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The Age Preceding 9–10 Is Critical

– Say we have gathered children of different ages in one place where they have to learn to find a “common denominator” in different situations. We gather an entire hall of children together, say, 500 or 1,000 children of different ages. How should we interact with them?

– You are starting with a mass right away, but that is incorrect.

We see how a child develops naturally: First he is in the mother’s womb, then he is next to her, then he crawls several feet away from the mother, then takes a few steps further, and then moves several more feet away from her in the apartment. Then he goes out into the surrounding world, but he is still next to her, in a stroller or in a baby wrap (depending on the culture).

We see that a child gradually gains access to the environment, only to the extent of his ability to interact with it correctly. That is how he expands his circle.

The same thing should happen here. You cannot just put 1,000 children together and expect to be able to handle them properly. This is impossible.

The only thing you’ll be able to do is suppress them. You can sit them down, turn out the lights, and place a screen in front of them so they’ll watch some animated movie. But this is not upbringing, and you don’t achieve anything by doing that. You merely detach them from themselves. But upbringing has to be built on expansion.

If you already have groups of children who understand one another, who are able to unite as one, then you can try to connect several groups together. Then three of four groups will be like three or four children together.

You can do this once they already have a common understanding with one another, once you have completed the preliminary work with every child in every group so they feel this togetherness within them.

– What can you say about age boundaries?

– By age 9 or 10, a person’s foundation is instilled entirely. Entirely! After age 9 or 10 you only develop what has been instilled in him consciously and unconsciously, including instincts and genetic information. Everything that is already in him develops from here on, but practically nothing is added.

There has to be a very precise plan about how to behave with children during the period when they are accumulating their initial impressions from the surrounding world, which happens prior to age 9-10, at the oldest. After that it is very difficult to do anything with a child.

Of course, he will imitate our norms of behavior and rules. But this will be like instructions rather than something that’s personally his. It won’t be the same as how he gradually absorbs an attitude to the world from you, making it his own, right after being born and in the process of growing up. If he learns about something for the first time after age 9 or 10, it won’t be his own anymore.

– Let me clarify. If we prepare a child from early childhood and he goes through specific states, then by age 9 he should already have experience uniting into large groups?

– He has to understand why this is done. He has to acquire specific skills in this area. He has to feel positive and negative sensations, contacts, actions, and results on his level of understanding, perception, and instincts.

We have to collect all of this and accumulate all of these images in him. They have to be present in him like data: I am together with everyone; I am against everyone; this is good; this is bad. They have to accumulate in him like frames in a chronological sequence.

Then, he will use these frames in his life. These models will be constantly present in him as both conscious and unconscious reference points. They will be constantly operating in him, and he will orient himself with their help, often without being aware that he is doing it.

It is necessary to fill him with positive and negative impressions about unity, globality, and integrality from the earliest age, as much as possible. This will be his ticket to the new world.

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