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May 16, 2013 / Gul Malani

When we, Parents, …………..

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When we parents accept our child fully as he/she is now then we are:

-making him/her psychologically strong from within

-allowing him/her to develop in the direction that suits him/her best and at the speed that he/she can comfortably manage

In short, this is the process of the ideal parenting 

When we parents do not accept our child as he/she is now and we want him/her to improve or change then we are:

-ensuring that the child rarely enjoys and lives the present moments fully without worrying about the future

-ensuring that the child starts to fear the future

-lowering the self esteem of our child

Recommend that we be careful, while bringing up the child, that we are not forcing him/her to improve or change unless there are safety concerns or the child is hurting others. Instead be a patient role model of behaviour for the child to learn and improve and change slowly out of its own volition as it grows up.

When we, parents, laugh at our child’s mistake or any incorrect or out of context statement that the child makes, then we are:

  • hurting the child’s Ego
  • lowering his/her self esteem

Recommend that we parents become role models and laugh at our own selves when we make mistakes or make incorrect or out of context statements. 

When we, parents, blame the child for what has happened, be it a glass of spilled milk or his/her failure in the exams, then we are unaware of the reality that situations happen to all of us. We or our Ego do not make situations happen. None of us can truly take either credit or discredit for it as only the all powerful Totality is continually determining the present situations. In blaming the child we are:

  • weakening his/her inner strength, psyche
  • lowering his/her self esteem
  • building fears in the child to do anything, especially something new
  • lowering his/her risk taking capabilities

Recommend that parents should have unlimited capacity to accept all situations that happen and not react to the adverse situations and carry on with living life fully without any adverse comments or advice to themselves or to the child. This will help build inner strength in themselves as well as in the child to live life fully, without fear, anxieties and worries.  220717

When we parents have desires and expectations from our child then we are:

-channelling the child’s thoughts and actions in a specific direction suited to our wants and not the child’s natural capabilities and inclinations

-building fear in the child of not being able to fulfill our desires or expectations

Recommend putting our own desires and expectations in the back seat and help the child develop it’s own natural potential and capabilities!

When we parents focus and point out our child’s mistakes hoping that this help the child to improve quickly, then we are:

-lowering the self esteem of the child

-reducing the child’s motivation and capabilities to improve generally

Recommend strongly that parents focus on the child’s positive aspects only, ignoring the child’s mistakes unless it has something to do with safety. Parents should take the time to clearly understand the child’s positive achievement and then compliment the child in some detail and not just say ‘Well done’. Strange as it may seem, but this positive reinforcing attitude of parents helps the child to not only improve generally but also helps the child to automatically correct his/her earlier mistakes that the parents had purposely ignored! 

When we, parents, become sad, upset or angry with our own self or our child after we or our child has made a mistake, then we are:

  • leading a stressful life and conveying this to our child too
  • conveying to the child that it is wrong to make mistakes
  • conveying to the child our own low self esteem and lowering the self esteem of the child when he/she makes a mistake
  • ensuring that the child, like us,  will not take any risks and try out new activities or experiments with life

Recommend, we accept our’s as well as our child’s mistakes peacefully and smilingly, knowing that making mistakes are an integral part of great living. In the case of the child, smilingly give a big hug when he/she makes a mistake  without pointing out the mistake or giving advice as to how to avoid it in future, unless it has something to do with safety. Allow the child’s intelligence to work on his/her mistake at its own pace and time. 

When we parents, get upset or angry when the child says ‘You are not my mother or I am leaving the home’, then we are:

  • helping the child to build fears of separation
  • not sensitive to the child’s feelings
  • missing out on a wonderful opportunity to strengthen parent-child relationship

Recommend that parents lovingly help the child to surface their feelings by asking leading questions like ‘Are you sad or upset with me or someone else about something we did to you? Then we should patiently listen and understand the child’s point of view without justifying what we or someone else did for triggering off the child to make such statements. Also, reassure the child that you are and will  always be her/his mother/father, no matter what happens! And that the house we all live in, is and will always be the child’s house too! 

