Expert Author Barbara Berger provides some key tips for successful parenting.
Sitting with clients every day makes me realise that so many people are confused when it comes to the parent – child relationship and what their responsibility is when it comes to being a parent. So in this article I try to clarify some of the basic issues that arise in the hope that this information will help you understand what’s going on and help you deal with your children more sanely and constructively.
Some parents think it’s their job to make their children happy and to think for them – but this is not true. It’s not the parents’ job to think for their children or to make them happy. How do I know this is true? I know this because it’s impossible for one human being to think for another human being or to make another human being happy. This is the impersonal universal law. It’s the mechanism of mind that operates equally for all human beings. There are no exceptions to this law. And this means that each individual is living in his or her own mental universe, which means
that each human being is experiencing the results of his or her own thoughts. (See my book “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind” for a detailed explanation of this impersonal mechanism).
Love and Respect
This doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t love their children and treat them with respect. Of course they should. But treating children with respect means respecting their intelligence, their individuality, their right to be who they are – and not trying to think for them (which is impossible) or expecting them to make you happy or for you to make them happy (also impossible).
Unfortunately since most people do not understand the mechanism of mind which says that it’s an impersonal, universal law that each person can only experience their own thoughts and interpretations of the events that are unfolding in their lives, a lot of confusion arises. And thus because people who are parents don’t understand the mechanism, they mistakenly think that it’s their job to make their kids happy. But it doesn’t work no matter how “hard” parents may try – and this is because it’s the child’s own thoughts and interpretation of events that determine their child’s state of mind. When you look around you, you can see for yourself that this is true. And this
explains why one child who has been spoiled and given everything is still miserable, unsatisfied and always cranky while another child who may have very little (in the way of attention or possessions) is joyful and positive about life and his or her possibilities.
So when we understand this mechanism, it leaves us (the parents) with the following: it’s our job to take responsibility for our own lives and our own happiness and in this way teach our children (by our own example) the laws of the universe and the mechanism of mind. When children see their parents living sane, responsible and authentic lives with integrity, they will follow their example. Again this is because the reality is that parents teach their children through their actions and behaviour (not their words). The reality is that children naturally copy their
parents’ behaviour because this is the model for life and relationships they see and are exposed to. (Which is also why dysfunctional behaviour gets passed down from generation to generation despite the parents’ firm desire not to do what their parents did!)
So it’s important to remember:
- Children didn’t come into this world to make you happy (that’s your job)
- It’s not your job to make your children happy (that’s their job)
- And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your children and treat them with love and respect
- Everyone wants to be free (including your children). It’s the universal urge in us all. No one fights to be a slave
- And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set limits and take care of your children when they are small
- But as they grow older, a parent’s job is to let go and trust in the intelligence of their children
- Children came into their world to live their own lives (that’s their job)
- You came into this world to live your own life (that’s your job)
- You can’t know what your child’s dream is
- You are probably having a hard enough time figuring out what your own dream is
- You can’t know what’s best for your child
- Can you even know what’s best for you?
- Your child has a right to be who he or she is
- And this doesn’t mean that you cannot set limits in your home.
- And this doesn’t mean you cannot explain to your children and show them through your words and actions that everything we say and do has consequences
- You cannot prevent your children experiencing the consequences of their thoughts, words and actions
- This is the order of the universe and the sooner children learn this, the better
- You cannot prevent your children from making what you think are “mistakes”
- How else can they learn about life?
- How did you learn about life?
All this also means that it’s okay to show your kids that you’re not perfect (the reality) and that you don’t know all the answers (also the reality) and that sometimes life is difficult for you (also the reality) but that you’re doing the best you can to figure things out (also reality) and hopefully follow your integrity (probably your preference). And since this is a sane, realistic assessment and approach to life, it’s also a sane, realistic way of interacting with the young human beings who are in your care for some years.
About the Author: Barbara Berger is the best-selling author of “Fast Food for the Soul” (published in 30 languages), “Are You Happy Now?”(published in 21 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. Her latest book “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass – Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload” was recently released in the US and the UK. The books can be ordered on Amazon. Barbara also works as coach and therapist, helping people around the globe come into alignment with their own true power. For more about Barbara see her website here.