Supporting Emotional Intelligence in Two-Year Olds

I have just completed a 14 week experience teaching two-year-olds in a Montessori-style classroom and interacting with their young parents.  “The terrible twos, how could you?” said my friends.  Today, I am very grateful for this concentrated glimpse into the world of these fourteen very individualistic two-year olds (and I didn’t find any of them “terrible”).

This age bracket is the beginning one for the development of emotional intelligence.  Many children are struggling with their emotions in a public setting (day care) for the first time and learning how to get through it all.   Already, I could see the previous social conditioning of their parents playing out in their personalities and orientations to other children.   I observed these children navigating for the first time with how to play in meaningful ways with others– copycatting was high on the list of observable play behaviors. If one child initiated a behavior, others would follow suit—usually these were with undesirable behaviors.  Some were transitioning from diapers to the toilet—those that had made it were in a different “older kid club”.  There was pride in this membership.  They were all learning how to be independent with opening lunch boxes, throwing away their left overs, cleaning their work areas, taking work off the shelves and returning it to the same location. Some days, all the children worked so diligently on their lessons with enthusiasm and joy.  Other days, they were more apt to throw themselves down on the rug, roll around and “space out”.   Sometimes they just got in trouble.  The head teacher called this “making a bad choice”.  This seemed to work.  I could see them categorizing these infractions in their consequent actions.  They certainly knew when another child made a “bad choice” and were happy to share that information. When they didn’t make good choices, they had to be carefully explained to as to why their choice wasn’t the best one.  Negotiations were often difficult.  There was occasional biting when “no” didn’t seem to cut through, there was hitting by those who didn’t go as far as biting, and there was a lot of touching, and not much hugging.  Crying was the easiest way to express their frustrations and disappointments.  I found all of these behaviors mark the beginning emotional life for the two-year old who is attending day care.

If your child is in day care and this age, you may be interested in exploring with your teacher the ways your child is developing emotional intelligence.

Parents are advised by experts to:

Become aware of the child’s emotion.
Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching.
Listen empathetically and validate the child’s feelings.
Help the child verbally label emotions.
Set limits while helping the child problem-solve.

I was able to sharpen my teaching, listening and caring skills through this “in the trenches experience” and I have a new found appreciation for the amazing minds of two-year olds– their capacity for order and cleanliness, their curiosity about the world, their attention to detail, and most especially the emerging independent spirit that comes from wearing underwear and being able to do things for oneself.  Pay attention.  There is a genius stirring in your two-year-olds mind– even if you can’t quite see it yet.

Dr. Celeste A. Miller

Photographed by Tom Miller

Kwan Yin – Ceramic – Taipei

 

Educating the Reincarnated Child is published!!!

Excited to announce the newly published Educating the Reincarnated Child

Educating the Reincarnated Child by Celeste A. Miller, PhD

Book #4 in the Reincarnated Child Series

Having already shared my basic argument for the significance

of soul development in my free eBook, The Reincarnated Child,

I move on to discuss in this book essential ideas about expanding

education, as we practice it today, to include once again the

intersection of education and soul development. This requires that the

vehicles for the soul’s expression – the mind, the heart, and the body

– all be developed together. Adding to a belief in soul development,

a belief in reincarnation introduces another layer of complexity, that

of the potential of educational and learning opportunities to impact

future lifetimes as well as this one.

 

Once upon a time, education was dedicated to soul development.

This was during the Renaissance and the Reformation.

During those hundreds of years, soul expansion was the main goal of

public and private education. As a society, we have long since moved

on. Fascination with technology and science has us in its grip and is

rapidly molding our lifestyles and choices. Our new technology-given

freedoms are mostly outer-directed. Soul connection seems incidental.

Compared to previous generations, our soul senses now lie mostly

dormant within us.

 

We spend our lives trying to figure out who we

really are, and yet we leave out what our souls can tell us in that basic

search for life’s meaning. To find the soul reality of ourselves is more

than a religious concept. I believe it arises out of the basic intrinsic

design of life itself and thus is universal, and the search should be

above the clash of ideologies and mindsets.

 

Here are four reasons why I believe soul education is vital.

