Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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doesn't matter how loud or off key you sing - it is the self expression which is most important. Interestingly, another Swami I know, who has taught yoga extensively to children with physical and intellectual disabilities, reported great benefits in their speech and behavioural patterns purely through teaching them kirtan.

~Too Much Talking~

   A constantly talking child can really wear parents down. Like all things, a balance of verbosity needs to be found which is best for the child as well as tolerable for others. The causes may be inherent or circumstantial, meaning, that as parents, you may have to look around your life or at yourself to find the solutions.
   A naturally inquisitive child may well be asking lots of questions and telling you their realisations as a result of a natural hunger to learn, and this of course is to be accepted and encouraged. But if the child is fixed on a particular person for this interaction they need to be encouraged to "share their talk around" and also to discover some of the answers to life by themselves.
   The attention seeking, overly talkative child may be the result of aloof parenting or of sibling rivalry, in which case the solution is to increase quality and intimate time spent with each child.
   Sometimes a child's talk is made in competi-tion with the background noise of a household - the radio or TV or stereo always being on. Many adults today suffer a syndrome of finding silence uncomfortable - whether alone or in the company of other people. Adults and children alike need to be able to enjoy the pleasures of contemplation, enjoying their own company, waiting to see what develops rather than always needing to know the future. But this requires a philosophical as well as lifestyle adjustment on behalf of parents. Spending quiet times with new talkers, encouraging them to just sit and listen, sit and look, sit and think, quietly read a book, or to do nothing in particular will help create a balance of mental and verbal activity.
   Often, new talkers are not really wanting anyone to answer what they say, they are just practising their talk, trying it out on others to see if it works, to amuse themselves, to be friendly; but frequently we fall into the trap of taking everything they say as requiring a response! This can just add fuel to the fire, so politely suggesting they go and talk to the plants or the dog is a better alternative - and, 


believe it or not, this often works! This is where the rule - "address people by their name and wait for a response before talking" is a boon. This device helps to establish that a child has something important to discuss with you or to you rather than at you, or just to compete with other noise.
   The over-talking single child, or the child of a single parent, can sometimes be a victim of circumstance by having only adults to relate to much of the time. By being involved in adult conversations more often than in larger families, they can be over-indulged intellectually - "You are very clever, you are such a good talker". Later on they can develop the annoying habit of always inviting themselves into adults' conversa-tions or by demanding the attention of the parent when they are already busy with others.
   In general terms, excessive talking is purely an imbalance of energy in and energy out. Over-stimulation of the mind, coupled with under action of the body can produce a child (or adult for that matter) who is always in their head, needing to express every thought they have to someone else. This is easily managed by arranging dynamic activities (usually outside) where the space and size of the world sucks up their excessive energy without harm or inconvenience. I always make sure the kids have some rowdy playtime outside each day and some quiet time inside each day. In this way, body and mind get the right kinds of exercise, thereby preventing overload in either case, and overload for the talk-frazzled parents.

~Literature~

   The early introduction of books and reading to children is highly recommended, not initially for any reason of advancing literacy or scholar-ship, but more for showing them that books are interesting and fun things and that reading is a valid way of information transfer and visual exploration. Hopefully, children will first learn this by seeing the other members of their family frequently using books, and then later, by imitation, they will also start to draw books out from the shelves (theirs not yours!) for their own times of reading.
   Important note: Approaching the time of crawling, don't forget to raise all your books well above toddler height! Remember, it is your fault, not an inquisitive baby's, if they become damaged. Constant scolding not to touch your precious books may inadvertently leave them with the impression that they should not touch any books.

   
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Please Note:
The complete ‘Mother As First Guru’ Set also contains Book 2 + 2 audio cds. Book 2 relating to comprehensive Yoga Practices as well as the Audio Instructional practices (2 cd set) are only available with your purchase and is NOT available on the Reading Room.

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