Research Paper Supreet Oberoi
(Parent Coach, INDIA)
To raise the future generation who is rooted and grounded in self worth and love.
Dear friends, through this article I would like to show you all how important is our creative power as human beings, our participation in our own evolution. The responsibility to raise the future generation lies on our shoulders. So lets explore our personal roles in evolving our species forward and in the world peace by raising a safe, secure, kind child who is rooted and grounded in self worth and love.
In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment- Thomas Carlyle
I am sure we all have learned through our both good and bad experiences that the success of any project, event or person is seeded right at the beginning. Now this understanding could inspire anxiety and the tendency to never begin anything, knowing how important and far reaching beginning are. But a little digging into the research about what makes for auspicious beginnings can transform anxiety to empowerment.
So dear prospective mothers, please do not feel the anxiety and the pressure of this responsibility, rather feel empowered because you are about to make your contribution in the world peace of tomorrow.
We often set our sight only to the destination, not realizing that those small steps to the destination are equally important. So in the context of my article we all want our kids to grow up into the best human beings but the small steps taken by us parent in this journey are most important.
What is Parenting?:
Parenting is an emergent and adventurous process, one that requires our wakefulness as parents.- Dawn Menken
Raising our kids can be compared to a relay race in which we parents strive to pass on the baton to our young runners. We all know how important it is to pass on the baton to our young runners carefully and smoothly. In fact it’s just as important as having runners that can run fast. So let us run (parent) with endurance the race (upbringing of our kids) that is set before us. Remember it’s just not any race , it’s a relay race. We should not only be concerned about how I run but care just as much about the runners after us. So each of us has to play a significant role in helping to pass on the baton to the next generation with great care because the race could easily be lost if we fumble the baton. So this forces us to take over our role as parents more responsibly and not as another routine phase of life.
How Important is Parenting?:
Dear parents let yourself off the hook as it is not possible for you to parent perfectly BUT it is definitely possible for us to do conscious parenting. Treat parenting as an important job, set yourself end target ( eg: what all values you would want to see in your child when he grows up), decide on the small steps to be taken to achieve that target. This would be conscious parenting.
We all make mistakes as parents because we see children as innocent and unseasoned, we do not see them as the internal creators that they are. Just because you came in this life before they did does not mean that they are any different than you are. We as parents make them believe that their actions and behavior is responsible for our happiness. We also see them as OURS only and easily forget to see them as a part of future generation who will play a major role tomorrow in shaping the future of the world. This is one big mistake we make as a parent. We treat ourselves in children’s lives as if we are God. We are not meant to be the GOD’s of their life, we are meant to be their GUIDE. Your children are powerful creators just like you. They came here to learn from life. The learning from the parents for the child is just meant to be one component. It’s not really your job to teach them, feed them, etc. Doing that kind of things for your children makes you feel good which is your indication that it is in alignment. This is not true. Your job, as a parent, is a two-part process. One part is to foster their independence at a very early age and second part is to demonstrate what alignment looks like. There is a beautiful quote
Example is not one way to teach, it is the only way to teach.
Do not expect your children’s behavior to be the basis for your happiness. This sets them up to believe that happiness depends on other people. It also sets them up to believe he or she is responsible for the happiness for the other people. This is the perfect ingredient for chronically unhappy adults.
Unfortunately, we train our kids to be out of alignment and into resistance and rebellion. We cannot punish our kids to get into good behavior or any other kind of positive behavior as punishment and positive behavior are contradictory. It seems impossible to punish someone into the behavior, which is going to benefit them in the end. All it (punishment) does is make the child lose connection with its own guiding system. Do not do everything for your child. Let them make their own choices. We can’t think for them and hope to raise adults who are functioning and creating healthy society. Don’t foster dependence. This is only going to breed resentment and unsuccessful adults. Lot of times we mistake fostering dependence for love when it’s exactly the opposite. Similarly, do not mistake consequences with punishments and replacing consequences with lectures and threats. For example, a child is playing with a toy sword and then has an argument with his sister and end up hitting her using his sword. A parent who understands consequences versus punishment will empathize with the child and say “Oh that’s sad and I think sword will have to go away / disappear”. By saying so they will take away from the child and hide it somewhere. By doing so they will allow the child to learn from his consequences. On the other hand, parents who do not understand the difference between consequences and punishment will get angry at the child, shout at him and maybe give him a time out. They may or may not take away the sword. Such reaction makes it all about the parents against the child rather than the child learning from its consequences.
