, normally we run at a speed of 5 km per hour. But if we take part in a race, we run at a higher speed. And if a ferocious dog chases us, we would run even faster. From where do we draw the extra energy to run faster? Of course from our reserved energy pool. Those who know the art of using this reserved energy perform better in their lives. During this period, parents must teach their child how to struggle. A child must engage in physical activities and outdoor games like cricket, kabaddi, football, running, swimming etc. This is the reason why the kids in rural areas are physically more robust, strong and healthy.
The third stage is mental body which develops from 11 to 15 years. It is the mind that manages and channelises the energy to operate the physical body. In this period, a child must read biographies of great persons, stories like Panchtantra, Hitopdesh etc. Reading such books and listening to such stories strengthen a child’s mind. It is not easy to control the mind. People spend all their lives trying to control their mind and they still fail. Parents must ensure that the child’s mental abilities are properly developed during this phase of life.
A child’s fourth stage spans from 16 to 20 years. It is called the intellectual body. Intellect controls the mind, which in turn controls energy and physical body. Hence, intellectual body is very important.
I feel that to strengthen the child’s intellect, he should be given case studies to read, understand and work. This will improve his judging capabilities. He will learn to take right and courageous decisions. He should be sent to the market for shopping so that he learns to select the right thing from the several given options.
The last stage is the bliss body. This provides complete, holistic development to a man’s personality from 21 to 25 years. This body helps man experience blissful peace and unlimited happiness. During this stage, a person should listen to melodious songs, watch good movies and theatre plays. He should indulge himself in creative arts and endeavours. This will help mitigate aggression and frustration in youths.
Dear parents, you might not be able to change your child’s destiny, but by ensuring proper development of your child during the five stages, you can certainly help him become a good, peace-loving, morally upright, intelligent and emotionally sound human being.