The feng shui of a home has a big influence on our children. Although the emphasis in a child’s life is different than that of an adult, children benefit from all the same principles that help to create health and harmony for adults. Working along with a child to increase the beneficial feng shui can be an asset not only right now, but potentially for their whole life.
Children are rapidly developing and their brains and nervous systems are wide open to be educated and “imprinted” by every influence around them. They are also more vulnerable than adults are because of the relative immaturity of these same brains and nervous systems, which means that living in a way that is appropriate to that particular child and in a safe environment is of paramount importance. This piece is written with younger children in mind, but the information applies to older children and teenagers as well.
Children come into this world as whole individuals, complete with all the unique traits they will carry with them throughout life. They have valuable input to contribute to help to tailor their world to suit their unique needs, and they also have perceptions that parents may not have, which will help to contribute to a more whole and complete experience of living in a home for everyone who lives together there. As early as possible, include your child’s input on what they need to thrive in their room, in particular, and in the entire home in general. Observe what makes them happy, what areas they naturally gravitate to, what areas they may avoid, etc.; these observations will help you and your child to tailor their experience of living and working with the home environment to be both creative and satisfying. They will also gain a sense that their experience and contribution is valued by others and valuable to others, and that they have some control over their own quality of life.
Classical Feng Shui
Technically, anything that impacts the capability of a property to support quality of life is a facet of Feng Shui.
Traditional Compass School Feng Shui considers the inherent energies in a building acquired when it was built, and the individuals living in a property based on gender, birthdate, their relationship to others in the same building, and their activities. A full assessment is available for your property on request, and it will always reveal deeper ways to bring a property into balance, but there are many things one can do to support children and family life on one’s own.
Ming Gua / Good Personal Directions The “Ming Gua” is based on our gender and year of birth, and can show what our personal best directions are in any property. Ming Gua calculators are available thru a web search if you are interested. For the sake of simplicity I’m not including the Ming Gua information here for a couple of reasons: While some people are very sensitive to the compass directions, others are not so much so, so this does not seem in my experience to be a universal concern. Those who are sensitive to it can usually tell if they feel better with their body oriented towards specific directions. Second, other energies on a property can be and often are more influential than our own personal directions. For example, a good health personal direction may coincide in a particular home with an area of the building that has some energetic or physical influences which are not healthy at all, so to assume that an area is good because it is a good personal direction could be misguided. The reverse is also true, that a section of a building has very beneficial energies, but it is not a supposedly good personal direction. Much of the time, the building’s energies are a bigger factor than our personal directions. Asking a child how they feel in a location, and observing them over time, can reveal if a particular location is right for them or not. I always include the Ming Gua directions with an in depth assessment, but with the caveat to pay attention to one’s individual experience.
Bed and Bed Location As much as possible, a child’s sleeping area and bed in particular, should be out of busy pathways, and in a relatively quiet spot, in full view of the door to the room so they can see who is coming in easily from the bed. Natural light (not too much or too little) nourishes healthy alertness during the day, and the circadian rhythm is aligned with the resting cycle of the planet itself at night. If possible, avoid bunk beds, but if you do have them make sure they are very solidly and safely constructed, ideally from wood, but not from particle board which can outgas chemicals. Air flow is important, but once again not too much or too little; it is better if a bed is between windows rather than right under a window where the flow of air across a bed may be strong enough that it interferes with rest. There are “chi pathways” that exist between windows or doorways, any route that allows for more rapid movement of air, and it’s best not to place a bed within a pathway.
Ventilation and Chi Flow Fresh air is a fundamental need. If you live in an older home that’s built more like a sieve, this is actually to your benefit because you are probably getting some inadvertent ventilation from that alone. The more modern “air tight” homes with recirculated air from heating or cooling systems, contribute to a build-up of positively ionized air, chemical toxins, mold, radon, etc. Fresh air with an abundance of negative ions improves mood, concentration and mental clarity, and supports the immune system by reducing stress and directly disabling pathogens with a positive ionic charge to them. Stagnant areas with poor chi flow make connection to life and healthy activity harder, and toxins can pool there. Besides air being vented in through the outside, and open windows, negative ion generators placed up high, and some plants can be used to improve air quality (making sure very young children can’t reach and disturb them). Natural materials and avoidance of synthetics and chemicals reduce the toxicity and positive ions. Using a Structured Water Portable Unit with a fan can also add negative ions back into the air thru the phenomenon of “structuring” the moisture in the air. Consider not using pesticides or chemical fertilizers on any garden area adjacent to a child’s window (or any window!). A Himalayan Salt Lamp can add negative ions and soft friendly lighting, and possible function as a night light if needed.
