Article by Eriko Shirakawa
Spirit-in-Nature Essences Practitioner
I think that knowing Children’s theme essence is a great use for promoting healthy growth of children. Every child is different. Parents can guide their children in order for them to behave and take actions that are matched to their theme essence by accepting their difference and acknowledging them. If resource the child has is enhanced and expanded, the child will be able to express him/herself without hesitation. I think it will be good if we can nurture wonderful uniqueness the child has and let the child do only he/she can do in his/her life at each household.
It will be wonderful that we create a trusting relationship with the child by recognizing pureness and wonderful quality the child has and respecting it as a parent and as an individual thus being able to build a healthy relationship with the child. And as we see the child with that perception, the child will trust him/herself based on the trust from the parents then the child can take step forward for the better world.
When it comes to finding the theme essence of the child, desire for food, flower or color the child likes may give us a clue. For instance, the child likes banana among fruits and he/she always choose to eat banana (in this case his/her theme is Banana), or the child likes grapes very much and he/she wants anything that is related to grapes (ice cream, juice, candy, etc.) (in this case his/her theme is Grape). In this way, it is possible that food the child likes and always chooses to eat is the child’s theme.
Not only foods, but also from the child’s behavior we can have a clue to find the child’s theme essence. We may see the theme by observing the state of the child when he/she is resting or playing, or by paying attention how the child interacts with family members or friends. A child who shares with or gives his/her toys to other children at early age has a theme of Peach, and a child who has an atmosphere of older age than actual age and being wise and has passion for knowledge has a theme of Avocado. In that way we may see the child’s theme quality by closely watching them.
Knowing about theme essence is to understand positive quality of the child and we would like to make a good use of this concept for rearing the child. For instance, when you know your child’s theme is Date, we can provide a special treatment and tell the child “how sweet you are” when the child behaved in such a way that shows his/her theme characteristic. When it comes to a child whose theme is Avocado, you can tell things like “I see you like reading books” or “you well remember what you learned.”
The child becomes motivated when he/she is praised. The child comes to like him/herself and can see positive side of the self through acknowledgement by parents. The feelings and attitude of the child change a lot by the way parents talk to the child. I would like parents to care for and nurture the children so that they do not lose their original innocence of the heart.
Now, I would like to consider a good way for parents to interact with the children by following children’s theme essence based on each characteristic of 20 essences.
Almond: Calm and mild personality. Leads quiet life and he/she is modest and well balanced in diet, sleep and everyday life activity. This type of child is mentally calming to be with and he/she is just there without being imposing or intrusive. You may not recognize the child’s existence even being in the same house, but you recognize it when he/she is absent. Since he/she is satisfied with the way he/she is, he/she would not behave in such a way as to try to draw attention of parents by breaking things or making big noise. He/she holds an attractive quality of calmness. The parents need to let the child keep his/her pace and sometimes wait without giving too much or being pushy even that is out of good intention.
Apple: Healthy. He/she looks OK even when being sick or ill and it is rare to be sick anyway. The basic personality is good health oriented and he/she does not encounter serious illness or accident because of this attitude. His/her cheek has a hint of red color of apple flower and it has a glow. His/her eyes have brightness that indicates joy of being in this world. He/she is good natured and rarely gets frustrated. It is important to work on building better health and physical strength for him/her, and this is also the way for him/her to express the self and releasing physical energy. It will be good to interact with the child so that they can nurture healthy attitude and feeling without imposing him/her worries and anxiety especially regarding illnesses. We can tell the child things such as “I see you are full of energy all the time,” “doing physical exercise makes you energetic, doesn’t it?”
Avocado: This type of child is always agile and living each moment fully. He/she has a strong curiosity and wants to know everything about he/she is interested. Has a strong desire for learning and spends time doing something to fulfill his/her intelligent curiosity such as reading books whenever there is time for it and never spend time doing nothing. Has a high level of concentration and properly remember what is told. Has an excellent ability of memorizing. The child has quality of more mature than actual age and also looks wiser than actual age. It will be good for parents to respect and value the child’s interest without disregarding the child’s “why?” and curiosity. And it will be even better if parent can be sensitive to the movement towards the original creation generated from the child’s interest and respect it and watch over the child by consciously keeping this point in mind.
