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March 12, 2013 / Gul Malani

Good Parenting

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Good parenting is rather simple! All we parents have to do is to set an example that the most valuable treasure we all have is our present moment, which is timeless and therefore eternity itself! We do not have to wait for the future to arrive as per our requirements before we start living our lives fully, playfully and cheerfully! Neither do we have to worry about our past which is dead and gone to live our lives fully! Being in the present moment also implies that the child does not have any stress which is very good for the child as the body will produce the right chemicals to keep it healthy!

Further, we parents have to be unconditional in our love for the child to ensures that the following qualities and capabilities in the child remain intact even when the child grows into an adult!

  • childlike innocence and curiosity
  • creativity and artistic abilities
  • fearlessness, unless it has to do with safety
  • being happy with its own self, being its own unique self  and doing it’s own thing
  • being involved and connected with Nature and our Universe

It is also very important that the parents help to develop the child’s Intellect for early decision making, so that the child has capability to live life on his own terms without Intellectual support from parents as soon as feasible!

Good parenting also means that we parents are aware that material and spiritual success is a combination of talent and luck, and luck is highly unpredictable. Therefore, we have to drop all our desires and expectations expecting peak performance and the very best results from our children all the time are truly unrealistic expectations! Performances and results will vary from time to time and the parents should willingly accept the variations!

Further, parents have to set aside their limitations, desires and expectations and help the child develop its own unique capabilities and talents based on the child’s interests and passions. Parents have to help the child fulfill its own desires and expectations, if at all!

Good Parents-

  • develop sensitivity to the sounds infants make to try and communicate with their mothers/fathers. If the parents are unable to understand the infant, then they seek expert help so that they can respond properly and quickly to make the infant comfortable and stable as soon as possible. *241017
  • listen, understand and respond (not react) to children every time, no matter how busy they are, how young or old the children are, or even when the children are throwing tantrums to get something!
  • are very sensitive to not say or do anything to hurt or damage the pyche of the child. Most of us parents are only sensitive to the physical hurt or damage to the body of the child and highly insensitive to damage we are inflicting constantly on the psyche of the child! Instead of criticising or correcting, evolved parenting is to use only honest and positive reinforcement every time the child builds a new inner strength. The power of honest praise is an amazing force in the strong and sustained development of our child.
  • do not think that our child has limited potential and capabilities. Very often our child can amaze us with what he/she can do and achieve,  much beyond our own conceptions, limitations  and capabilities!
  • do not want to protect our way of life and are willing to patiently and coolly listen to differing opinions or criticism from our children, no matter how young they are, so that that the children’s analytical, diagnostic and critical thinking develops early!
  • do not convey to the child that life is only about success, coming first, being powerful, being right, having good health, and being happy all the time. Child has to learn from parents attitudes and actions that it is perfectly alright to fail, be weak, wrong, sick or unhappy at times! Life is a like being on a Roller Coaster with its ups and downs!*

Good unconditional parenting leads to happy children with high self esteem, strong inner strengths and good skills to manage their life and achieve success too!

Excerpts from ‘Hold On to Your Kids’ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., & Gabor Maté, M.D.

If we are to mature our kids successfully, or if we are to reorient them to us once they’ve been seduced by the peer culture, we must come to terms with attachment.

  • Senses Physical proximity is the goal of the first way of attaching
  • Sameness The second way of attaching is usually well in evidence by toddlerhood. The child seeks to be like those she feels closest to.
  • Belonging and Loyalty The third way of attaching also makes its debut in toddlerhood — if all is unfolding as it should. To be close to someone is to consider that person as one’s own….On the heels of belonging comes loyalty — being faithful and obedient to one’s chosen attachment figure.
  • Significance The fourth way of pursuing closeness and connection is to seek significance, which means that we feel we matter to somebody.
  • Feeling A fifth way of finding closeness is through feeling: warm feelings, loving feelings, affectionate feelings.
  • Being Known The sixth way of attaching is through being known. The first signs of this final way of attaching are usually observable by the time a child enters school. To feel close to someone is to be known by them.

