This blog is a guide to non traditional parenting. Becoming a parent is one of the most revered occasions in a person’s life, yet, it also marks a constant struggle to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of a child. This writeup will make you realize that parenthood is not about exercising control over your child to fulfill your desires and feed your ego, but about letting them be who he is. It is about accepting your child for who he is and providing him emotional support to nourish and strengthen his inner-being. However, to make things more effective, you need to connect with your inner-self first and increase your consciousness.
Connect with Your Child Through Non Traditional Parenting
Traditionally, parenting is perceived as playing a dominant role when raising children. Parents are expected to play a role of rulers who are supposed to discipline their children and instill ancestral values and traditions in them. They remain elusive of the fact that their children are not mere extensions of them but individual souls with their own way of expressing themselves.
Most of the parents remain unconscious of their parenting ways as they dutifully impose their own experiences over their children and do not allow them to be who they genuinely are. The reason for their utter dominance over their children is their inflated egos formed by traditional practices.
It is certainly not bad to have ego, but raising a child is beyond that as it involves a keen sense of self-awareness which increases consciousness and that in turn translates into healthy parenting. It allows parents to connect with their children in a spiritual way which also helps form a healthy family communion.
Effective parenting is all about accepting your children as individual souls. It is about helping them teach you how you are supposed to evolve as a parent at different stages of their growth. Thus, if you really want to make a genuine difference being a responsible parent, you must surrender your ego and connect with your child in a soulful way.
The Spiritual Reason We Birth Our Children
Children are often reflections of their parents. As the baton of parenthood is passed on from one generation to the next, parents from the present generation have an opportunity to tap into their past and analyze how they got treated by their parents. What kinds of problems and restrictions they faced when they were growing up.
If their parents were manipulative and cold, there are chances that their children remained suppressed. Once those children became adults, got married and had their own children, their long-suppressed emotions started to manifest in form of anger and manipulation towards their children as well but in an unconscious state of mind.
If perceived in a positive way, parenting is a reciprocating mechanism where emotionally troubled children and parents can help each other grow spiritually and free their souls from the clutches of egotism.
Thus, parents do not need to go elsewhere to find the right answers as to how they should handle their emotionally unstable children, but they need to look deep within themselves and become aware of their own behavior to increase their parental-consciousness.
Conscious parenting requires active involvement with children in terms of encouraging frequent engagement to foster a constructive parent-child relationship along with a disciplined lifestyle. It does not require anything superficial or extraordinary on part of the parents but humble and inspirational moments to pave way for transformation to occur.
Release Your Children from the Need for Your Approval
Accept your children as who they are and set them free from constantly seeking your approval. You need to realize that children are different individuals and you cannot mold their behavior to fulfill your expectations. Accept the fact that they are different and celebrate their uniqueness instead of forcing them to abide by the laws or rules you have set for them.
They indeed need your emotional support but you have to instill a sense of self-acceptance in them while they are growing up. No matter what sexual orientation, color, mental makeup or core nature your children possess, you must appreciate them for what they are as it is important for their overall growth in the long-run.
You must avoid the temptation to change them for what you believe is good for them and instead, encourage them to pursue their passion. Be flexible expecting that your children may have a different temperament and change your parenting style accordingly.
Most importantly, accept yourself for who you are regardless of your strengths and weaknesses. You cannot learn to accept your child unless you learn to accept who you are. Accept your children with all their strengths and weaknesses and allow them to grow at their own pace. Avoid making them feel bad for your shortcomings and problems.
A Blow to Our Ego
Your ego is a false sense of self-perception which is delusional. It is an inflated self-assessment which is contrary to what is real. When you have an inflated ego, you tend to act in a more personal way and you begin to see any form of criticism targeted at you as a personal attack.
As you are conditioned by your ancestors to perceive your children as your extension, your egoistic personality tempts you to impose your perceptions on your child in addition to forcing him to pursue your choice of career-field because you have grown up believing that uncertainty can be dangerous.
In the process of molding them to pursue your self-perceived career-choice of success, you deprive them of their right to self-explore and determine their own destiny which incites feelings of frustration in them at some point in their life. They may end up suppressing their desires to fulfill your personal objectives to seek your validation but even if they achieve sustainable financial security, they may still feel as spiritless souls.
