Teach Your Children to Apply the Four Agreements
The four agreements are a compendium of knowledge from the Toltec culture and are a true invitation to adopt a lifestyle that brings us closer to freedom and happiness.
As adults, we can decide to change our beliefs and paradigms at any time in our lives. But can you imagine the gift of raising a child under such beneficial values and precepts?
When we’re young, our mind assimilates the information we receive and creates its own schemes that will govern our future perspective. Therefore, let’s nurture children’s minds with rich and positive ideas; let’s help them lay the foundations for a fulfilling existence.
How to teach your children to apply the four agreements?
You have to consider that they all start from the idea that both happiness and suffering are largely personal choices. The perspective we adopt when we look at reality conditions the emotions that will accompany us along the way. Therefore, these four proposals constitute a basic guide for those who choose to be happy.
1. Be impeccable with your words
The first agreement emphasizes the true weight and importance of the words we use. Every word matters; it has the capacity to destroy or edify, to hurt or to heal. Our language shapes our thoughts and, with it, we greatly influence ourselves and others.
Therefore, we must get little ones used to always speaking to themselves with love. To remind themselves with words and thoughts that they are valuable, loved, important, brave, and intelligent.
We adults have a horrible tendency to constantly judge and criticize ourselves. Let’s help children grow up with a healthy internal dialogue that guides them to trust themselves and not put obstacles in their own way.
In the same way, we must instill in them the value of speaking to others with respect, of being careful with the words they say to others. Let’s teach them empathy, to be able to put themselves in other people’s shoes, and think about the consequences of their words.
2. Don’t take anything personally
When others judge us or criticize us, we usually jump like a spring, defending ourselves and getting into conflicts. Therefore, teach your children not to take the actions of others personally.
When someone throws venom at you, you have the ability to choose to accept it or reject it. And, if you reject it, you’ll be immune to it. An unaccepted gift continues to belong to the giver.
So, teach your children to have a clear and firm idea of who they are and what their values are. In this way, they’ll manage not to feel affected or disturbed by the actions of others. Teach them that what the other person does and says only speaks of that other person.
3. Don’t assume
We often make the mistake of thinking that others must read our thoughts, that they must know what we want. In the same way, sometimes we rush to interpret situations without having enough information.
Assertiveness is a great value that we have to transmit to our children. Let them feel free to ask for clear explanations. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask for what they want or need. This will prevent them from many arguments and discomfort in the future.
4. Always do your best
Guilt and frustration are two powerful emotions that generate great unhappiness, and the best way to avoid them is to always do your best.
When, for example, they face an exam, encourage them to focus on the process rather than the result. That is, they should study and do their best to understand the task. But, once this is done, their mission will be accomplished.
We can’t control the outcome of everything in this life, but we do have control over our behavior. When we know we’ve done our best, we can move forward guilt-free.
The four agreements: A way of life
More than one-time tasks, the four agreements must become a way of life. That is why childhood is the ideal time to begin learning them. A child who assimilates and applies these precepts from their earliest years will undoubtedly enjoy a fuller, more peaceful existence and healthier relationships.