Do not rescue the child from their problems as doing that strips them of their freedom, their ability to learn from things. We have a unique opportunity when it comes to problems and that is, to help children to solve things themselves. This builds incredible self-confidence in the child. Very loving parents come in and solve everybody’s problems and then the child grows up representing the parents but incapable of solving their own problems later on in life. We can help children sort their problems but we do not solve it for them.
Lastly, as parents we need to build a healthy strong self concept in our children.
To achieve this we need to :
- Let them think themselves – do not think and decide on their behalf. For example : If a child wants to wear slippers and go to school then instead of saying NO you cannot and so change into school shoes, ask them to think of the repercussions they may face. If they still feel they should wear then let them go and find it out for themselves why it could not be worn. This will set them up for Successful Adulthood.
- Let them make choices – this is incredibly important for your toddler because they really don’t feel that they have a lot of freedom and also for teenagers who want to foster their independence, for them it’s all about them vs parents. So if you allow them to make choices within the parameters you have set, it will give them freedom. For example : you want to switch off the TV. Ask them would they want to switch off the TV right away or after 5min. Obviously they will say 5min but what you have done is let them make a choice within the parameters you can live with.
- Let them learn from their choices – both the good and the bad ones. There are no bad choices, there are no failures because successful people change their bad choices and failures into wisdom.
- Allow them to make mistakes. We really learn things by actually experiencing it. Making mistakes in toddlerhood days is a very small price paid for a bright teenage days. For example: running your tricycle into something and getting hurt is better than speed driving your car as teenager and running into a truck ending up dead.
- Let them solve their own problems. We help them do that by giving suggestions and then leave it to them to empower themselves to help them understand that they can solve their own conflicts. This will help them to build incredibly strong self-concept and also to understand their own power which will further help them to feel free.
- Offer them empathy and understanding instead of lecturing. Children are meant to learn from the consequences of their own action and not from parents lecturing. It is natural to rebel something that is pushing negative energy towards you. So when they have failures or make bad choices and you offer them empathy and understanding, suddenly you are an ally and bad choices the enemy instead of you.
- Use only enforcement statements. You as parents have no control over your child’s action or over other person. The only thing you have control over is you and your life. For example: a child says “I don’t want to brush my teeth” and if you say “No you have to”, he’s not going to listen. So what you should say is “oh how sad because mom and dad gives i-pad to play to only to those children who brush their teeth”. This way you left the decision on them by using enforcement statements.
- Set limits from the childhood itself as this way you will make them feel secured and loved. You are also teaching them to feel creative within limits and so when they grow up they will not resist the limits set p by the society and law.
- Don’t be afraid to show your emotions to your child. For example: your child throws tantrums or a fit in your friend’s house and you get really embarrassed. You ignore him there and little later leave for your home. Once in the car your embarrassment is first shown as anger and then you talk it out to your child telling him how his behaviour embarrassed you as the people around thought that it was the bad parenting that led to unruly behaviour. Then tell them that you are going to talk your way into feeling like a good parent because that’s what it’s going to take for you to be a good parent to your child and you as parent thinks that your child deserves that. And now demonstrate what it looks like to think your way into better and better emotions. So now they would have visually seen what it looks like to come from anger and frustration stage into joy and parenting in alignment. And this will register in their brain for years and years to come in terms of how to talk their way out of negative emotional state so as not make negative emotions your enemy.
How Can Coaching Can Help In Good Parenting
We have just read few points that we as parents can consider while taking up the challenge of conscious parenting.
We have a duty to benefit and serve our society as best as we can, and that includes how we prepare the next generation. Our children are the next generation and we are passing on the legacy to them. We must give careful consideration, therefore, to the quality of that legacy – how we raise our children and the values we instill in them. Unfortunately this is the time when both parents and children are becoming overwhelmed by technology and the busyness of modern life and so there is much confusion about how parents should go about this task. This is where COACHING will guide parents to know who they actually are and in which direction they are going as parents. A coach can guide the parent to create a more meaningful relationship with their children by supporting their deepest nature.