You have to let go of your ego and realize the fact that your child is a different human being with a different disposition and desires of his own. For your ego, it may be a question of saving the honor or values of your family or kinship but it is an absolutely erroneous way of looking at things.
You have to find a way to not let your ego intervene, especially when dealing with your children. If they do something which is out of the norm, you must not feel embarrassed as a parent and accept them for who they are. Instead of yelling or viciously defending them for doing something unusual, you need to allow them to experience the whole situation and deal with it in whatever way they may perceive as appropriate.
When you intervene and turn to self-defense mode in a bid to protect your child in such situations, you are actually defending your own ego at the cost of making your child feel humiliated or even embarrassed. You must stop expecting your child to be perfect because no one really is including yourself.
You need to laugh of even some of the most serious matters to demonstrate your child that it is fine to make mistakes or be an odd man out. You need to show him that life is not all about achieving perfection, but learning, improving and accepting the fact that all is not well all the time.
If you want your child to be a free soul with his own self-defined inner-space, you need to create an inner-space within yourself which is devoid of the tendencies to control and possess. This is the only way you can allow your children to be their authentic self.
Is Your Child Growing You Up?
Children are keen observers and they are always making a mental note of how you deal with day-to-day situations. They also learn how you react when they behave in a certain way. When you react angrily towards them for not obeying you or doing a certain thing as you expect them to, they learn that expressing negative emotions like anger is an appropriate response to gain control or overpower others.
You may have your own problems and issues in your life and your frequent emotional outbursts over your children could be your unconscious way of responding to anger-evoking situations. Perhaps, your own parents treated you in the same way and you learned very early in your childhood that reacting angrily or in a frustrated manner is the way you try to gain leverage over a particular situation.
To deal with these kinds of issues, you have to become conscious of what causes you to react towards your children in an undesirable way. You have to accept the fact that regardless of how you react to any given situation, like your teenaged-child not obeying you, stems from your egoistic needs.
You need to become conscious of what triggers certain emotions within you and why they cause you to react the way you do. You have to take responsibility for all your failures and even success. Never project your inability to handle events of your life on others including your children. If you keep on blaming everyone around you for your incapability, your children learn and internalize the same defense mechanism within them and develop similar attitude towards others around them when they grow up.
Instead of demonstrating your children that emotions, regardless of how pleasant or unpleasant, they have to be accepted as they are and there is no such thing as good or bad emotions. It is just a temporary feeling that every living being experiences.
Just like when you try to swim in an ocean where you have to go with the flow of the waves, no matter how big or small they are, by consciously accepting them as is, you also need to show your children that emotions are supposed to be experienced as they are.
When you learn to ride with your emotions, your self-awareness increases and your capacity to handle your emotionally-challenged teenaged-children also increases. In similar way, your children also develop the capacity to accept life as is and begin to take responsibility for their actions as they realize that they are wholly and soulfully in charge of their emotions and use them constructively.
Life Is Wise
Life is neither fair nor unfair, rather, it is neutral. It all depends on how we choose to experience different events of life as they unfold in front of us. We can opt to react in a frustrating or violent way or we can choose to label such events as learning processes. The challenge we are faced with is to tune our internal state of being with external circumstances and go with the flow.
What we need to help our children with is to accept life as a neutral form of energy where every event experienced, presents with an opportunity to increase our state of consciousness. The more attuned we become to our internal state of affairs, the more neutral our approach would be to what we experience externally.
Some people blame life for being unfair and some feel grateful for all the good things happening to them. However, it is important to realize that it is their perception about things that condition their mind to believe in a certain way. If you teach your children to experience life as it is without imposing your will on them, they will learn to trust themselves.
Even if your child has made a wrong decision, you should support him and make him realize that it is a normal process of life which has to be embraced. All your life-experiences have something valuable to teach you that help you grow wiser with an increased sense of self-awareness.
The Challenge of a Lifetime
Parenthood is indeed very challenging, yet it brings an opportunity for you to grow spiritually along with your child. When you first become a parent, you feel intense joy and happiness as you closely hold your infant to your chest. You are now at the threshold of accepting a new normal that represents meeting all the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of your newborn baby.
You are now supposed to change your guard and get ready for a long journey which calls for change of roles at different stages of child-development. As of now, your newborn needs your constant attention and care.