The primary message of all types of (conditional) parenting is that children must earn a parent’s love. A steady diet of that, Rogers warned, and children might eventually need a therapist to provide the unconditional acceptance they didn’t get when it counted. – Carl Rogers, Psychologist

We don’t believe in holding on to the child too tight or leaving the child be. Parenting cannot be so rigid. It has to be a combination of both, a discerning involvement that is sensitive to the need of the child at that moment, and which recognises the fact that the child’s needs are changing constantly. – Dr. Atul Abhyankar

The essence of conscious parenting is that both mothers and fathers have important responsibilities for fostering healthy, intelligent, productive, and joy-filled children. – Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D.  140817

It takes three ingredients to make parenting work: a dependent being in need of being taken care of, an adult willing to assume responsibility, and a good working attachment from the child to the adult. The most critical of these is also the one most commonly overlooked and neglected: the child’s attachment to the adult…..Parenting is above all a relationship, not a skill to be acquired. Attachment is not a behaviour to be learned but a connection to be sought. – Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., and Gabor Maté, M.D. in their book ‘Hold On to Your Kids’  051117

Young children as well as adults inherently expect unconditional love and understanding from their parents. Devoid of this, conflict starts, attachment to parents weakens, and then these children can get attached to their peers. Such children start to seek peer acceptance and  peer advice on how to conduct themselves and how to live life. This further enhances the parent-child conflict and distances the child from the parents making it nearly impossible to do good parenting. To reverse this situation for the benefit of all, parents should revert back to unconditional love and understanding in all their interactions with the child, be readily available to the child and be patient in allowing enough time for the child to reconnect to the parents. – The Totality  150118

Parents unknowingly build fear and anxiety in their child about what will happen in the next moment and in the future. They use this fear to motivate the child to study, learn and work hard in the present so that it has a better future. Whereas the reality is, what happens in the future or even in the next moment is neither in the control of the parents nor in control of the child. The next moments and the future are determined by the continuously changing Divine Forces at work in the present moment, over which we (our Egos) have very little control. So, good parenting is to set an example that we, parents, fully accept the situations that happen in the present, next moment and the future, without any reaction and respond as best as we can to each situation as it arises. –The Totality 140818

There are two ways to live our life. The first one is the Ego’s way which is full of limitations, disturbances and fears. The second way is the Divine way which is limitless, steady and peaceful. Unfortunately the parenting most of us get, programs us to live the Ego’s way of life. However as we grow into adulthood, some of us are lucky enough to become aware than we are just being mercilessly driven by our Ego. This awareness can lead us to discover the second path of life, the Divine way! – The Totality 031118

Conventional parenting helps the child build a strong Ego, which is a conditioning or programming of a unique personality which sees itself as separate from others. This programming and separation results in the child learning to trust mostly it’s Ego for living it’s life and making all the decisions. Regretfully, all Egos have minimal or infinitesimal powers compared to the powers of Divinity in this Universe. If parents were to realise this fact, then they will help the child to recognise that it is Divine too and one with everyone and everything in this Universe; and to trust the infinite powers of Divinity to live it’s life. This implies, accepting life situations fully as they arise, as well as to accept everyone as they are now. – The Totality 111118

Good parenting is automatically done by those parents who handle their own life situations easily and smoothly without excessive reactions or creating unnecessary drama. Young and older Children learn by observation and they record their parent’s behaviours and use that knowledge to live their own life. So, be a good role model for the children to sail through their lives smoothly too. – The Totality 151118

All children are born with Divine intelligence which expresses in their instincts to cry, laugh, act, love, play, select appropriate foods to eat, select friends, etc.. Parents who become aware of these instincts of the child, understand, appreciate and respect these instincts and respond  with suitable action from their side to fulfill the instinctual requirements of the child. For example, if the child does not want to go to another person’s arms, parents should not force the child to go, as the child has instinctually determined that person does not love him/her adequately for such a close connection. If the child refuses a specific food to eat, which is instinctual for the child, do not force feed the child that food. His/her body does not need or will not be able to digest that specific food at that time. If the child is crying, allow the child to experience the sadness and try and detect what is making the child unhappy and resolve that issue, rather than saying to the child ‘ you do not need to cry for this’. A healthy respect and acceptance from the parents for the child’s instincts will help the child grow strong from within – The Totality 201118

Good parenting automatically emanates from parents who have through awareness of their own self, discovered that they can remain happy always despite the ups and owns of their life situations – The Totality 131218

