A Spiritual View on Parenting

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This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called The Spiritual Aspect of Parenting , written by Gail Florence.

Becoming a parent is one of the most beautiful gifts of our existence. It is the sole opportunity to produce a new life, see it grow, and nurture it even after it can create a new life, too. Even after allowing children their independence, parents are parents for a lifetime. No one can remove that. It also means for the rest of a parent’s life, there are changes, challenges, and discoveries to go through. So, it is natural to celebrate milestones of children’s development, react about unwanted behaviors, feel concerned for the children no matter the age, and hope they live a life better than ours.

It is alright to sometimes say that parenthood is tough, or for those who are more optimistic, it is challenging, or even more, that the entire experience is exciting. It is better to acknowledge however we feel about being a mother or father. Whatever emotion we are having, recognize it. That’s how spirituality encourages us to commune with our existence.

So, how does spirituality tackle issues on nurturing children? Before going through the common parental concerns, please remember that this is an alternative view and it is up to us which to apply once we are out there with the grace of children.

First scenario: I believe my kids are behaving badly and I am disciplining them to teach them a lesson

One way to understand discipline is the lack of something that needs to be filled in. We believe our children don’t know proper behavior (they lack proper behavior) so, they have to be punished in order for them to learn their lesson. The urge to discipline can also mean that there is a lack within us which we believe makes us unworthy of love. So, there is a tendency for us to project it to the younger ones and say that we are disciplining them. No matter the form of discipline, it always carries a feeling of restraint. The question now is, is there love in all that?

When we take the spiritual sense, we depend on our energy flow, and see how we can address a situation. When we are aware of the presence of our spiritual voice, we will act or speak accordingly to how children or any other being behaves. The spiritual voice will always make us move with love and other than that is the doing of our ego voice. Most of the time, the ego’s intention is to make us believe we are doing something wrong, we lack something, and we deserve to be punished. Listening to it also makes us perceive others as something wrong, lacking and punishable. Now, it is up to us which voice we follow. Do we watch how we feel about a situation and let the feeling guide us what to do or do we believe the prejudicial thoughts playing in our minds and apply methods to stop those prejudices?

Second scenario: My children annoys everyone for attention

In the spiritual view, we can recognize how we feel about the actions of our children and let that feeling guide us in responding to their actions. How we react to others’ behavior will support or extinct their behavior. When we show that our children’s behavior is no big deal, they will understand it. When we demonstrate that their ‘annoying’ behavior is nothing to us, we are cool about it, their habit or conditioning can be undone.

Third scenario: My negative words are ingrained to my children’s minds and now they lack self-confidence

When we take into consideration that how we perceive others depends on our ego or spirit, we know that the ego will convince us of anything negative and the spirit, anything comforting. We need to realize where our negative perceptions are coming from. Our ego will tell us that our children lack self-confidence and it is our fault. It will also constantly make us feel guilty with our actions and words. However, when we look deeper in ourselves, we realize there are thoughts that will make us feel comfortable and see a situation in a brighter perspective. It is up to us then which thoughts to lean to.

If we are always thinking our children lack self-confidence, we don’t need to believe it. We or our children are not victims to anything. Believing that our past words or actions affect the present is a thought we are just making up.

We can watch our children and observe how our energy plays out with them. There’s always a feeling-effect we can practice. When we acknowledge, accept and take care of our feelings, we will speak or act with a feeling of love and compassion.

A few more words…

It takes a great recognition to see how much we have allowed some thoughts to manipulate our view of what’s outside ourselves, our words and actions. When we constantly believe in thoughts that bring us down and makes us feel guilty, it affects our being a child, parent, friend, or any role we fulfill. Such awakening is necessary for us to realize that we can also lean to thoughts of love, joy and comfort. Once we see through love and compassion, we extend it to others too through our words and actions.