Parenting Guide Part 10: Parent By Example cont.
Part X of the series on Nature’s Parenting Process – by Joseph Gauld
Concept # 5 – Parent by Example – Recognize the Power of our Feelings – part 2
A healthy relationship with our children is based on honesty, living by principles, and leading by example. We must have the humility and honesty to share our struggles, to face our fears and to take risks.
This reality leads to an important rule in raising children: when in doubt, bet on the truth, which means when we aren’t sure if we should say something, say it or do it. Always err on the side of truth, a vital first step in developing a deep bond or trust with our children. This helps us solidify the integrity within our character, which teaches our children to honor and follow their own conscience and integrity.
Our children are always learning from us, whether we realize it or not. Since our child is always imitating us, the more integrity we demonstrate – so that our outer self reflects our inner self – the less troubled and more balanced our child will become. Moreover, we need to make sure our parenting is always reflected by our emotions, not just by our words.
Our child is not us, and has a unique learning style that often does not fit into our teaching patterns. Sine we are the child’s primary teacher, we are always his/her primary source of learning, even when we are not consciously teaching or parenting.
As parents, we must honestly determine the character and sense of purpose we hope to instill in our children, and then create the changes and growth within ourselves that will inspire them. This is why raising children is the most powerful force in human growth; we parents are willing to do things for our children that we are not willing to do for ourselves.
Inspiration is job #1 for parents. It is our personal growth that inspires our children.
Both we and our children know in the earlier years they are totally dependent upon us. Then the stage grows more complex as our adolescent has to deal with “tumultuous change” in the brain as well as peer pressure. It requires sophisticated parenting in order to lead our children. The key to that leadership is the example we set. While this is a demanding role that requires our very best, the bonus is that it is the strongest force to fulfill our own unique potential.
Some may feel it’s too late to change our parenting. If so, try to remember nature has created the right ‘ruts’ for our parenting, so we need to commit ourselves to doing it right, and have faith nature will eventually reward us. Also, remember at a deeper level, our children are just as concerned about our doing it right as we are.
Gibran inspires parents with the ending of his passage:
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth;
The archer sees his mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with
His might that His arrows may 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.
This concludes our 10 part series on Nature’s Parenting Process by Joseph Gauld. If you would like a copy of the entire book, please visit the online Hyde bookstore.