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in – Rachel Carson 020219

Parenting generally tends to condition and program the child to fear what may happen in the future and erroneously programs the child that the future is in it’s control. Good parenting is to allow the child to live fully in the present moment and learning to accept the future as it unfolds, knowing that there are enormous Divine forces at work which carve out everyone’s future differently.  Based on what is happening now, every one of us has to decide what to do now in the context of our situation in the present moment. This applies to children as well.- The Totality 170319

Parental and social conditioning of the child (Ego) forms the basis of how the child, thinks, acts, reacts and judges right from wrong, good from bad, likes from dislikes etc.. There is no absolute truth in this type of thinking. As such, this thinking of the child can be changed easily by changing our parenting inputs and methods. Good parenting also empowers the child to change it’s own conditioning and programming (Ego) to suit its  life’s requirements as he/she is growing up. – The Totality 220319

Parental and social conditioning and programming makes the child reject the present moment situation as well as builds fears of the unknown future. Good parenting is when we bring up the child to fully accept the present moment situation, without any reaction, and to view the unknown future as an adventure and a great area for exploring and discovering new ideas, information, people and things. –The Totality * 100519

Conventional parenting helps build the left side of the brain of the child, which is programmed to use logic and reasoning, and is programmed to be motivated to think, and act to improve it’s future. In effect, parents help the child to feel incomplete in the present moment so it is driven or motivated to achieve completeness in the future. This can result in a very tense and stressful life for the child. Good parenting will help the child to also develop the right side of the brain which helps the child continue to feel complete in the now through out it’s whole life. Such a state, the Buddha state,  will help the child to live life fully in each moment with pleasure, happiness as well as in good health – The Totality 260619

Most children are born with their Intellect having a feeling of completeness. Regretfully, parental and social conditioning result in this feeling reducing a bit to a feeling of incompleteness. And this drives the child to achieve completeness in the future by succeeding and achieving in this physical world. Fortunately, this incompleteness is not very large for most of us, but we tend to focus on our incompleteness rather than the portion of completeness we have still retained. Changing this focus, as we grow older and wiser, will help us live our life less stressed and happy. – The Totality 190819 *

Almost every Child’s Intellect has a sense and feel of completeness in their Identity when they are born. Unconscious parenting and social pressures bring in a gap in the completeness of the child’s Identity. This becomes the cause of mental and physical suffering while the child is growing up, as well as in it’s adulthood. Good or Conscious parenting will ensure either no damage or very little damage to the completeness in the Identity that every child is born with. This damage happens primarily due to the personal unfulfilled aspirations of the parents, which they tend to fill up by driving their children to achieve successes in everything the child does. – The Totality 210819

Good parenting is simply not help the child build his/her identity which is incomplete. Children are born complete and by allowing them to be in the present moment as much as possible, we let the child’s self Identity remain complete always. Fear, anxiety, shame, anger, sadness and other such emotions in the child are indicative of the incompleteness in the child’s self Identity.- The Totality 240819

Our parents and our society drive our children  to be extremely competitive. Parents incorrectly assume that competitiveness provides the motivation in the child to do it’s best. Unfortunately, it does not bring out the best in the child. Instead, it creates fear, anxiety and other emotional distresses in the Intellect of the child, preventing the child from performing it’s best.. Whereas, a state of Joy and Fullness brings out the best in every child. The state of Joy and Completeness happens only when the Intellect of the child is allowed to remain in the present moment, when it is free from fear, anxiety and other emotional distresses. – learnt from a post of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Isha Foundation 270819

All children are born with an Intellect that is Divine, free from biases and prejudices. They see no difference between one human being to another; they have no class or caste system! Every one gets the same love & respect from the children. Unaware and un-evolved parental up bringing helps build prejudices, differences of caste and class, likes and dislikes in the children’s Intellects and also makes them self centered and competitive. This can cause a lot of emotional and physical hardships in the life of the children as well as in their adult life. – The Totality 030919

Good parenting is to avoid building an illusion of incompleteness in the Intellect of the child. This illusion of incompleteness drives the child to unnecessarily think a lot and undertake many unnecessary actions to try and become complete, when truly each one of us is complete as we are now, in every moment. – The Totality 220919

Good parenting is to allow and help the child to grow organically, from within, rather than inorganically, with external pressures and programming from the parents. This way, the child will build on its emotional, intellectual and physical strengths. So, he/she will falter less often. The Totality 220919