Organization Keeping things in order helps to provide an inner sense of responsibility and consistency, and makes all books, toys and clothes more accessible. Shelves, boxes, baskets and anything used to help to organize what is in the room, should be easy for a child to use, and something they like looking at and interacting with, which will make it more likely that they will keep their belongings in order willingly. The task of organizing can have a relaxed feel built into how you approach it so that organizing happens enough to be useful, but is not so rigid that there is an interruption to creativity and play, or any undue anxiety about consequences of not being organized.
Different children with different personalities will vary greatly in their inherent natural inclination to have an orderly environment, so the organizing system and reinforcement of being tidy will be tailored to the individual child to some degree. Some amount of flexibility can help to encourage imagination and spontaneity without creating chaos.
If a child has a lot of toys, rotating them so that the bedroom or play area are not overly packed will help the child take better advantage of what is there, and create greater chi flow when areas are not chock full.
Colors and Imagery The colors and imagery in a room help to set a lot of the feeling tone for well-being, and to support one of the primary tasks of childhood which is the development of a healthy imagination. Having an array of natural colors that are not too stimulating or too subdued, nourishes the body as well as the brain. Sometimes there is such an emphasis on “stimulation”, there can be an overwhelm of colors and objects resulting in sensory overload. This can make concentration and organizing more difficult and encourage a tendency to be distracted. Colors which gently stimulate allow a child to remain relaxed.
Imagery should be friendly, enlivening and help to instill confidence and security. Avoid anything that is at all fearful or in some other way uncomfortable for the child. Even imagery that seems humorous or purely fanciful from our adult point of view can provoke trepidation in children, so we as adults have to step into the shoes of a child’s perception to see what an image might elicit in them; we may know an evil queen from a story, or a ninja warrior is not real, but a child may not.
A Place to Connect with You Children need their own places to call their own, to play and study in, but they also benefit by a “place to connect” with you: A dedicated chair or sofa to read stories, a place at the table to go over some homework, a chair by their bedside where they feel comfortable telling you about their day, their excitements, questions or concerns. A developing individual goes back and forth between connecting with themselves internally, to connecting with others and the outer world and having new experiences, to connecting internally to integrate experience. Places of interaction with parents and any others in the household that promote meaningful interaction enrich everyone and help to give a child a sense of belonging and being important.
Physical Play / Technology Human beings are designed to learn through an abundance of physical interaction with the world, especially before the age of seven, and an excess of technology can – paradoxically – actually create an experiential deficit. Our initial learning is really “embodied” learning from physical interaction. An environment in a child’s room and the house and yard in general which encourages physical play and experimentation, will give them a richer learning resource in the long run and contribute to their ability to experience balance, to imagine and think things through.
Technology of all sorts, from baby monitors to many types of games, TV and even cell phones and the internet, have crept into what we consider a normal presence in a child’s life. Most of it has the potential to entrain a child’s brain through how electrical or wireless technology functions and the visual display, creating an abnormal stimulation of their brain and nervous system, and a false dependence on devices. Our electrically sensitive brains and nervous systems respond to strong fields around us which can cause the brain to literally become regulated by the specific types of waves coming from the devices because they are biologically active frequencies. This regulation can become a stronger regulating influence than other people, so strong is the effect of prolonged exposure to wireless devices at close range. Also, various hand-held games and TV that provide a lot of stimulating imagery can replace physical interaction and play as a way of creating a lot of personal experience-based imagery within a child’s data bank.
An environment that has enough open space for creative physical movement and physical play either alone or with others is important to help children develop in a more balanced way that is more normal for the brain as well as the rest of the body. This also encourages a more natural way of relating to other children and adults. Physical play is a fundamental activity of all mammals, so it must be extremely important to our lives overall if it so universal.
Building Biology is the study of all physical environmental factors that can have an effect on health and well being, as well as a sustainable healthy impact on the larger environment of neighborhood, city, land, air, and so forth. Classical Feng Shui considers both health and safety factors from a physical and chemical perspective as well as traditional methods for determining how to increase beneficial energies for all occupants in a home by working with subtle energies and forms. Either way, anything that impinges on the fundamental energies or “chi” on a property should be corrected.
Basic Needs, and Safety The foundation of health and happiness for anyone in a house is how well basic needs are met, and how safe someone is, and this is even more true for children. Children need to be able to sleep well, be safeguarded from any physical hazards, and feel like they have easy access to their parents’ love and protection. When a child feels safe in his or her environment, (s)he is in more of a receptive mode to learn in a relaxed way, which increases the ability to both learn and be creative. Safety, the experience of being safe, is something that is learned as well as all the other information involved in growing up.
Here is a basic list of environmental factors to attend to create safe conditions:
- Anything that is not in good repair, such as furniture, appliances, safe electrical outlets, chipping paint, etc.
