The following are some ways we can assist children to become whole adults:
- Be there for them. Plan to have only the number of children for whom you can provide consistent, quality one-on-one attention. [Reach out for support and create your own village if/when needed so you are able to take care of your own needs and ensure you have an adequate amount of energy when you are with your children.] Remember, your purpose is to give them enough energy to make the transition to wholeness on their own as adults.
- Treat these little people as spiritual beings with a destiny to fulfill. You can give them their start in life but you cannot control their destiny. Give them respect. Speak to them as human beings with a higher self. Acknowledge that children have rights: to know the truth, to be cared for, to be taught how to be an adult.
- Insist on certain behavior that is for their best interest, health, and safety. Set clear boundaries while they are under your care and supervision. Be clear about where you stand on issues. [Be consistent, follow through, and use natural consequences that focus on learning rather than resorting to negative punishment that shames them.]
- Give them explanations of the choices you are currently making, as appropriate to their maturity level. Discuss family issues or problems. Keeping troubles to yourself denies your child the truth of what is going on and any wisdom you are able to share on the subject. Bring children into the issue and give them the opportunity to participate in its solution.
- Give children meaningful roles and chores in running the household. Don’t do everything for them. Don’t be too quick to rescue. Obviously, we are not talking about life or death situations but, in general, children are far more capable than we give them credit for. Give them a chance to learn from their mistakes, without making them feel stupid or worthless. Encourage them to ask about what happened in the situation, what they felt about it or learned, and what they would do differently next time.
- Refrain from draining their energy and making critical remarks. Acknowledge that life depends on taking some risks and having some failures. Experience is often a better teacher than authoritarian parental explanations. Remember that people move ahead to new levels only in a supportive environment. Ridicule, humiliation, and corporal punishment are not acceptable parenting techniques.
- Share your own spiritual process as much as is appropriate to their age level. Be open to them modifying your idea of reality – be willing to learn from them. Be open to your children’s point of view. Be a good listener and don’t assume you know what they are talking about. Don’t forget that your children will be important mirrors of your own issues, and be willing to notice how their behavior might be telling you something you need to know about yourself. The most important things you can do to support your own and other’s children are to listen to them, take them seriously, and acknowledge their personal worth.
We are bringing a whole new spiritual generation into the world and we need to heighten our awareness of the spiritual aspects of parenting. It’s important to remember that each child brings in his or her own issues to work through in this lifetime. They are not born to be simply molded by parental influences. Our new way of parenting is about adding the dimensions that we didn’t have when we were growing up. As we learn to work with energy and accept the flow of coincidences and messages, our children will be able to grasp these insights even more quickly because we will be the role models for them.
We need not wait for a particular day to dawn when we will all begin practicing these new behaviors with children. We offer the above suggestions for parents, but these ideas can be used by anyone. Even if you do not have children yourself, you will, no doubt, have special friends who have children with whom you can become involved.