Children’s minds are naturally very much engaged in exploring the external world. Neohumanist Education stimulates and encourages this exploration and extroversial movement of the mind, and a healthy curiosity is fundamental to learning.
However, modern life has become increasingly fast-paced and packed with sensorial stimulation, which over-stimulates young children. Advertising and mass media study scientific ways to specifically target young children and stimulate many material desires in order to sell products to their parents. This happens because the society values profit-making as a higher priority than nurturing deeper non- materialistic values in children.
As a result, children’s minds, which are still in a delicate formative stage, can become easily influenced to constantly run after satisfaction of material desires. This makes them restless, demanding and irritable. The abilities to center oneself, concentrate, be peaceful and quiet, and have patience, are becoming rarer. Rather the attention span of children is becoming shorter, and disorders such as hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder are becoming more and more common in young children. It is a fact that many modern diseases are stress-related. The speed of technological development has brought many improvements to modern life, but at the cost of increasing levels of stress. It is important to counteract this stress by learning to consciously cultivate inner peace and contentment.Young children, if free from overstimulation, have a natural tendency to have a rich imaginative inner life, to be fascinated with nature, and to feel a deep peaceful
connection to the universe. Often they may be found playing with an invisible friend and they can be easily absorbed in simple activities such as playing with rocks, sand and water for hours. These innocent experiences of peace and contentment are becoming rarer for children who spend hours passively watching television and advertising, which overload their senses, but do not engage them in interactively expressing their energy.
Neohumanist Education recognizes the importance of protecting and enhancing the inner life of the child. To balance the increasingly strong external movement of the mind, young children need to learn how to make the mind flow introversially. Learning to relax the body and breathing, listen inside, and discover the peaceful joys of silence are important experiences. Children who learn such techniques from an early age will be able to have more resistance to stress, and have more access to their inner resources of creativity, reflection, and discrimination.