Conscious Parenting Is About ‘Bringing Forth’, Not ‘Belonging’

This poem by the wise poet Kahlil Gibran has been an inspiration and a guide ever since I was pregnant with Lia. It can be a rather shocking idea for some parents, but I hope in here you will find some truths to our role as ‘parents’. The way that we’ve learn to parent our children involves control, manipulation (no matter how creative it appears to be, or how we think we’re ‘disciplining’ them), “should”s and “no”s and “I know better than you”s. In our wanting the best for them, we take on living their lives for them unknowingly – after all, they ‘belong’ to us because they are ‘from us’, right?

That might be true biologically, but if you reference the origin of the word (Latin ‘parent’), it means ‘bringing forth’.  Nope, there’s nothing about owning them in there. Instead, it means as parents, we are tasked a role as their guardians to ‘bring them forth’ into themselves.

Here’s how Kahlil puts it elegantly:

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the 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.”

~ “On The Children”, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Conscious Parenting Is About ‘Bringing Forth’, Not ‘Belonging’

Conscious Parenting Is A Partnership

“At the baby’s birth, we start from level 0. Both parent and child then progress and grow, learning together, learning about each other. Even with your 2nd and 3rd child, you start from 0 again, because each child is different.”

Wise words from the beautiful Rimi Yoshida, a Body Code and Emotion Code practitioner.

As adults we see ourselves as an authority to our children… why is this so? Who gave us the authority to make ourselves the authority? We start the same time they start! From Level 0! Which makes parent and child partners instead.

Partners learn to get along with each other. Partners negotiate. Partners argue and make up. Partners love each other deeply despite differences. Partners respect each other and learn to communicate with each other.

Let’s free ourselves from getting stuck in an Authoritarian role. It is tiring and stressful to pretend to know everything. Acknowledge this partnership. Partnering is a journey that encompasses adaptability and flexibility, allowing it to be fun and fulfilling for all.


Conscious Parenting Is A Partnership

Conscious Parenting Allows Our Child To Be Our Light

“We need to give birth to a new vision of parenting. This vision would be based on what we know about the special bond between parent and child, through which even ordinary communication is a sacrament. It would be based on the reverance for what our children can bring to us, as well as what we can bring to them.

By their light, we see what is hurt and hidden within ourselves, and we open creatively to new ways of responding to problems. Through them, we understand that parenting is a spiritual process in which we get back tenfold the love we give.

This is different from old models of parenting, which have been parent centered and based on the idea that the parent is a static figure, all-seeing and all-knowing. It is also different from newer models of parenting that are excessively child-centered and equally out of balance.

We are reaching toward a new model in which the parent-child relationship is at the center. The emphasis is on maintaining the quality of the relationship rather than serving the needs of one person at the expense of the other.

Many of us parents are entranched in our own view of the world. We don’t think of our child-rearing problems as harbingers of healing. Often what we see is disrespectful, uncooperative children who make life difficult for us.

Even when we are in conflict with them-perhaps especially then- children can give us information about ourselves that we can’t get any other way. Our children can be a light for us if we let them.

We take a step toward conscious parenting when we understand how our painful moments with our children can become a road map for our own healing journey. Follow the map, and we don’t have to walk over the same broken ground over and over again. We can find a new path.”

~ Giving The Love That Heals by Harville Hendrix Ph.D and Helen Lakelly Hunt, Ph.D.

Conscious Parenting Allows Our Child To Be Our Light

Conscious Parenting: Reality vs. Fantasy

As parents, we romanticize what it means to be a mother or a father. We imagine how our children will turn out because of what wonderful, patient, giving and wise parents we would be. However more often than not, the reality of parenting is different from what we visualize and dream of. When the gap between fantasy and reality gets too large, we find ourselves struggling with the truth – stress, frustration, self-blame happens as we begin to wonder where it all went wrong. Marriages take a turn for the worse when finger pointing begins.

Where do I need to get real with myself about the fantasies of parenting I might be harboring? I have to admit that I imagine my daughter engaging in intelligent dialogues with me as I impart wise life lessons to her, packing up her toys after playing because she practices discipline, and respecting nature on our hikes.

Somehow at this point, the crucial questions come rushing in. Listing it down makes we wonder why I have these fantasies. What am I hoping to prove to myself? Why is this  fantasy important? Am I trying to make up for what I didn’t get to experience in my own childhood with my parents? 

I guess being happy on this journey of parenting means letting go of these notions. Let us not open the door to invite disappointment in. Take a deep breath, inhale courage and peace, let it all go, and open my mind and heart to what might be. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We will forge our journey as we walk the path together.

Conscious Parenting: Reality vs. Fantasy