Feng Shui for Children
The most rewarding aspect of my job as a Feng Shui advisor is teaching people how the environment impacts their lives and what they can do about it. As the summer season comes to a close, many of my clients are preparing their children to begin or return to school. The transition from carefree days with family and friends to a more structured, less familiar school environment can seem abrupt and even frightening for young children. Even high school and college bound students experience anxiety about unknown social and academic expectations and demands on their ever-shrinking supply of time.
As parents, teachers and caregivers, there are things we can do from a Feng Shui perspective to help ease this transition and prepare children of all ages for a successful year. Young children rely on their elders for nurturing while teens require more discreet guidance as they slowly pull away toward independence. Educators and their institutions have an important role in our children’s lives, but intellectual curiosity and self-confidence are engendered at home.
Here are 9 Feng Shui tips you may find useful to help them on their journey:
The bedroom is a place of rest and respite for children, so I encourage you to take a careful look at this space. Is the bed located on a solid wall behind a sturdy headboard? This is your child’s “mountain” of support and proper placement helps provide them with stability. Ideally, they will be able to see the room’s entrance from the bed, which eases anxiety about the comings and goings of people in their lives. Keep the area under the bed clear of anything that can disrupt a peaceful night’s sleep. Lie down in the bed and note what the child sees upon waking. Is there a window with a view, a blank wall or a pile of toys or laundry? The first thing they see in the morning can set the stage for the day, so help lift their energy with something that inspires.
What is the color scheme of the room? If you don’t already know your child’s personal element and best compass directions (see Four Pillars), keep the palette neutral (pale blues, greens, pinks, yellows) to encourage peaceful sleep and reserve the more dramatic colors (dark reds, greens, oranges) and patterns for recreation areas. In Five Element theory, saffron/yellow represents Earth and stability; shades of green represent Wood growth and expansion; red/purple represents Fire excitement and passion; white/gray represents Metal and contraction; and dark blue/black represents Water and fluidity. Each of these colors/elements is fine in a child’s room, but balance them carefully for moderation.
Check the lighting in your child’s bedroom. Overhead ceiling lights tend to be too harsh and imposing for a bedroom and they cast a gloomy shadow. Natural light from windows and full spectrum table or floor lamps help to lift the energy in a bedroom. Young children might like the glow from a soft nightlight, as long as it is not placed next to the bed. If they go to sleep at night with curtains drawn, you might open them before you go to bed so they wake to the natural light of sunrise.
Remove televisions, computers and electronic equipment from children’s bedrooms, regardless of their ages. Elevated electromagnetic fields from these appliances interfere with sleep patterns and children are significantly more vulnerable to their harmful health effects than adults. If older children also use the bedroom to study, be sure to turn all electronics off at night. Digital alarm clocks emit high EMF levels, so move them at least 6 feet away from the head of the bed.
Add a living plant to your child’s room to help filter the air. Plants represent growth, springtime and new beginnings in Feng Shui – an optimistic energy for a child’s bedroom. Peace lily, philodendron and ivy plants are inexpensive, easy to care for and bring a little nature indoors.
If there is a desk in the bedroom, try to ensure that your child has more open space in front of them than behind to encourage opportunities and broaden their outlook. If space constraints dictate that the desk is placed against a wall, hang an inspirational scene or picture above the desk at eye level while the child is seated. If their back is to the door while seated at the desk, place a small “rearview” mirror in front of them. Bookcases should be accessible even to young children to encourage reading. Rotate books and subjects every few weeks to keep them interested. Wall shelving should be hung away from the bed and desk areas to prevent oppressing energy above the child’s head.
Artwork in your child’s bedroom should stimulate creativity, evoke security and make them smile. Sturdy mountains or team pictures represent support to a child. A colorful map of the world or a picture of the ocean or outer space creates curiosity about the unknown. A whimsical hanging mobile or happy vacation photo can lighten their mood and remind them to have fun. Create a soothing sanctuary for the stressed out child and ignite a spark of imagination for the unmotivated.
Create space for any awards, trophies, diplomas or achievements in your child’s room to honor their accomplishments. If there is a mirror in the bedroom, be sure to hang it at the child’s level so that it reflects their head and six inches above, which represents their potential. Remember to adjust this as they grow. In order for a child to feel important they must first see who they are.
Ask your child to share their ideas with you about their room. I have found that children naturally gravitate to the colors and elements that nurture them, so listen carefully to what they have to say. If they are unruly, timid, sad, fearful, gregarious or agitated, there are many concrete steps you can take to help them find balance. Feng Shui and Four Pillars astrology provide a roadmap for this so let me know if I can help.
Wishing you and your children good chi,
Diane Gallin, CFSC