by: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Most parents want to be good parents. Yet parenting is one of those things that does not have hard and fast rules. So how do we know what to do? How do we know what will support our children in being all they can be?
One of the most important things for parents to do is to learn to trust their own intuition. Your feelings tell you when you are on course or off course in your behavior with your children. When things feel right inside, then you know that you are being a truly loving parent, and when they feel wrong inside, you know you are out of alignment with what is in your highest good and your children’s highest good.
I remember my mother telling me that she used to put her fist in her mouth to stop herself from crying and from picking me up when I was an infant and cried. She had read in Dr. Spock that babies should not be picked up when they cry, that it is good for their lungs to cry, and that she would spoil me if she picked me up. But her insides were telling her the opposite – that babies cry when they need food, changing, or love. It is so sad that she followed Dr. Spock instead of her own inner knowing.
Now research has proven that babies who are not picked up when they cry become more dependent and insecure than babies who are kept with their mothers. In other countries, babies sleep with their parents until they no longer want to, feeling safe all night. In our country, most babies are alone at night, some crying themselves to sleep. This is not only sad, it is not healthy for the baby.
So the first thing your child needs from you is to trust your inner knowing rather than any book you read.
Your child needs your loving presence – not your busy preoccupied presence. For your children to feel important to you, they need to feel you fully present with them – reading to them daily, playing with them, holding and comforting them, and listening to them.
Your children need for you to create a healthy environment for them by feeding them healthy food, restricting screen time – TV, computer, video games – and making sure they play outdoors and get enough exercise. They need your encouragement to develop their hobbies and interests. They need you to try natural remedies before resorting to drugs for illness, so that you don’t set them up for more illness with the side effects of drugs.
They need for you to be a good role model of self-care. Children need to see their parents taking full responsibility for their own feelings instead of being victims and blaming others. With this role modeling, they will also learn to take full responsibility for their own feelings. Learning and practicing the Inner Bonding process that we teach will support you in becoming this loving role model for your children.
Children also need you to be a role model for care of the environment. My daughter told me that my 3-1/2 year-old grandson got very upset with the checker at the market for using a plastic bag. “No, no plastic bags! It’s bad for the environment!” he told the checker. By role modeling caring for our planet, we can raise children who are much more conscious of taking care of our environment.
Your children need to see you being connected with a spiritual Source of love, peace and wisdom in order to naturally connect with their own higher power. By developing your spiritual connection, they can learn to have their own.
What do your children really need from you? They need you to learn to be all you can be so they have the role modeling and permission to be all they can be.
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