You have to place all your personal needs aside to fulfill your baby’s requirements. You may find the whole process of raising an infant very exhausting but at the same time, it will stretch you beyond your physical and spiritual limitations that you have been living with all your life.
If you completely accept your present situation as a new parent, you will experience great joy and spiritual depth within yourself. Your infant will force you to embrace a selfless demeanor, devoid of personal needs to fulfill all his requirements that are naturally tied with early infanthood.
As your infant transforms into a toddler after a few months, you have to learn to redefine your role as a parent because this is the stage when your child starts behaving unpredictably. One moment, he will share laughter with you and the next, you will find him crying as if he is deprived of his basic needs.
This is the stage when you have to realize that your baby is now a separate individual who will mirror your behavior and seek your validation. At times, he may behave rebelliously by not obeying you but you have to be firm as well as gentle and lay boundaries for him to convey which behavior is acceptable and which is not.
Toddlerhood is the phase in child-development which has to be taken seriously because if you fail to lay firm boundaries along with being gentle according to the situation you come across as a parent, you will not be able to set boundaries for him when he turns 12 years old.
From Center Stage to Supporting Cast
Once your child starts attending school, it is time for him to nurture his role as a separate individual from his parents. During this stage, you as a parent, his teachers and peers play an important role in his development. He needs to be praised and accepted for who he is. This is the stage when you need to build trust between him and you.
Your key role here as a parent is to provide him with emotional support by encouraging him to express himself without any fear to instill a sense of self in him. Once your child enters adolescence, you need to be prepared for a constant uphill battle as this is the phase when young children experience physical as well as emotional changes. Their hormones are aggressive that make them behave in a rebellious way.
You are now supposed to accept your children as your partners, rather than your personal entities. You have to assume a role of an emotional supporter while give them the freedom to explore their individuality. Accept the fact that this is the most emotionally turbulent phase of their life and it can indeed be very frustrating for you as well.
Your child needs your presence in a more subtle way. He wants you to be there for him when he needs, yet also give him the space and respect his privacy. He does not want you to intervene in his personal life and school him about what is wrong and what is not. He simply wants you to listen to him and trust him for who he is.
This is the time of a teenager’s life when he assumes a role of a semi-adult by experimenting. He may develop infatuation for the opposite gender, believing that he is actually in love. He may come across several socio-political problems in an effort to fit in and experience outright rejection and betrayal, but you have to offer him genuine emotional support and allow him to identify his own role in resolving difficult situations.
In addition, your child may also become more demanding in terms of getting him all the superficial things like a fancy phone or an expensive dress that his peers show off at college to gain widespread recognition and popularity. You need to make him realize that all these material things do not define the genuine character of a person so that he learns to follow his own path rather than following the whole crowd.
The Insanity of Parenthood
Parenthood is all about transformation and accepting the reality. It is about assuming a new role in your life where you have to be consciously present to the needs of your children. You have to forget the person you once were and accept the fact that you must embrace all the hardships that come with parenthood.
If you look at parenting from spiritual perspective, it is a blessing in disguise for you because it allows you to unearth some of the best hidden qualities you possess and you never realized that you have them prior to becoming a parent.
At times, your frustration could reach beyond your ability to resist and you may feel like leaving your child in a state of turmoil to regain your sanity, but you have to realize and appreciate all the hardships your parents endured when they were raising you.
You have to develop patience to deal with your children as their behavior may really test your temperament. Learn to stay calm and accept the challenge and resist the temptation to yell at your child. Every time you lose patience just stop and analyze the whole situation. Slow down and alter your pace according to the needs of your child.
Parent from Wholeness Instead of Your Wounds
Since your children are naturally attached to you emotionally and spiritually, they closely observe your actions and emulate them because you are a role model for them. If you were raised by insecure parents who brought you up projecting their own frustration and incapability on you, you may also grow up having a low sense of self-worth.
As a caring parent, you may become over-protective towards your child vowing yourself that he will not experience the pain you have been through for most part of your life but this approach can keep you from setting healthy boundaries between you and your children. Consequently, they may develop believing that exploiting others for your own advantage is a justifiable act and that their needs are more important than others.