Banana: Gentle and modest. This type of child is very calm and it is soothing just by being with him/her. He/she does not have so much strong ego, but not submissive nature as to not speak up when treated unfairly, either. Always wearing atmosphere of calmness and quietness and also has quality of persevering and does not get frustrated. Likes interacting with family members and friends and is happy doing group activity since he/she can show consideration for others. He/she is a good listener and talks with mild tone. Due to being modest, he/she can accept own mistakes and have wisdom to learn from mistakes. It will be good if parents can listen to the child since the child can listen to parents. You can tell the child things such as “you are a good listener,” “it is good that you can show consideration to your friends.”
Blackberry: Purity and cleanliness. Innocence. Has a kind of innocence and there is a brightness of knowing in the eyes. Kind and has a sense of humor, and by nature dislikes negativity and dishonest qualities in others. We can receive the gift of honesty from this child. Pure and straightforward, and is faithful in keeping his/her words thus we can rely on him/her. Since he/she likes organized and tidy environment in living space, it will be good if we can provide such space for the child. It will be good for the parent to keep opening the heart for the child and be conscious to be faithful and not become negative towards the child. The parent should also be sensitive or pay special care not only to own thoughts but also negative energies that come from outside such as movies and TV programs.
Cherry: This type of child is cheerful and energetic. Positive thinking and see good quality in others. Mild and non-attached personality and can maintain cheerful attitude consistently. Good natured and reliable. Smile a lot and steps of walking or running is very light almost looks like floating. Since spending fun time is the high priority for this child, he/she has fun atmosphere that makes others cheer up and laugh. You can tell the child things such as “I feel cheered up when I am with you”, “thank you for letting me have fun”. As long as it is fair, it will be good to respect the taste of this child (and also it will be nice to play, sing, and dance together at times) and provide compliments as often as possible
Coconut: Improvement. When taking challenge, this child shows good persistence and strong sustainability. Always look for better ways and can overcome difficult situation with remarkable way. Capable of dealing with situation such as it takes sense of competition with siblings and with occasions that requires challenging or striving at school or within group of people. When having issues that look impossible to resolve, know there is some way intuitively and also has determination to resolve. It will be nice that parent let the child take actions based on his/her own thinking and decision without the parent going ahead and solve the problem for him/her and watch over so that he/she can take responsibility of his/her action. Regardless the result, parents can tell the child “it was good for you to have done that through without giving up” since the child took the best way he/she could think of.
Corn: Full of vitality and living “now” fully. This type is full of positive energy and always energetic. Enthusiastic and full of joy, and has attitude to welcome new experience without fear. Brisk and full of willingness, and never hesitate or procrastinate doing things. Surprise parents by showing endless interest for new mischief, but it will be nice to be conscious not to hurt the child’s gifted heart since children have been ever thinking what the adults cannot imagine and creating what adults cannot think of. Thinking about the fact that airplanes and automobiles were invented by new ideas, we should acknowledge interest toward the new and welcome starting doing things new.
Date: This type has exceptional capability to accept others and full of warmth and charm that attract others. Has very gentle personality. Never makes negative judgment or judge others. Since being gentle to him/herself, he/she can see gentleness in others and see positive side in others equally. He/she can make friends easily. Never make others upset and he/she him/herself does not get upset or angry easily. In a Japanese book titled “Kokoro no Hanabatake (Flower field of the heart) (Author: Seikan Kobayashi) the author wrote that “value of human is becoming a being that makes everyone feels warm and happy by being with them”. Child whose theme is Date expresses this kind of characteristic. It will be good if parent can accept this sense of value of the child and build a family where each member has sensitivity towards others’ feelings and everyone is treated gently and warm.
Fig: This type has flexibility of being able to be relaxed in any situation. Can follow daily routines and also is capable of dealing with sudden change of schedule. This type does not come across any trouble when traveling. Within daily routines and custom there is certain rule within the family and can have flexibility and acceptability of dealing with changes based on that rule. Having easy going attitude toward the self and others, he/she can make friends easily. Easy to laugh and has a good sense of humor. Those who around this child feel good with the presence of him/her and can relax. As long as the child can feel accepted and respected by his/her parents, he/she can accept and be satisfied with the self and will grow up to be a person with confidence. As expression of respect toward the child, parents can do cleaning of the child’s room thoroughly and regularly.