Raising a child is a challenge. Challenges are good. This one help us to grow as a human being, help us to be more loving, more giving, more careful, more affectionate. Every child is unique, every situation is unique. Parents usually do not think where they are and where they are going. It’s a misconception that once you have children means you have arrived and you now have to help your children grow.
Whenever you create a thing, it is there to help you to grow- Lenon Honor
So the truth of the matter is that children are there now to help you to grow. Often times it happens that we get so busy in taking care of what we have created that we forget about where we are at, what we might be stressing out at and what we are struggling with.
Few Powerful Questions By The Coach To The Parent (Client) :
- Where you have been as a child or what was your childhood like?
when I was a child did I get lot of affection from my parents?
- Where you are presently as a parent?
NO, I did not get much affection from my parents so I will now give it to my kids or YES, I got lot of affection from my parents and so I will give to my kids also.
- Where you are headed as a parent?
Here now assess - are you as a parent going in the direction you desire?
Few points that can be explored by the parent with the support of the coach:
- Parents go through a self discovery process in order to find who they actually are, what are their value system, what makes them happy, what gives them immense joy, and now what would they want to see in their child when he/she grows up.
- Identify the limiting and the beneficial beliefs of the parents.
Coach guides the client ( parent) to identify the writings on the wall of his life. These may be written by his parents, culture, religion etc. These may or may not be the truth but these writings have definitely become his belief system. On introspection if the client find these beliefs negative/ limiting , he may want to change or get rid of and the ones he finds positive or beneficial he will retain. The clients awareness of the above helps him to better deal and raise his own child.
You can’t teach a child to believe something that you don’t believe in yourself. So if you want your child to believe that they can do something, then you cannot tell them that they can’t. If you keep reinforcing that you can’t do this and you can’t do that – then you are setting up the belief system in them of “I CAN’T”. We are responsible for laying the foundation for the beliefs of our children into their adulthood and so you should be only giving them the beliefs, which are useful and make sure that the beliefs you give them are the beliefs you believe in. Belief and desire must line up in the exact vibration for the manifestation to occur. So it’s not enough to culture desire in children but you have to culture beliefs also. You have to culture desire and then help children believe in line with those desires in order to help them to become master of their life.
The above can happen only when the parents have their desires and beliefs in line.
- Parents identify their inherent guiding system.
Each parent may have a different guiding system. So the coach and the client( parent) set out on a journey together to discover the clients guiding system by visiting his childhood, his present, his reactions and responses to various situations, discussing the various situations that has given him immense joy and the situations associated with immense pain and so on and so forth.
The parent who is in alignment with their own guiding system, with their own joy, freedom and with their own true self is the one who will teach their child to live in the same way and so this child in future make decisions based on alignment rather than based on some other idea which we have been influenced by some external force instead of our own core value that comes from our alignment. This is the difference between the child who goes in the car at the age of sixteen with other children who are drunk at that time and the one who trusted their own guiding system doesn’t get dead. So teach your child to stay in alignment with their guiding system and to find freedom instead of rebellion. This way your child will make decisions based on what is right for him or her, which is the most important thing you can do for your children.
- Parents identify the challenges of raising a child.
After gaining clarity on the above, parents may still face some challenges in implementation of the above points with their child. Again these are discussed with the coach. On answering the questions raised by the coach, the client comes up with few solutions, which are then tried.
- Parents identify their parenting goals.
Now once the above points are specifically (and not generally) discussed between the client and the coach, the client gets a lot of clarity. Clarity is power. When the client (in this case parent) has the clarity and knows exactly what he wants, he then defines his goals. The coach then gives the required support the way the client wants- he may want some reminders from the coach, or may want to be accountable to the coach to get the required motivation etc.
A coach helps in empowering the client (here parent) by aligning their life, different aspects of their personality with their ‘core-self’. The core of each persons being is where he/she comes alive, where they feel the passion and sense of purpose. As a parent coach I try to make my client see and feel the passion and their sense of purpose in raising their children, RAISING THE FUTURE GENERATION.
PARENTING FOR PEACE by Marcy Axness
RAISING PARENTS RAISING KIDS by Dawn Menken
Most of the above learning is from my experience as a child and parent counselor for the last 14 years.