• First of all, attunement with ones’ own soul is the most

important source of information for our life’s experience

because our soul was created with a specific ideational

blueprint of purpose and destiny. It is our own internal

crystal ball so to speak. Thus, I believe that it is ultimately

important for education to reorient children to their

internal states by developing the soul senses. These allow

for the quiet messages coming from our inner- most

reality to be heard, and for those messages to provide a

compass for the soul throughout life.

• Secondly, because the soul, with its own senses, is

experienced through the physical, emotional, and mental

bodies, they need to be in tip-top condition.

• Thirdly, the soul is also our tie to past experiences in other

lifetimes which we need to learn from, and in some cases,

overcome.

• Fourthly, the soul continues on its learning path after

death, beyond the life of the physical body, and so is the

tie to our future as well.

 

Therefore, in addition to the traditional areas of curriculum, I

believe that what truly elevates and endures is any learning that causes

the soul to express itself, now, and into the future. Getting to that

how is the subject of this book.

 

The Ideal Child

 

What should the goal of education for the soul be? Sometimes

it is easier to see the beginning if we look at the end result we want

to achieve. Let’s start with the ideal child and reverse engineer. What

would be your idea of an ideal child? My ideal child would be one

who can lead and follow. He/she would have grit and be creative,

discriminating, diligent, and respectful of self, others, and nature.

He/she would have curiosity and the ability to concentrate. He/she

would be open-minded and fair-minded, honorable, courageous, and

loving. He/she would also be hard-working and goal-oriented with

the ability to rise above mistakes, just for starters. Most importantly,

the child would be connected to his/her internal states – know he/

she has a greater self, a reason for being, developed soul senses, and

a connection with the universe that empowers love for oneself and

humanity.

 

To develop this kind of consciousness would require

supportive and loving parents and teachers and some specificity in

educational approaches. This book is written for those interested in

pursuing this bent of educating the whole person: heart, mind, and

soul.

Celeste A. Miller

 

 

 

Educating the Reincarnated Child is published!!!

Having already shared my basic argument for the significance

of soul development in my free eBook, The Reincarnated Child,

I move on to discuss in this book essential ideas about expanding

education, as we practice it today, to include once again the

intersection of education and soul development. This requires that the

vehicles for the soul’s expression – the mind, the heart, and the body

– all be developed together. Adding to a belief in soul development,

a belief in reincarnation introduces another layer of complexity, that

of the potential of educational and learning opportunities to impact

future lifetimes as well as this one.

 

Once upon a time, education was dedicated to soul development.

This was during the Renaissance and the Reformation.

During those hundreds of years, soul expansion was the main goal of

public and private education. As a society, we have long since moved on.

Fascination with technology and science has us in its grip and is

rapidly molding our lifestyles and choices. Our new technology-given

freedoms are mostly outer-directed. Soul connection seems incidental.

Compared to previous generations, our soul senses now lie mostly

dormant within us.

 

We spend our lives trying to figure out who we

really are, and yet we leave out what our souls can tell us in that basic

search for life’s meaning. To find the soul reality of ourselves is more

than a religious concept. I believe it arises out of the basic intrinsic

design of life itself and thus is universal, and the search should be

above the clash of ideologies and mindsets.

 

Here are four reasons why I believe soul education is vital.

  • First of all, attunement with ones’ own soul is the most

important source of information for our life’s experience

because our soul was created with a specific ideational

blueprint of purpose and destiny. It is our own internal

crystal ball so to speak. Thus, I believe that it is ultimately

important for education to reorient children to their

internal states by developing the soul senses. These allow

for the quiet messages coming from our inner- most

reality to be heard, and for those messages to provide a

compass for the soul throughout life.

  • Secondly, because the soul, with its own senses, is

experienced through the physical, emotional, and mental

bodies, they need to be in tip-top condition.

  • Thirdly, the soul is also our tie to past experiences in other

lifetimes which we need to learn from, and in some cases,

overcome.

  • Fourthly, the soul continues on its learning path after

death, beyond the life of the physical body, and so is the

tie to our future as well.