Grape: Just full of love. This type of child loves unconditionally without hesitation and does not require any reward. He/she just keep pouring love. He/she expresses deep love and dedication toward parents and others. Willingly open the heart to others and interacts deeply. He/she intuitively knows that pure love does not have to do with self desire or wants. It will be nice that parent learn unconditional love from the child and love the child as the way he/she is. Other than telling the child “I love you”, parent express love towards the child by holding and touching to spend happy and healthy childhood will do very good. During the process of growing up, it will be good that parent accept and acknowledge everything about the child without condition such as parent love him/her if he/she grows up in a way parents wants and does not love if he/she doesn’t.
Lettuce: This type has mild personality. Quiet and calm but has a strong presence. Quiet but not shy and rather has strong personality, maintains own belief and expresses him/her self clearly. Straightforward and can clearly communicate his/her intention without being emotional, so he/she can have healthy relationship with others. It will be good for parents to keep emotional steadiness like the child. Has creative aptitude and engages in creative activity such as writing, painting, woodwork and so on.
Orange: This type of child is full of joy and hope. Has infinite ability of enjoying the world and the life in various and his/her own way he/she can think of. Different from Cherry type child who is cheerful and laughing, joy of Orange type child is very deep and he/she is always smiling gently. Orange child can maintain the self without getting much influenced no matter how tragic event happens within the family. Has ability to recover from the deepest sorrow. This type has less to do with sadness. It is important to raise the child so that he/she can keep living simply with soft smile by accepting things without being depressed when coming across sense of failure or events that do not go as wished and overcome with smile when encountering experiences that seem to be difficult and hard.
Peach: This type of child cares more about others’ needs than his/hers own. Feels joy in serving to others and he/she gets energy by serving others. Loves giving to others and has a love to offer without condition. When there is someone who does not feel well or having troubles, the child shows consideration by acknowledging and sitting side of this person. When playing with other children, he/she likes to share his/her toy and letting other children participate his/her own games and has willingness to cooperate and share with other children. For this child, others are extension of his/her own and know that he/she will receive the same service him/herself by providing service to others. You can tell this type of child things such as “you are sensitive to others’ feelings,” “I see you can share with other children,” “thank you for taking care.”
Pear: This type has strong energy that is full of peace. He/she is emotionally steady and has a good sense of balance, and will not be swayed easily even at the time of emergency. Provided parent can make sure maintaining consistent environment with sense of order, an order will be ensured to the child’s life and he/she can have mental/emotional steadiness. Then happiness of the child will be promoted and he/she will grow up in good shape. Peaceful atmosphere the child originally has provides positive influence to others and make things calm. Others can relax when being with the child. It will be nice that parent spare even a little time of a day to spend with this child with full attention and enjoyment. This attitude will be transmitted to the child and it will be precious experience for the child to spend time this way with parents. At those times, parents can tell the child “I feel my heart calm when I am with you.”
Pineapple: This type is full of confidence. He/she strongly feels sense of self identify and place for his/her own within the family. Loves to show healthy and innocent pride about things he/she achieved by him/herself. Children love getting compliments, so it will be good to proactively telling them compliments such as “it is good that you have attitude to decide what action to take based on your idea,” “it is good that you were able to get it done on your own.” When receiving compliments, child would be encouraged to do more. When feeling that he/she is special and being deeply accepted by parents, the child will grow up with more confidence and brightness. This type of child has a charismatic magnetism and has a tendency to stand out among mass people. He/she loves being center of attention. His/her attitude full of healthy confidence makes others uplifted and he/she respect others not only him/herself.
Raspberry: This type is very sensitive and is considerate and always paying attention to others. He/she has gentleness, sense of sympathy and feeling pain in others and full of compassion. He/she expresses kindness equally, and embraces every living life with deep compassion. This type can get along with any type of people from someone who has strict or hard personality to some other one with mild personality. Even when treated in a mean way, he/she would return with love instead of hostility and express deep forgiveness. When the child shows gentleness by playing with animals or taking care of his/her siblings, it will be nice for parents to give complements by telling “you are considerate,” “thank you for showing your gentleness.” By doing so, the child will expand his/her gentle and considerate heart. He/she will be able to grow by learning the importance of interacting with others with generosity and gentle heart full of love.
