The Basic Principles of Teaching Psychic Self-Regulation to Children and Adolescents
Our experience accumulated in various forms of teaching psychic self-regulation to children and teenagers allows us to formulate the following recommendations:
1. Dedicated ethical work, which every instructor must do on the background of teaching psychic self-regulation, must lay the foundation of ethics in students.
2. Groups of students can be formed either of children only or can include adults as well. In the latter case, the program is created for children, but parents willingly participate in such classes. One of the advantages of the second option is that it creates common interests in such families and helps to overcome separation between the parents and children.
3. One should not teach children and adolescents the exercises of work with the reflexogenic zones of the emotional-volitional sphere (some basic exercises with the anahata can be an exception) if there are no special medical indications for this. The reason for this is that these exercises are not compatible with alcohol consumption during or after the course. One cannot be sure that children and teenagers will observe this rule in the future.
4. The emphasis in this work has to be put not on achievement of high results, but mainly on broadening the students’ horizons, on informing the students in order to help them to choose their way of life when they grow up.
Enrich the classes with aesthetics and sports!
One can supplement them with choreography, music, photography, paintings, tourism, ecology, literature, philosophy — depending on the field of competence of the instructor.
One can also enrich the classes of different profiles with the elements of psychic self-regulation.
5. One should not teach shavasana to children younger than 12 years, because some children have difficulties coming out of deep relaxation. (Exceptions from this rule are allowed only in case of medical indications. Such sessions must be conducted by a certified physician.)
6. There can be exercises of work with the reflexogenic zones of the emotional-volitional sphere and other similar methods used by trained physicians to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders in children. It is especially effective for correcting social disorders.
7. Most easily children and teenagers master exercises with mental images. Mastering the concentration is usually more difficult for them. However, training them in concentration is especially important for their progress in the school. Very helpful in this respect is to exclude “killed” food (i.e. made of bodies of killed animals) from children’s diet, and at the same time to increase the amounts of proteins found in milk and eggs. The same recommendation is useful in every respect for all people without exception.
8. An interesting positive effect can be achieved if children are present (but do not participate on equal rights) on out-of-town classes of groups where their parents study. If there is no obtrusive attitude towards them, children turn on the important mechanism of training — imitation. They learn a careful attitude towards nature, as well as towards any manifestation of life; they master skills of life in a tent, building a fire and preparation of food on it, learn discipline (waking up early in the morning, morning exercises, morning bathing, etc.), learn to see the beauty of nature and attune to it, easily master exercises for tempering the body, for example, they insist on participation in winter swimming together with adults [6,9].
Regarding the practice of winter swimming for children, let me note the following: this method helps to increase the range of temperatures comfortable for the body for the whole life; it “tempers” the body. Yet it must be used under the following conditions:
a) fully voluntary attitude of the child, with no persuasion from adults: the children themselves know best when they are ready for it;
b) favorable emotional state of all present adults;
c) making no attempts to treat with winter swimming (as well as with showers of cold water) children who are weakened by prolonged illnesses. Winter swimming as a medical procedure is effective for treatment of some local disease processes in those children who are generally in good health. The healing mechanism in this case is bioenergetic stress in response to “cold impact”. But if the body is weakened by a prolonged illness, then it has no energy which can turn on the needed process. In such cases, the opposite is effective — for example, hot baths or saunas.