Parenting: the greatest opportunity!

Written by Christy Whitman November 7, 2012

As you may already know, parenting is one of the most demanding and challenging life experiences you may ever have.  Yet, it is by far your greatest opportunity to grow in givingness, patience, honesty and unconditional love.  

Here are some tips to help you do just that:
1. Be willing to give your child your best. You don’t have to be perfect. There is no “perfect” mom or dad. But each day show and and give your best. Some days your best will look differently than the day before.
2. Your job as parents is two-fold — to love and to teach your child to be a happy and responsible person.  The order of my words is important because he cannot learn anything from you unless he first feels loved – really, unconditionally loved – by you. 
3. The best way for you to unconditionally love him and then to be able to teach him is for you to feel loved yourself and for you to be happy and responsible.  Your first job as a parent is to love each other and yourself, to do what it takes to be happy and to be responsible adults yourselves.
4. Realize that you may make mistakes from time to time – we all do – but learn from them and move on.

5. The more each parent expresses their their own spirituality, the more your child will learn to fully express his own.
6. As you guide your child to understand the world around him through open spiritual communication, he will learn to develop his individuality and the beautiful realization of God within himself.
7. And, finally, please remember that, while your child is yours to nurture, love and teach, you do not own him.  A beautiful poem written by Kahlil Gibran speaks to this idea perfectly.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to
make them like you,
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as
living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
infinite, and He bends you with His might that
His arrows might go swift and far. 
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so he loves also the bow that is stable.

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