A Household Built on Being
The demands of modern world are the cause why we have become highly obsessed with having the power to control others around us. Our day-to-day preoccupation with keeping ourselves busy stems from our need to feel in control. Our life has become so fast-paced running after money; fame and winning other socially noteworthy laurels that we refuse to live in the present moment.
Never before our kind was so obsessed with achieving success than it is in the contemporary world. Our need to rush and get things done is itself a strategy to avoid accepting life as is. We are constantly running away from the reality of life which is inevitable confrontation with death.
Since we have been conditioned to deny living in the present moment, we needlessly occupy our mind worrying about the future. All our present actions are just meant to control the events of future which is always uncertain. We spend time planning our future without realizing the fact that we are missing a golden opportunity to live our life in a purely conscious state of mind. Instead of looking for external sources of validation, we need to shift our focus inwards which gradually opens the doors for living in a state of being.
As we inherit the already formed customs and rules related to how a good and productive life is spent, we also refuse to raise our children in a more spiritual way. We condition them to accept life as something scary to embrace and to avoid the emotional pain that comes with it. As soon as a child gets ready for schooling, he is bombarded with way more work than he has the capacity to handle.
By doing so, we deny them the most precious years of their life to connect with themselves on a conscious level. Of course, when they get so busy with all the academic activities, they hardly have enough time to stay in solitude and discover who they really are.
In order to raise emotionally stable and spiritually healthy children, it is important for you to spend quality time with them. Your connection must not be solely based on asking them about how they are doing academically or just meeting their material needs.
You must frequently engage in a more spiritual way by greeting them, praising their enthusiasm and energy. There is no specific condition attached to how or when you should engage in a friendly conversation with your child. You can do that at any time of the day even if it just takes ten minutes. It will nurture his soul and help him develop effective coping mechanism which is purely based on internal resolve, rather than superficial aspects to survive.
The Wonder of the Ordinary
Amid all the hue and cry over staying busy and catching up with others in life, not only we steal our child’s ability to live ordinary moments in extraordinary ways, we also demonstrate that the best way to live is through constant preoccupation with what next has to be done or what the next line of action is supposed to be after a certain external object has been achieved for validation.
Instead of occupying their spare time playing with different types of electronic gadgets, we should help them spend time in nature where they may get an opportunity to connect with their soul. Using gadgets like computers or videogames are temporary sources of entertainment. We should minimize their screen-time and encourage them to seek other healthy sources of getting entertained and experience life in its pure form.
If your child is bored and complains, tell him to live the moment as is. This way, he will learn to explore his authentic- self and come up with his own strategies to deal with boredom in a productive way or realize that getting bored is a normal aspect of life and it has to be welcomed and cherished, not avoided.
Ask him to spend more time in nature observing sunset or watching and listening to ocean waves as these activities can help him form a deeper connection from within which could become a vital source for self-validation, instead of looking for external ones. As you consistently support him, he will learn to use his spare time to think and explore his genuine disposition. Avoid becoming an overly demanding parent, pushing your child to put more efforts to fulfill your desires.
Being an egoistic parent, you expect your children to go out of the way to achieve the impossible so that you can beat the drums of his success in front of your friends, colleagues and relatives. For you, your honor is at stake if your child fails to comply with your expectations.
However, if you analyze things closely, you are putting your child to the brink of emotional breakdown in an effort to seek your validation. Just drop your expectations and allow your child to explore his own way.
Shelve Those Great Expectations
Effective parenting is all about allowing your child to be who he is and at the same time, being your authentic-self. Your whole objective should revolve around creating the comfort your child needs to explore his genuine-self. If you start expecting too much from him even when he is yet to start schooling, you instill anxiousness in him.
If you take a few moments of intense introspection, you will realize that you are telling your child that he has to fulfill or makeup for all your shortcomings in a subtle way. All your academic achievements, even if they have been remarkable, can never determine your child’s aptitude.
You cannot force him to follow your footsteps to carry on the baton of high achievements from generation to generation. Instead, you have to accept and appreciate his courage for being who he is. If your child fails to secure good grades, you still need to appreciate his efforts and tell him that grades are just letters and they do not represent the entire learning process. As far as he has learned something valuable, grades do not matter.