 

Therefore, in addition to the traditional areas of curriculum, I

believe that what truly elevates and endures is any learning that causes

the soul to express itself, now, and into the future. Getting to that

how is the subject of this book.

 

The Ideal Child

 

What should the goal of education for the soul be? Sometimes

it is easier to see the beginning if we look at the end result we want

to achieve. Let’s start with the ideal child and reverse engineer. What

would be your idea of an ideal child? My ideal child would be one

who can lead and follow. He/she would have grit and be creative,

discriminating, diligent, and respectful of self, others, and nature.

He/she would have curiosity and the ability to concentrate. He/she

would be open-minded and fair-minded, honorable, courageous, and

loving. He/she would also be hard-working and goal-oriented with

the ability to rise above mistakes, just for starters. Most importantly,

the child would be connected to his/her internal states – know he/

she has a greater self, a reason for being, developed soul senses, and

a connection with the universe that empowers love for oneself and

humanity.

 

To develop this kind of consciousness would require

supportive and loving parents and teachers and some specificity in

educational approaches. This book is written for those interested in

pursuing this bent of educating the whole person: heart, mind, and

soul.

Dr. Celeste A. Miller

Butterfly Galaxy

Butterfly Galaxy

Japan Journey

 

This week’s blog will be a personal reflection of my recent week in Japan where I went with my two younger sisters and step-mother for the purpose of joining my father’s ashes to my mother’s in two cemeteries, the Hachioji Cemetery and the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.  My mother passed away in 1986 at age 64, in her final year as a missionary for the United Church of Christ.  My father passed away last October in Florida at the age of 93. I write to you while enjoying my dried persimmons and quality green tea brought back as “treasures” to enjoy.

Each morning, at the Sun Hotel in Shinjuku, I was able to enjoy a delicious Japanese breakfast of rice, miso, boiled seaweed, pickled plums and cucumbers, lotus root, grilled salmon, mackerel and egg, while reading the very wide pages of the Japan Times with eager curiosity.  Two items stood out for me.  One was an article on the amount of child pornography in Japan and how little is being done to contain it or control its distribution.  Very disappointing, indeed, and doesn’t reflect well on the Japanese attitudes towards children. The second was on the amount of thyroid cancer diagnosed in children exposed to the Fukushima nuclear site meltdown.  Some doctors are saying there is more cancer; the government saying this is not the case, and since most people don’t trust the government to tell the truth, they make their own conclusions that there is a definite increase in the cases of thyroid cancer.

As we came and went from the hotel in taxis, or private cars, we took in the architectural changes to Shibuya and Shinjuku, observed the current fashions of young people and generally got a snap shot impression of some aspects that appear to have changed over the years since we had been in Japan.  Obligatory ceremonial functions took two of our five days so we were left with three days to pursue our own agendas, mostly gustatory, and looking for special items to take home to our loved ones.  Tasty persimmons were in season, as were tangerines, eaten while we viewed the changing colors of the foliage travelling up to the 5th level of Mt. Fuji by private car where we saw busloads of Asians and other foreigners disgorge from busses, but few actual Japanese.  A sushi meal at the famed Tsujita Fish Market, which is to be closed and relocated on Nov 6th, was not nostalgic for me as it will be for most Japanese, as I had never been there before, but certainly was my last opportunity.  Japanese high cuisine has become more “French like” and Sukiyaki and Tempura no longer seem to take center stage at very important events.

Of course, we were able to spend important time with friends of our childhood and adult life, refresh our rather “feeble” Japanese and experience the schizophrenia of being a third culture child probing backwards and forwards to connect this current experience together with our past.  The attached photo of Kwan Yin is one I took at the Hachioji Cemetery.  Her smiling presence greeted me as we drove up the winding hillsides of traditional Buddhist grave sites to the one Christian site, where the members of the Kyodan Church bury their members.  The minister officiating at the ceremony never knew my father, being a very young minister, but he was representative of the type of man that my father gave many years of service trying to raise up and we knew my father would have been pleased.  We left Japan, not knowing when me might return, if ever, but that is the way it is with one’s journey in life.

Celeste A. Miller

Kwan Yin at Hachioji Cemetery

Kwan Yin at Hachioji Cemetary