Many parents are constantly giving advice to their young children, pre-teen children, teenagers as well as adult children thinking that their years of knowledge and experience will help the children to easily manoeuvre through life. Instead, the opposite happens. The child experiences Anger, Hurt and Shamefulness disturbing its’s emotional and mental stability and damaging it’s risk taking and decision making capabilities. A better option is to ask questions and let the child find his/her own answers to his/her life situations and act upon them as best as he can. Of course, if the child is seeking advice, then do share your experiences with the young one, but allow him/her to make the final decision, regardless if it is right or wrong as per your thinking and experience. The only exception is , if the child’s or any other person’s safety is involved. – The Totality 181019

The Spiritual light shines through the eyes, smile and touch of every child. Good parenting is about maintaining the brightness of this Spiritual light within the child as he/she is growing up. Additionally, the parents have to help the child to organically develop it’s capabilities, that will be required to live life intelligently and happily in this physical world. The Totality 291019

Most of us have been brought up by parents who were unaware of their Spiritual Identity, which is eternal.

They only knew their Physical Identity, their Ego. Therefore they were able to condition and program us for the Physical world only. Their parenting methods were driven by their own knowledge, experiences, desires and expectations. They taught us that there is right and wrong, good and bad etc.. When we did wrong or when something bad happened our parents would get sad and upset and so we, children learnt that is the way to be. Such conditioning or programming is the basis of our unhappy life. Once we discover our Spiritual Identity through meditation, which is going within and beyond our Intellect, then our Intellect quietens down and starts experiencing and enjoying the ups as well as downs of our physical life. The Totality 250320

Ultimate and intelligent parenting can be done when both parents are fully evolved and they know that they have already arrived and are where they should be now. They know that there is no where else to go or anything more to achieve. They live each moment fully in the present and in full acceptance of their life situations. Instead of living a life of limitation and shortages, they live a life of abundance.

Such parents accept their children as they are now and they fully live the present moments with their children. They allow their children to learn and grow organically rather than force an inorganic growth upon them – emanated from the Unified Reality 120420

Good parenting is about retaining the expanse and limitless quality of the child’s Intellect. Our conditioning or programming of the child’s Intellect should not limit it’s  capabilities except in cases of safety – emanated from the Unified Reality 190420*

All children are born with a clean slate of an Intellect, vast and available to readily absorb conditioning and programming from parents and the society. In effect the vast Intellect, which is infinite by nature,  is now being constrained and limited by the parents and society.

Limitation is caused by parental programming of:

– desires and expectations

– likes and dislikes, what is good and what is bad

– rigid beliefs, assumptions and prejudices

– an individual personality separate from others.

– giving only conditioned love, i.e. expecting something back in return.

– becoming upset about the past and fearing the future and not being in the present

– focusing on  shortages instead of Abundance and so competing with others to get a larger portion of physical wealth and success.

Good parenting is when we avoid the above limitations and bring up our child to recognise the Abundance that we are living in and knowing that the Abundance is available to each one of us with little or no effort. – emanated from The Unified Reality 040520

Parental & social conditioning and programming, which we call as the ‘Ego’, builds numerous and unending desires and expectations within the child. These desires and expectations imply that our Universe is full of shortages and each child has to compete with others to get it’s fair share. This can lead the child to a lot of anxiety, worry, stress, disappointments, unhappiness and in some cases can lead to depression. In order to help our child lead a blissful life, great parents simply do not plant seeds of desires and expectations in the child’s Intellect. If the seeds have been already planted then good parenting will help the child re-programme it’s Ego to have little or no desires and expectations from life and as well as from others. Such a state of it’s Ego will lead the child to live in the present moment fully, making it aware of the Abundance everywhere (inside the child as well as outside in the Universe) and the child’s anxiety, worry and tension will completely drop. The child will then start to live a content and blissful life which will be full of everyday surprises and miracles – emanated from the Cosmos 200520

So, simply, what is good parenting?