If your child learns to stay calm and peaceful by wholly and soulfully accepting for the person he is, he will never succumb to the pressures that come with failures. He will simply own them as mere inevitable incidents that come and go with time. He will refuse to get stuck and beat his head for things not going his way as he will internalize the fact that life itself is a process and it is completely fine when things do not turn out as you anticipate. His rich inner-world will increase his consciousness and allow him to make peace with external circumstances regardless of how bad or good they are.
Create a Conscious Space in Your Child’s Life
The first 6 years of a child are very important. Instead of forcing them to embrace the stiff lessons of life by following a strict routine, you should leave them to self-explore and experience life from a spiritual perspective. Let them be lazy and allow them to identify their own pace. Take them out to the beach and play games with them to make them realize that life is beautiful.
Allow your child to experience solitude so that he gets a chance to connect with his essence which is extremely important in overall emotional well-being of him. If he wants to sleep or take plenty of rest during a day, do not raise any concern. Let him live a burden-free life as it will give him a chance to discover who he really is.
Appreciate his wholesome existence and spend quality time with him. Remove all the gadgets when you are taking him out for fun. Encourage him to spend time in solitude as it is one of the most powerful ways to increase consciousness. Once he is 8 years of age, teach him how to meditate as it also helps form a very powerful connection with oneself.
Teach him to be grateful for all the good things he has. Gratitude is important for developing a healthy sense of self-worth and for acknowledging the role Universe plays in shaping our well-being.
Connect to Your Child with Engaged Presence
Your responsibility as a parent is not just to fulfill material, intellectual and physical needs of your child but also emotional and spiritual. When you complain that your child never listens to you, it is an indication that you need to look deep within yourself and determine where you are lacking.
Most of the parents have these kinds of issues in one way or the other and they put all the blame on their child for not obeying them. They will indeed never listen unless you make an effort to engage with them in an emotional way. Instead of refusing to join them with their playful activities and dictating them to follow your standard of how things are supposed to be, you have to be an active participant by taking keen interest in their activities even if they involve playing a videogame for fun.
More than anything else, your children yearn for your emotional presence. They need you to listen to their perspectives and praise them for sharing their unique ideas with you. When you attend to your child’s emotional needs, they feel worthy and develop healthy sense of self-worth. They believe that their opinions are valuable. At times, you may not agree with them, but your positive nod and a keen ear is all they need from you to feel cared for.
How to Handle Your Child’s Mistake
Lots of parents have a habit of scolding their children, especially when they make a mistake. They just yell at them and make them feel guilty for minor mistakes. They humiliate them in front of others which cause them to retreat in their shell believing that they are good for nothing. As a parent, your main objective here is not to impose your way of doing things on your child but to communicate with him in a very friendly and accepting way to make them believe that it is fine to make mistakes and they are an important process of learning.
Before you hold your children responsible for making a certain mistake, you need to assess your own behavior in this regard. Before you put him down by telling him that he lacks competency, you need to analyze your own follies for making very basic mistakes like forgetting the keys in your car, losing your way while driving or make a big blunder at work.
When you make these kinds of childish mistakes, you expect others to settle the whole matter and move on as you do not like to hold grudges for others. In similar way, you need to pardon your child for making mistakes. Just accept him the way he is and every time he does something wrong, just tell him from spiritual perspective that mistakes are important to progress in life and unless one makes them, he can never discover the right way of doing things.
If you keep blaming your child for making mistakes, a time will come when he will stop listening to you and internalize all his anger and take it out on his classmates to bully them. He can even become violent because he believes that he is always bad.
The Two Wings of the Eagle
Every emotionally stable person possesses two important aspects: authenticity and containment. Authenticity is about connecting with one’s inner-self in wholesome way where a person has an increased sense of self-awareness. It is an important element of one’s personality as it is essential to be your own best friend first before you extend your hand of pure friendship to others. If you are really authentic, you accept yourself as is and you have a strong sense of self-worth.
Contrarily, containment is about how you connect with others you come across as a normal way of relating to people representing different dispositions and way of living. Your increased self-awareness enables you to form strong bonds with people around you. Thus, containment and authenticity are essentially considered as the two wings of an eagle. If you take care of these two things while raising your children, they will grow up as strong individuals having the ability to form genuine relationships with all the family members as well as members representing the external world.