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Ayurvedic Approach to Parenting

Parenting is an incredible challenge and Ayurveda celebrates parenthood. Giving birth is an immensely important job of continuing the human race. Once the baby is born, all efforts and actions must be in the best interest of the child.

Ayurveda has eight branches. One of these is Koumarbhritya, which is completely dedicated to the health and wellness of children. Kashyapa Samhita is the oldest treatise of Ayurveda on Koumarbhritya (childcare). It explains, in detail, newborn care, immunity boosting herbal formulations and the healthy growth and development of children. Below are some helpful tips from an Ayurvedic perspective that can make this journey a little less stressful and a bit more magical:

  1. Understand your Child – Know and understand your child’s Ddsha (constitution) and manas (psychological) constitution. The dosha constitution will help you know what health issues to expect and how to prevent them. Manas or psychological constitution will help you know and understand their personality traits. When you know your child’s dominant dosha, you are better able to handle the myriad of things that come up at any given moment. For example, your Vata child may have some anxiety about a friend’s sleepover; while your Kapha child may need two different alarm clocks to get up in the morning.
  2. Use Reason and LogicCharaka Samhita, Ayurvedic Literature, specifically says to never put a fear in the mind of a kid to make them do things. Whenever you ask a kid to do a specific task, back it up with reasoning they will understand. For a four year old you may have to simplifying the reason to one they can understand; however, consistent use of reason and logic will build their natural creativity and exploration.
  3. Change with your Children – Young children are sponges for learning, with no anchors or biases, they absorb everything they see, hear, feel, and touch. For the first five years, let them observe, experiment and experience the surrounding environment. As they move to the educational phase of life, school or otherwise, it is crucial to emphasize that knowledge and mastery requires discipline and consistency. While discipline and consistency will be different for each child (back to #1), as a parent our goal should be to help them understand how this brings structure to their life and help them in the learning process. As they grow older, it is important to realize and adjust your relationship to them. They have all the skills necessary to face the world alone, at least that is our hope and it is important to emphasize that our goal as parents is be their sounding board whenever they need someone to talk to who understands what they are going through and listen without judgment.

Most parents know that it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, no two children are the same. In my opinion, there is no question that parenting is the most difficult job there is! Ayurveda gives us tools to help us relate to our children, and to help raise happy, healthy and grounded kids.

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