Parenting is an application of love in our daily lives. Our children give us the opportunity to experience, and express love every day. As parents, we have a very unique relationship with each of our children. We interact with them on so many different levels at the same time. We can be a parent, teacher, friend, chauffeur, psychologist, advisor, disciplinarian, coach, referee, or whatever! When you know your child’s dominant dosha, you are better able to handle the myriad of things that come up at any given moment. You are better able to parent from a place of love rather than expectation.
Kapha is dominant in the first 20 years of life, so all children are influenced more by Kapha dosha at that time. They are naturally more care-free, more loving, more friendly, and easy-going. As the years go on, expect to see their prakruti, their individual dosha, pop through more visibly. You’ll see, for example, that your Vata child may have some anxiety about a friend’s sleepover. Or that your Kapha child may need two different alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Or that a Pitta child always wants to be the boss, or the leader of a group.
It doesn’t matter how many children you have, as a parent you soon learn that you can’t parent any two kids the same way. When we look at all the factors involved in a child’s individuality and the different ages and stages they all go through, there is no question that parenting is the most difficult job there is! Ayurveda gives us tools to help us relate to our children, and to help our children relate to each other. For example:
Vatas learn quickly, but they then forget quickly as well. It is helpful for Vatas to write things down, and carry a day-planner or a Palm-type organizer with them all the time. Vatas learn best by listening. A good technique for studying is to listen to a book on tape while reading along.
Pittas have a good, sharp, general memory. Pittas are visual learners, so it is helpful for them to have charts, graphs and pictures to refer to. They will remember something better if they read it rather than if they hear it, so keep “to do” lists for them.
Kaphas take more time learning things, but once they learn them, they don’t forget. Kaphas learn best by association, so tell them stories that relate to the lesson at hand, or give examples of experiences they can remember which apply to what they need to learn.