I’M DOING A SERIES OF POSTS AS I READ THIS BOOK; TERRY COLE-WHITTAKER‘S WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS. THE SUBTITLE IS ABOUT FOLLOWING YOUR INNER PATH TO HAPPINESS, SUCCESS AND SELF-FULFILMENT.
This chapter is one for the parents:
“Because the newborn comes equipped with the divine potential for perfection, it follows that each child is born with the ability to learn, to give and receive love, to feel and express.
This tiny individual arrives completely all-knowing at the spiritual level.
A child arrives into the world ready and eager to participate. The trouble however begins with us and our reasons first for having children, and how we help and support them in their developement.
The ideal reason for having a child is the desire to share and support a new human being as it blossoms into a happy, loving, fully expressed adult – that’s ideal.
Unfortunately, people have children for reasons ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. (We all know of the woman who has a baby to hold on to the man, or to have a son to follow in his footsteps to run the family business, or the accidents.)
In a sense, children are not ours to own and possess, but individuals entrusted into our care for a time. Kahlil Gibran puts it beautifully in “The Prophet” – “your children are not your children. They come through you but not from you. And although they are with you they belong not to you. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”
Most of our energy goes toward stifling growth in the name of protection. Of course, the child is limited by experience and size, but so often out of our fears and expectations, we won’t allow him to try anything.
We shouldn’t be afraid to allow the child to make his own mistakes (as long as they are not in obvious danger). We forget that mistakes are an integral part of the learning process. It doesn’t take us long to dump our negative beliefs and fears on a child.
We are all familiar with the refrain: “I want my children to have a better life than I had ” – that refrain sounds loving and sensible but unconsciously it often means ” I never got the love and approval I was looking for, so I want my child to fulfil my dreams.”
Our jobs as parents is to create a loving and supportive environment, but one in which our children can discover their strengths, weakness, freedom and barriers.
Unhappily we tend to allow our children run the game. We’re afraid they won’t turn out right, that they will leave. We communicate that fear to them, and they respond by using our fears and guilts to dominate and manipulate us.
We, the parents, become afraid to take a stand, and we who should be in charge of the home, pass this responsibly to the children. Under these circumstances the children become holy terrors!!
“I joyfully accept that my job as an adult is to help my children become loving, self sufficient, independent, and fully self expressed adults.”
Nida’s input: As a portrait photographer photographing families for over thirty years I could tell you a thing or two about possessiveness, spoilt children, lack of discipline, and also beautiful wonderful children with amazing creativity and wonderful manners! I have to say my kids used to say to me: ” how come you talk to your clients kids and have great patience with them and then you come home and demand help around the house and give out to us for little things?”
My answer; because I’m your Mammy and my job is to help you learn skills that you will need later in life and you don’t pay me hundreds of euro to photograph you!!! Haha !! Don’t we just love them!