When we, parents, react with panic to the situation in the now, in the present moment, then we are:

-programming our child to panic when he/she faces similar situations, thereby losing his/her capabilities of clear thinking, just as we parents do when we panic

Recommend that we be role models who remain peaceful most of the time. When a situation arises such as the child has high fever or is likely to vomit, or is hurt or bleeding, we should remain remain peaceful and quiet and let our clear, undisturbed Intellect help us to take appropriate and necessary actions to manage the situation. There is no better learning for our child than these real life situations and the parental responses!

When we parents program, teach or force our child to either control itself, change or achieve something in the future, then we are:

-building a disharmony in the child with its own self and this results in disharmony with others as well as the Universe

Recommend that we allow our child to indulge fully in its present moment activity and let this activity alone be the foundation for future self control, change or achievements for the child!

When we parents use anger, force or punishment to change the behaviour of our child, then we are:

-building retaliatory responses in our child, which could be to physically hit the parents, siblings, friends or throw and break objects, or sulk or stop communication with parents and others

Recommend that we use only love and understanding to modify behaviour of our children. Change only comes from love. Love has a slow but a profound effect for change without any damage to the psyche of the child! 

When we parents interrupt our child while he/she is busy and doing something, we are pulling our child out of:

-present moment activity

-passionate activity

-being himself

Recommend, like we do with adults, we wait till the child finishes the task on hand and then suggest or request him to do what we want him/her to do.

When we parents tell our child who is crying or misbehaving, to stop crying/misbehaving/acting like a baby etc., then we:

-are not communicating correctly as we have not understood that the child is using his last resort of trying to communicate to us, parents, something that it thinks is very important to him/her

-are preventing the child from fully experiencing its emotions. Instead, we are asking him/her to bottle up the emotions which can have a long term stressful effect on the child’s Intellect and resulting behaviour!

We recommend that the parents try and understand the cause of crying or misbehaviour which is only an effect and not the cause. So, the first thing for a good and involved parent is to give the child time, as required by it, for regaining composure as well as help it to become aware and accept the symptom or emotions fully. We recommend hugging and holding the child in the arms and allowing the child adequate time to fully experience and accept the existing emotions without giving any advice or making small talk!

After the child settles down, we parents can help start a dialogue by saying something like ‘you were perhaps sad/disappointed/tired(?) so we understand why you cried or misbehaved’. The dialogue is for us to understand the underlying cause for the crying/misbehaviour and find a mutually acceptable and suitable solution so that the child need not resort to crying or misbehaviour for want of being understood by its parents the next time!

Then such situations become beautiful learning experiences for the Parents as well as the Child and the situations become complete and done with, leaving both the Parent and Child stronger psychologically as well as in their relationship!

When we parents tell our child that he/she has grown up and and so they should not cry then:

-the child may stop crying on the outside and continue crying on the inside. He/she will learn to bottle up the feelings to look like a grownup to please us, causing disastrous psychological consequences for him/herself

Recommend that we allow our child to fully express and experience his/her emotions without making them feel bad or small and help them to gradually get back to their normal happy state. We can physically remain with them and give them support, not by giving advice or diversionary talk but by close physical contact like hugging and holding the child till he/she regains composure. 

When we parents are not willing to understand and instead advise our child or give a solution to every situation that the child is in, we are preventing the child from:

-developing his/her own Intellect to resolve situations

-discovering his/her own truths of living

-conveying to the child that we do not trust them or their judgement

Recommend instead of giving a solution, parents ask questions which trigger off thinking in the child and allow the child to act on his own decision even if we parents think that the child may make an incorrect or wrong decision, provided that the safety of the child and others is not at stake! 

When we parents admonish our child in public for behaviour or action which is not acceptable to us, then we are:

-reducing the self esteem of the child

-making the child unhappy with his/her own self

-not allowing the child to be himself

Recommend that parents let the child be himself/herself as much as possible. Then he will be happy with his/her own self and have a high level of self esteem. He/She will then be an original and not a copy of someone else! Any correction in behaviour should be carried out in private only, never in public!