  • Parents should be good role models for the below listed characteristics and activities (rather than being drivers and pushers for their children)
  • Allowing the child to remain in the present moment most of the time (implying very few desires and expectations are seeded in the Intellect of the child)
  • Ensuring that the child loves and respects itself all the time (no derogatory terms used for the child, or for it’s thoughts, or for it’s words or for it’s actions)
  • observing and listening to the child without comments and reactions (giving respect to the child’s intelligence)
  • Motivating the child only with love (not using rewards, fear or punishment which disturbs the peace and stability of the child’s Intellect or Mind)
  • Ensuring that the child remains a good learner always and is willing to try and experiment with new ideas and situations (without driving or forcing the child to learn)
  • Collaborating instead of competing with others (knowing that everything is abundant in our Universe and each one of us will get our rightful share with little or no effort)
  • Ensuring that the child is friendly and loving with others and is ever willing to help and share (parents can be role models)
  • Be grateful for what it gets and what it has by saying ‘Thank You’ often (role models are parents)
  • Developing one new skill every 6 months or so throughout it’s life
  • Taking daily part in sports, yoga or other physical exercises (for good health and well being}
  • Spending daily time outdoors with nature, in gardens taking interest in birds, animals, plants, flowers, trees etc.
  • allowing the child to make more and more decisions that affect it (building independence and inner strength)
  • around the age of 4 years or so, introduce meditation (to build inner strength and stability)
  • emanated from the Cosmos 270520

Modern parents are driving the children hard to develop skills in many fields as well as compete with others and excel in everything they do. In effect the children are always busy doing something or the other, every moment of their waking life. This builds high level of stress and dissatisfaction in the child’s Intellect leading to unhappiness and health issues too.

Happiness is the default state of every child. Children are unhappy only for short periods when their basic needs are not fulfilled. In order to bring them back to their natural state of happiness, parents need to listen to them patiently as well as give time and space to the child daily to do their own thing or to not do anything if they choose to. Parents have to avoid driving their children to do something or the other all the time, so that both parents and the children remain happy and retain calm and well functioning intellects. – emanated from the Cosmos 250720

When there are issues with a child regarding eating, schooling, friends, playtime and other situations, it will be good if the parent explains the issue clearly to the child when both the parent as well as the child are calm and peaceful. Then patiently allow the child to explain the issue as she/he sees it. If the issue seems clear to the child too, then seek a few solutions from the child. Often, parents will be surprised with the simple solutions that the child will come up with. It is preferable that the issue as well as the child’s solutions be documented in a Journal. You may call it ‘ Parent Child interaction and Solutions Journal’. A day or two later, have another short session with the child to review the issue as well as solutions proposed by the child. Then you should jointly agree on the possible few solutions and note them down too. This way the child will feel loved and respected and will act on the solutions responsibly. After the issue has been sorted out, please record the final solution that helped and the date when the issue was sorted. Maintain this Journal till the child becomes mostly independent and the Parent Child relationship has matured to one of friendship. – emanated from the Cosmos 290720

Default state of all children is a state of happiness. This is because of a natural instinct of all living beings to remain in the present moment, enjoying and experiencing it fully. Regretfully, parental and social conditioning and programming super imposes on this beautiful natural instinct, and imposes living mostly in the future or in the past. This gives rise to numerous unhelpful emotions like fear, anxiety, worry and resultant stress, Most parents are unaware that the life changes, that are happening every moment, are not brought about by our Ego (parental & social conditioning and programming}. Our life changes are a result of a multitude of Cosmic Forces. We, as well as our children, have to learn to live once again in the present moment by accepting our life changes gracefully and gratefully to continue to live a happy and fulfilled life. – emanated from the Cosmos 020820 *

2 Comments

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  1. kishor Jagirdar / Apr 12 2013 5:50 am

    Very apt observations and feelings which comes from the space of a high degree of unconditional flow of energy.Parents as described by the ancient wisdom was to emulate children in their child like innocence and preserve it as that part gave high degree of connecting to the universe any time without the tricks of the mind. Enabling children as only facilitators and not clamping down on kids with adult perceptions of right and wrong externally but allow it to seed within and enable children to choose from inner core what and how to live. The power of imagination becomes narrow with adult perceptions of reality and constricted where as a child is boundless in imagination.The ancient wisdom advocates creating space for children as free spirits and having high abilities of creative critical thinking.Today scenario is that we dont think critically but accept things are drawn in type cast and molds.Therefore we have become rigid in exploring and experimenting.Your work seems to be serving the universal truth and may it reach and impact all those who come in contact
    – kishor jagirdar .

    • Gul Malani / Apr 12 2013 9:46 am

      Appreciate the power and clarity in your comments! Yes, the connection with the infinite Universe should never be broken, ideally innocence should never be replaced by the Ego, which is separateness. Parents have to be like gardeners who water and help each plant bloom in its own way and time!

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