- Chemical outgassing from mattresses, particle board, synthetic carpeting, chemical cleaners, certain plastics
- Elevated electromagnetic fields (EMF) or digital radio frequency (RF) fields from wireless technology
- Geopathic stress
- Anything obstructing access to helpful adults, or ability to exit a building in case of emergency
Many of the items in this list are obvious, and something one would automatically take care of to insure safety for children and adults. Some factors are less obvious, such as chemical outgassing, EMF/RF and geopathic stress. Each of these is a relatively invisible influence, and reactions to them could be confused with many other things.
If children have any difficulty sleeping, it’s possible that one or more of these pervasive influences are interfering. If you see a child wake up unrefreshed or anxious, if a child seems to avoid part of the bed when they sleep, it is possible that either EMF/RF or geopathic stress are affecting their sleeping area. Either one of these factors can aggravate anything else that has a negative impact on health, such as outgassing of chemicals from synthetic fabrics in mattresses and pillows, glues from furniture construction or carpets, new or old paint, and so forth.
Physical influences like these can precipitate health issues of all sorts, emotional issues, and learning and behavioral difficulties. If a younger child always wants to sleep in the parents’ bed, or complains of being afraid where they sleep, has headaches, etc., but does sleep well elsewhere or seems more at ease in other locations, then suspect that something in the locale of their bed is an issue. In general, if a child’s demeanor, behavior, mood, ability to relax and be focused, seem to change when they leave a room or a building, it is likely that one or more environmental factors in the home is something that your child is sensitive to. This applies to schools or any other sort of location as well.
In the case of EMF or wireless effects, children are far more susceptible to elevated EMF or wireless than adults are. Not all children will react in an obvious way, just as not all adults are greatly affected or will react in a way that is easy to correlate to the presence of EMF or wireless effects. What has been found is that wireless, in particular, may interfere with the ability to rest, with normal heart function, can contribute to headaches, asthma and allergies, anxiety or generalized stress, and compromise the immune system in general. It is also associated with a weakened tight junction in the gut and the blood brain barrier, which means that gut issues, or uptake of toxins into the bloodstream and brain may be exacerbated by chronic exposure to either unsafe levels of electromagnetic fields or any wireless technology, particularly (but not limited to) what is closest to the sleeping area. If you suspect that there may be some kind of electromagnetic disturbance in a child’s room, have a qualified electrician check all of your wiring – code violations resulting in dangerous faulty wiring are all too common, especially in older buildings. A Pulsor® Vortex Energy Filter can also add a lot of safety and peace to a room, but never skip the step of checking out the wiring as well.
Any one of these environmental safety issues can compound any others that are present; for example, mold can become more toxic in wireless areas. It’s hard, when multiple environmental health hazards are present, to say what is causing what because they each can increase the effect of the others. When creating an environmentally friendly space for a child, everything should be as natural as possible, and as technology-free from effect as possible, especially during sleep hours. If you have a wireless router, strongly consider switching it off at night. Don’t allow children to sleep with any wireless devices “on” near them while they sleep.
This doesn’t mean (most of the time) that a child can’t use technology, or that everything has to be perfect. It does mean that every effort to minimize contact, especially chronic exposure, with a potentially immune-compromising substance or technology, will be valuable. The health effects from environmental toxins are accumulative so even small amounts of chronic exposure can become significant later on. Once again, children are different, and some are much more sturdy in the face of environmental toxicity than others, but everyone shows physiological responses to electromagnetic and radio frequency/wireless signals when tested, whether or not they have a conscious perception of being affected.
20 years ago when I was raising my children, I would have concentrated primarily on the classical aspects of feng shui, and indeed they are very important. The precipitous rise of home technology and wifi in schools, plus increased chemical exposure from multiple sources, has placed a lot more importance on establishing a physically healthy environment in partnership with traditional feng shui. In my experience, the very best results come from attending the entire spectrum of influences on a property. The rise in childhood illnesses, autism spectrum, and behavioral and concentration issues definitely has an environmental component which is not insignificant.
Ask Your Child
Children can be so very perceptive about the world around them as well as their experience of their own internal experience and degree of well being. Remember how good you felt when adults took you seriously when you were young? They need our recognition and acknowledgment, and we also need their input to create a balanced home which benefits everyone. I encourage you to consult with your children about how they feel, what they notice, what would make improvements? Of course not every suggestion or perception may be spot on, but it is a teamwork situation in which everyone’s contribution counts. If your child says they don’t feel well in their room, take them seriously and find out what’s going on. If they are doing fabulously in their life, you can be sure that the feng shui of their living space is serving them well. While it’s true that feng shui is not everything and can’t explain all of our experiences, I have yet to see a person who was doing either well or not so well without a corresponding reflection in the state of balance and influence of their personal environment. Children, in this regard, are just as subject to the state of their surroundings as we grown ups are, and so any improvement can raise the quality of their lives. This is an investment in their future as well as their present.
Holland Franklin ©2016