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by Lydia Pawelak / published in the magazine VIVRE

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art and science of placement has the potential to create a living space that will motivate children to perform better at school and increase their positive attitude, as well as help to improve their health and prospects in life.

The first priority is to create a harmonious balance between yin and yang elements in a child's bedroom -- these are opposite forces, and a healthy environment never should be too yin or yang. A bright and colourful room with harmonious pictures will attract a lot of positive chi (yang), but exaggerated with too many toys or water elements around, it will have too stimulating energy to encourage a good night's sleep. By the same token, never allow the room to stay too dark and cold for lengthy periods of time; this promotes excess yin energy. The key is finding the balance.

Ideally a child's room should have a regular rectangular or square shape.

The placement of the child's bed can greatly enhance the child's development. The bed should never be placed under an overhead beam, nor should the bed be situated in front of the door. The feet should never point directly towards the door and one should avoid placing a mirror facing the bed, this could encourage symptoms of sickness and insomnia for the child. The bed should be placed with the head against the wall, not floating in the middle of the room.

Never place a bed or chair in the direct path of a sharp edge of a pillar or corner, they will emit shar chi (negative chi or "poisoned arrows") towards your child. Sleeping with the head towards a wall that has a toilet on the other side could cause health problems, as would sleeping above a garage. The bed should be in a good proportion to the child's physique, giving some room to grow. Representations of wild animals are avoided in good feng shui, as they might promote aggressive energy in the child's sleep state; however fish are lucky symbols and they help to attract educational success.

Placing a sculpture, painting or photograph representing parental love in the room enhances a child's own family luck, and helps to increase respect and open communication.

The best study direction is one where the wall supports the back and the door of the room can be seen; it will help to increase learning ability and memory. Never sit a child with his/her back towards the door, as it symbolizes a lack of support.

Additional Tips 

- Teach your children to close the bathroom door, and to keep the toilet seat down after use. This is a practical habit that will improve their feng shui all their lives.

- The sound of bells attract sheng (good) chi and enhance your child's openness to luck, since children are represented by one of the nine feng shui sectors in your home and its element is metal.

- Avoid sharply pointed cacti which emit harmful shar chi, and especially avoid bonsai trees which represent stunted growth, a particularly unwelcome symbol in any household with children. - Avoid dressing your child entirely in black, it will drain its vital energy.

- The impact of the exterior environment is also extremely important. Looking out at a children's bedroom, ideally you should not see a lamp post or a dead tree directly in the window. A street coming straight at the bedroom window will also challenge the room's positive energy.

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