Spinach: This type is innocent and loves having fun. He/she makes people have fun by telling jokes. He/she would burst into laughter with his/her own joke even when it is not funny at all. Innocent and carefree. He/she is straightforward and not good at telling lies. Everyone would feel cheered up and calm by having this child around. Parents would be able to recall fun experiences of childhood of his/her own through this child. Parents can recall own child heart within themselves and enjoy from the heart with the child by playing games and going to zoos and amusement parks together. Parents can feel gratitude towards the child by telling themselves that “thanks to your having fun everyday, everyone is always feeling sense of enjoyment.”
Strawberry: This type behaves in a sophisticated manner and has beauty and elegance and sense of dignity. This child strongly feels his/her own inner beauty and likes him/herself. Has a sense of self respect. You can feel kind of nobility being with this child. Coming to like the self is very important to this type and healthy self-love becomes source of energy to live. By providing compliments and gifts to the child and rearing him/her with care to the extent not to inflate the child’s selfishness, the child will form own sense of value. He/she will know how lovable and important his/her parents, family, friends are and will be able to value them and be kind to them. There is a big possibility the child will rear his/her own child so that the child will become like him/her, so we can provide children of the next generation that sense of self- respect.
Tomato: This type is fearless by nature. He/she has ability to be keen toward fear and weaknesses. Has mental stamina to confront difficulty with courage. He/she would make straightforward advance without fear but with open heart toward difficulty and does not back away from obstacles. Has power of will different from stubbornness or obstinacy. Parent can give the child compliment such as “you were able to take your action with courage.” Adults also get hurt and suffer when encountering difficulty, hardship, anxiety and fear, but children will learn courage needed in life by parents showing them attitude to make step forward despite the hardship. By showing the child courageous attitude and attitude to positively acknowledge life will be guided to success, he/she will take it as good example and will get to know there is no failure but only opportunities for success.
It will be good if parents can have the child his/her theme essence regularly about once a month basis so that the child can expand his/her own quality. It will be nice to make good use of theme essence such as when the child does not seem to be feeling well or when he/she behaved in a manner unlike him/her, for having the child theme essence will help the child to return to the original state. Also we can get big support from plot essences so that the child can deal with daily issues with mental or emotional related problems. For example, we can give Corn when the child is procrastinating tidying up the room or have the child take Fig when he/she is trying too hard.
It will be nice for parents to sometimes take the same essence child is taking. Family need to be seen as a whole also not only every member be seen separately. Children, especially younger ones among siblings sometimes reflect issues the parents have in their behavior. By taking essences together, there will be a bridge of energy between parents and children and can make their relationships clear. When issues one family member has are improved, harmony will be provided also to the whole family as well as to each family member. We can create a family where every one of family member can a play role of his/her own and value one another.
There may be times theme essence change in the course of child’s growth. When this type of the case happened, parents should recognize change in the child and watch over his/her growth and find new theme that has changed. I think loving and rearing a child is about watching the child with warmth and paying attention to and having interest toward what the child is doing, accepting the child as the way he/she is, nurturing, and telling compliments.
As theme essence every one of us has is different, we are different individually. It is important to accept this “difference” and to recognize it as a wonderful thing.
In the book titled “Children Learn What They Live – Parenting to Inspire Values” (written by Dorothy Law Nolte), there is a line that says “remember the best quality of the child, then you will be able to see the light of hope without fail.” Watching the child and recognizing good quality in him/her and grow this positive characteristic of the child is to know about theme essence of the child. By feeling, acknowledging, and accepting the light and energy the child has, parents can support the child so that he/she can maintain its brightness of the light. Parents can support the child’s good qualities, uniqueness and resources. And parents should make efforts so that the child can contribute to the world.
We adults would like to have more interest how to raise our children and value the fresh breath of the next generation. I feel that the theme essence concept of Spirit in Nature Essences will make a big contribution in this particular area.