Today is part five of the series in which we analyze Yuval Noah Harari’s lessons from his book ’21 lessons for the 21st century’. We aim to change the culture we live in, for the better, through our children. And you, being a parent, have a direct role, a direct way to leave a legacy of positive change. Of course it turns out that being a parent, and effecting this change, isn’t easy. But listening to a 3 minute podcast is. So keep hanging in there with us and we’ll work on making it easierfor you.
What is Harari’s Fifth Lesson that we can take into parenting?
It’s on his use of meditation.
Now I’m not advocating that we start to get our kids to meditate. So don’t just angrily hit the stop button.
But I find it interesting that “He sees meditation as yet another valuable tool in the scientific talking, especially when trying to understand the human mind.”
And our kids need to learn this skill. If they grow up and want to meditate, great. But the point is that when we start children young with the practice of identifying their emotions, it builds into a lifetime of listening when your mind starts to wander. And it starts a practicing of getting your mind back on track. Maybe that’s away from self-destructive thoughts, and away from the big meltdowns. I don’t know, but I only see it as a positive.
In fact, my wife sent me a webpage on “The Zones of Regulation”. This was a tool that one of our preschool teachers used last year. Maybe some of you have seen it. I’ll link it in the show notes.
But kids are one of 4 colors. Blue is for things like sadness or Lonely. Green is happy, focused. Yellow is upset or excited. Red is Mad, mean.
And the teachers don’t assign the colors, they have students identify which color they are.
And like any good teacher, there are a list of tools that you can use to get in the green zone. Things like drawing, deep breaths, taking a walk, Lifting something heavy.
Wouldn’t it be great if by the time they were middle schoolers they could take control of their emotions. I know some middle school teachers and they would love it too.
So work with your kids on emotions. It’s more important than you think.