What is healthy parenting? How can we be the best possible parents? What does sane parenting look and feel like? There’s a lot of confusion around this subject... so let’s take a look…
Some parents think it’s their job to make their children happy and to think for them – but this is not true. It’s not the parents’ job to think for their children or to make them happy. How do I know this is true? I know this is true because it’s impossible for one human being to think for another human being. We simply can’t get inside someone else, no matter how much we love them, and think and feel for them. Which is also why it is impossible to make another human being happy or unhappy. This is the impersonal universal law. It’s the mechanism of mind that operates equally for all human beings. There are no exceptions to this law. And this means that each individual is living in his or her own mental universe, which means that each human being is experiencing the results of his or her own thoughts and beliefs. And this includes our children.
This doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t love their children and treat them with respect. Of course, we should. But treating children with respect means respecting their intelligence, their individuality, their right to be who they are – and not trying to think for them (which is impossible) or expecting them to make you happy or for you to make them happy (which is also impossible).
Unfortunately, since most people do not understand the mechanism of mind which says that it’s an imperssonal, universal law that each person can only experience their own thoughts and interpretations of the events that are unfolding in their lives – a lot of confusion arises. And thus because people who are parents don’t understand the mechanism, they mistakenly think that it’s their job to make their kids happy. But it doesn’t work no matter how “hard” parents may try – and this is because it’s the child’s own thoughts and interpretation of events that determine their child’s state of mind. When you look around you, you can see for yourself that this is true. And this explains why one child who has been spoiled and given everything is still miserable, unsatisfied and often cranky while another child who may have very little (in the way of attention or possessions) is joyful and positive about life and his or her possibilities. People are just different – and have different levels of consciousness and different soul qualities – and this includes our own kids too!
So when we understand this mechanism, it leaves us (the parents) with the following – it’s our job to take responsibility for our own lives and our own happiness and in this way teach our children (by our own example) the laws of the universe and the mechanism of mind. When children see their parents living sane, responsible, and authentic lives with integrity, they will hopefully follow their example. And this includes teaching our children that everyone is a unique individual and has a right to his or her thoughts and feelings and that this is something we must always strive to respect. And again, this is something we, as parents, must demonstrate to our children through our own action and behavior. Because the reality is that parents mostly teach their children through their actions and behavior, and not their words. The reality is that children naturally copy their parents’ behavior because this is the model for life and relationships they see and are exposed to as they grow up. (Which also explains why dysfunctional behavior gets passed down from generation to generation despite the parents’ firm desire not to do what their parents did.)
So it’s important to remember:
- Children didn’t come into this world to make you happy (that’s your job).
- It’s not your job to make your children happy (that’s their job).
o And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your children and treat them with love and respect.
- Everyone wants to be free (including your children). It’s the universal urge in us all. No one fights to be a slave.
o And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set limits and take care of your children when they are small.
o But as they grow older, a parent’s job is to let go and trust in the intelligence of their children.
- Children came into their world to live their own lives (that’s their job).
- You came into this world to live your own life (that’s your job).
- You can’t know what your child’s dream is.
o You are probably having a hard enough time figuring out what your own dream is.
- You can’t know what’s best for your child.
o Can you even know what’s best for you?
- Your child has a right to be who he or she is.
o And this doesn’t mean that you cannot set limits in your home.
o And this doesn’t mean you cannot explain to your children and show them through your words and actions that everything we say and do has consequences.
- You cannot prevent your children experiencing the consequences of their thoughts, words and actions.
o This is the order of the universe and the sooner children learn this, the better.
- You cannot prevent your children from making what you think are “mistakes”.
o How else can they learn about life?
o How did you learn about life?
All this also means that it’s okay to show your kids that you’re not perfect (the reality) and that you don’t know all the answers (also the reality) and that sometimes life is difficult for you (also the reality) but that you’re doing the best you can to figure things out (also reality) and hopefully follow your integrity (probably your preference). And since this is a sane, realistic assessment and approach to life, it’s also a sane, realistic way of interacting with the young human beings who are in your care for some years.
About Barbara Berger
American-born Barbara Berger is the best-selling author of “The Road to Power – Fast Food for the Soul” (published in 30 languages), “Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life” (published in 21 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. Barbara's latest book is "Find and Follow Your Inner Compass – Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload". All her books are available on Amazon.com or on her Web site. Barbara also works as coach and therapist, helping people around the globe come into alignment with their own true power. For more about Barbara see her Web site: http://www.beamteam.com
*** Below are titles & links to the beautiful work from Barbara. She is a long time contributor and my dear friend:) ***
The Ultimate Self-Empowerment Tool – Your Inner Compass
The Key to Happiness; Understanding the Way the Mind Works
Who would you be if you didn’t know your age?
The Power of Right Seeing
Review of Barbara Berger’s book Find and Follow Your Inner Compass by Riki Frahmann
Who would you be if you didn’t know your age?
Are You Here Now? Are You Happy Now?
Discovering Who You Really Are
Getting in Touch with Your Heart
Follow Your Passion & Accept the Consequences
The Power of the Joyful Giver
You have nothing to deal with but your own thoughts
Peace Is Your Nature
The Power of Contemplating Love
How Can We Serve?
The Importance of Mind Management
Focus on the Real – A Way of Dealing with Worry and Catastrophic Thinking
Nothing External Can Disturb Us
Just Let Everything Be!
The Gift of Crisis
The Power of Asking for Help
What does it mean to be psychologically mature?
The Meaning of Life
The Power of Praise & Blessing
Our Unalienable Rights
Meeting the Family & Keeping Your Peace of Mind
Healthy Boundaries – the Secret of Good Relationships
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