Do you have crystals around your home? I'm guessing you probably do, lots of people have crystals in some form or another, from small tumblestones or jewellery right through to large clusters.
We, personally, have a wide selection dotted all around our home, so WB is used to seeing them. But now that he is at an age where he is able to appreciate that some things are special and mean a lot to us (and therefore need to be taken care of) I wanted to think carefully about how I could introduce them properly to him.
That's not to say he has had no contact with them, for he has. But he seems to be at a good age to start talking about why they are special. So this past week I have involved him in activities such as putting them in the sunshine and choosing crystals for specific reasons.
He has really enjoyed it, and so have I, so I thought it might be helpful to share how we have got to this point, what we are doing now, and what we plan to do for the future, in case you want to introduce crystals to your child but don't know how to begin.
Have crystals accessible from a young age
We bought WB his very first crystal when he was just 7 months old, as we were in Glastonbury and had arranged to hold a little ceremony to celebrate his birth and choosing a crystal felt like a nice thing to do to mark the occasion.
He was, of course, far too young to understand any of what was happening, and we certainly weren't going to leave him alone with a crystal (teething baby, anyone?) But we did give him it, to explore the texture and colour, for short periods of time when we were with him.
I have always been a huge believer in talking to babies from the moment they are born, communicating with them as if they understand what you say, as I believe they will understand the intention if not the words. And so we used to tell WB how this was a special stone and it helped us to feel like we were starting our journey of exploration together, right from the word go.
Don't be too "precious" with your own stones
This one may be a bit controversial, as I know that some people like to keep their crystals clear of others' energy and may not feel it right to let their kids touch stones that they feel are sacred. But at the same time, I think that sharing our own special stones with our children allows us to explore their power and significance together.
Obviously some crystals will be especially precious to each of us, and it is only right that we keep these for ourselves, but most of us have crystals we are less deeply attached to and those may be good ones to try sharing.
One of my clearest memories of introducing crystals to WB is how, for a time, he loved to wear my rose quartz necklace. It was a beautiful gift from my mum to congratulate me on a successful charity campaign I had organised, and I wore it everywhere as I just loved the loving energy of it. So it is no surprise really that WB loved it so much too.
Fast forward a couple of years and, as I was packing for our move, WB found the necklace again, swung it around whilst dancing, and managed to break it in half. For a moment my heart sank, but then I realised that it would be easily mended and it gave me the perfect opportunity to broach the subject of being careful with other people's belongings.
We were also able to discuss how accidents happen and that, whilst sad, I forgave him for breaking it. How apt that a stone like rose quartz would help me teach my child about loving and caring for other people's possessions and their feelings! Had I been too "precious" about it and kept it away from him, that loving energy would have been denied us both.
Involved your child in crystal care
I believe that if you want to teach someone to take good care of something, you have to first encourage them to do so. Nothing is more daunting than being told to "be careful" when you have no idea what that actually means. How can we expect our kids to learn how to care for our (and their own) crystals if we do not first show them? We can't!
So this past week I have asked WB to help me take our crystals outside on a particularly sunny day so that we may harness the sun's power and recharge them before placing them around the house. Although I am not sure he fully understood what we were doing, he enjoyed taking part and actually intuitively helped by sprinkling earth over all of them, something I would never have thought of doing! Not only did I get a wonderful helper, but WB got to feel like he was doing something important, which of course he was.
Learn fun facts about crystals
Now, most crystal books and guides are far too complex for young children to truly understand (perhaps this is a gap in the market we ought to fill?!) but that doesn't mean you cannot still explore some fun facts about crystals with your child.
You can find all sorts of guides, both in books and online, that introduce you to a vast world of crystals and their uses - why not find out about some of your favourite crystals (where they came from, what they are used for etc) and then share that with your child in a way that they can understand.
Or you could play "spot the crystal" in a highly pictorial book like this one. WB really enjoyed helping me look through the book for a crystal that looked like the one I didn't know the name of. He found it exciting to look for an answer with me, and it opened up the opportunity for us to learn more about crystals. We also talked about how whilst two crystals may look they same they can often have very different properties, which is a great theme for us to expand on in future.
Allow your child to choose their own crystals
After helping me to cleanse and recharge the crystals, and exploring their names and meanings, WB was still showing a real interest in the crystals we had been working with. So I suggested that he might like to choose some crystals for his bedroom.
He, perhaps unsurprisingly, chose the largest and fanciest of the crystals - a large amethyst cluster, a turquoise pyramid, and a large piece of carnelian (I drew a line at daddy's tiger's eye crystal ball as I knew it would end up being thrown around like a real ball!). The pride and excitement he showed in carrying his chosen pieces upstairs and laying them on his windowsill was so wonderful to see. He has gone to sleep several nights holding the turquoise pyramid and so he still cherishes "his" crystals.
I also asked him to help me choose some crystals for mine and daddy's bedsides, and it was very interesting to see which ones he chose for each of us. Letting his intuition guide him was a great learning experience and a wonderful way in which to explore crystals further.
Follow their cues
When I first started writing this post I thought I might be able to write some ideas for children as they grow, but the reality is that children all develop in their own ways and at their own pace. What works for WB as a 4 year old may not work for your 4 year old, as they may be more or less interested in exploring crystals and their energetic properties.
Just as we have personal preferences as adults, so too do our children. You know your child better than anybody and so you know when something is interesting for them and when it is not. It may be that your child, like WB, loves to learn facts about things and so a book on crystals would be a good investment. Or it may be that your child is more intuitive and would rather explore how each crystals makes them feel and what they might be used for.
We haven't tried this yet, but one of the things I hope to try with WB as we explore things further is how each crystal can be used for different things. So we may ask him what different coloured crystals remind him of (maybe blue crystals remind him or water or the sky, and green ones remind him of grass and the trees) and then what these crystals may be good for (such as blue crystals by the kitchen sink or green ones in the garden).
It doesn't matter how simple or complex this becomes, it is all a part of the learning process. Whatever works for you and your child is absolutely the best option for you and when you learn to follow your child's clues you'll find you stop worrying so much about "getting it right" and begin enjoying simply exploring things together.
So there you have it, 6 ways in which we have approached the challenge of introducing something as vast as the world of crystals to our child. I am sure that as he grows we will explore things in much more detail, but for now this is working perfectly for us.
Tell me, how have you introduced crystals to your child?
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