When we parents discipline our child, then we are:

-trying to mould the child to being submissive and to meet our’s, family’s and the society’s requirements, traditions and approvals

-reducing or destroying the creative and artistic abilities of the child

Recommend that disciplining be done with unconditional love and understanding only and not by a dictum or order. Further, it should be limited to the bare minimum for the child to function in our family and society so that his/her artistic and creative juices keep flowing at all times!

When we parents plan excessive activities for our child for his/her intellectual and physical development, then we may be:

-crowding out the child’s time and space for its Spirit to thrive and blossom and to develop him/herself to what he/she is really capable of becoming!

-ignoring the child’s passions and following our own passions, desires and expectations

Recommend that we become sensitive to the child’s Spirit and Passions and give him/her adequate time and space to develop himself/herself in a unique way that is comfortable and suitable to itself! 

When we parents compare our child to its siblings, peers or friends, then we are:

-giving a message to our child that we are not accepting him/her as he/she is now

-building an illusion of incompleteness and that the child has to improve in the future to be complete

-creating an illusion of either superiority or inferiority in the child

-pulling out the child from the present moment involvement and activity and pushing him/her into a stressful activity of competing with or copying others in the future

-reducing the love and relationship between the siblings, colleagues or friends

Recommend that we never compare our children with other children or adults. Instead, we help each child to develop its own specific potential and capabilities. Parents should allow and help a Rose to become a Rose and a Tulip to become a Tulip and not manipulate and force a Rose to become a Tulip!  

When we parents drive our child to be the First and Best in everything he/she does, then we are:

-pulling out the child from the present moment involvement and activity and pushing him/her into a stressful activity of being the best in everything he/she does

-creating unnecessary stress of the future in the child, for a probability which is very low as only one child of the lot can come first. Rest have to occupy different positions than the first!

Recommend that we help the child enjoy what he/she is doing and leave the positioning, whether first, tenth or last, to the will of the Universe!  

When we parents repeatedly say that their child is stupid, foolish, idiotic, stubborn, naughty, or that he/she is not good in Maths or languages, then we are:

-helping the child build such an identity and lowering the self esteem of the child

-changing his belief system about himself/herself and he/she starts to believe that he/she is stupid, naughty or not good in Maths etc.

Recommend that such statements defining and limiting the child should never be made. Instead, we can say that the child is being naughty or foolish at the moment; or that, at present the child is not taking interest in Maths or Languages so he/she is not doing too well in these subjects now! Such statements leave the door open for the child to improve in the future, which incidentally all children do change and improve!  

When we parents do not listen or respond to our child as we are busy doing something else, talking with a friend, on the phone or on the computer, then we are:

-conveying to the child that he/she is not important to us

-conveying that we are not giving unconditional love to our child

-lowering the self esteem of our child

 Recommend ideally parents drop what we are doing and listen to the child every time without reacting or commenting! If for some reason this is not possible, then acknowledge the effort of the child to connect with us and tell the child that as soon as we are free we will listen. Then we should not forget to do this. If we do forget, then we should apologise to the child for our error! While listening, we parents should try to give full attention to the child till he/she completes what he/she wants to communicate and not interrupt him/her with our opinions, ideas and thoughts! 
When we parents are in a rush and want our child to quickly finish off the chores by taking over completely what the child is doing, like eating, washing, cleaning, dressing, etc., then we are:
-being insensitive to the child and conveying to the child that he/she is not capable of looking after him/herself
-we are delaying the independence that every child is seeking and making the child dependent on us
Recommend that we plan properly and ensure adequate time is available to the child to complete all the tasks he/she is trying to complete by him/herself 
When we, parents, are physically or mentally exhausted due to work, home, social pressures or ill health then we can:
-react angrily by screaming or shouting at our child, who is always seeking only love, attention and respect from us, thereby hurting his/her psyche unconsciously and unnecessarily
Recommend that the parent become aware that he/she is physically or mentally tired and that the child is coming to him/her to only get love, attention and respect. This awareness will help the parent remain calm despite the physical and mental strain and deal with the child with tender loving care and attention resulting in overall happiness in both, parent as well as the child
When we, parents, forcibly feed our child or feed by distracting him/her with videos, activities and games, then we are:
-taking away the opportunity from the child to feel, taste and enjoy the food
-helping the child to swallow the food without adequately chewing it
-not allowing the child’s body to produce the right amount of digestive enzymes and other juices for good and full digestion of the food
Recommend that the child eats along with the parents and is given the unconditional choice to eat as much as he/she can enjoy of whatever appeals to him/her from what has been offered at the dining table. The environment should be supportive, helpful and positive. Fear should not be used to motivate the child to eat. Further, there should be no distractions, and any adverse comments or attempts by the parents to use meal times for disciplining  or giving unsolicited advice.
When we, parents, force our child to finish whatever little is left in their  bowl, plate, glass, or cup, despite the child not wanting to eat or drink anymore, then we are:
-unaware that the child knows better than the parent, as to whether he/she has eaten enough and is full
-unaware that we have inherited this trait from our parents who may have seen hard times and so they were unable to see food being wasted
-treating the child as a trash can and thereby disrupting or overloading our child’s digestive system
-definitely not respecting the child’s intelligence of knowing it’s own body, resulting in slow but sure destruction of this capability of our child, which may lead to severe eating and drinking disorders in the future
Recommend strongly that we, parents, should respect the child’s intelligence and immediately stop feeding the child when our child indicates this by turning the face while being fed, or covering the mouth with the hand, or verbally expressing that he/she is full and doesn’t want more to eat or drink. The wasted food or drink should be trashed. If the parents conditioning does not allow this, then the parents can consume the child’s left over food and drinks and save the child from the consequences of being overfed! 
When we parents frequently tell the child what to do and what not to do, which is generally based on our present social norms, then we are:
-conveying to the child that he/she is not perfect and complete right now and he/she has to do something in the future to become perfect and complete, whereas the child is complete and perfect from the day he/she is born
-forcing the child to start telling lies to please the parents
-not allowing the child to use his/her Intellect so it may remain under developed, handicapping the child in facing life situations
Recommend that we limit our do’s and dont’s to the bare minimum, except if safety is involved, and be a role model for the child rather than be a disciplinarian!
When we parents frequently tell our child what to do and  how to do it, then we are:
-destroying the creative abilities of our child as the child requires space and time to do what he/she is intuitively and creatively capable of doing
Recommend that the child be given adequate time daily to do what he/she wants to do to develop himself/herself from within and surface out his/her abilities that would remain hidden otherwise!

When we parents force our child to do something it does not want to do, e.g. he/she does not want to eat because of being full or not hungry; or if we force them not to do something, like meeting a specific friend or doing homework when the child wants to play, then we are:

-forcing the child to develop its manipulative and lying skills

Recommend discussion and dialogue, based on love and understanding, be used to motivate the child to do something or not to do something. This can happen only if the child understands and accepts that it is for their own good!

When we parents react to a child throwing tantrums with a very rigid stance of teaching a lesson that tantrums will not get the child what it wants, then we are:

-reacting as a child too with our tantrum, but we parents are not aware that we are also acting like a child when we are throwing a tantrum. Instead we think that we are disciplining the child. It is truly a clash of Egos of the parent and the child with the parent also behaving like a child

-lowering the self esteem of the child and damaging his/her psyche in the process.

-making the child even more unhappy and upset

Recommend that we parents become aware that our Intellect’s default state  is the Ego state, which is a reactive state. We should become aware of this. This awareness will help our Intellect to move into the Pure Awareness & Full Acceptance state which will help us to hug and love the child in tantrum and restore the calm within the child at the earliest. Only when calm has been restored, we can try and understand the reason why the child was throwing a tantrum; and then lovingly arrive at a solution acceptable to the child and our own self too for the future. 

When we parents react to everything the child says and does, then we are:

-lowering the child’s self confidence and self esteem

Recommend that we give our child adequate space and time to do what he wants, provided that the child is not hurting anyone including him/herself. If we feel that a behavioral change is desirable, delay the discussion to a time when both, parent and child, are calm and peaceful.

Why do we prefer to bring up our children as puppets that obey us rather than strong and well balanced individuals who are given the time and opportunity to become wise from their own mistakes, sensitivity, awareness and experiences? -The Totality

Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

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