Is there any recipe on how to be a good parent? I am sure there are loads of books written about this subject. Some may give us good "tips" while others may sound better on paper than in real life. I am writing about this subject because being a mother is a form of art and it fascinates me. Being a good mother requires intuition, attention and a big level of humbleness, because it is important to be able to admit when one is in the wrong.
Parenting also requires the ability to take distance from oneself specially in challenging situations. Just like a painter looks at a canvas from a distance in order to gain a better perspective, developing the ability to observe from a distance what is happening to our children, can be extremely beneficial. Specially if we are able to see with some level of objectivity how often we project our "shadows" on them, how often we make our children the recipients of our frustrations, anger, fears, etc, etc. We must learn to be more vigilant of the words we use because one simple word or the lack of a loving, supporting word can mark a child and a young person forever!
I have two daughters, one is about to become nineteen and the other is twenty one years old. They are my greatest teachers. These last two years have been of a steady growth for me as a mother and as a woman. I have had to challenge "convictions" that my parents and society "planted" in my belief system when I was a young person. I see these "beliefs" visiting me and I see when they visit people I know well. A common one for many people is: "I am not good enough".
My daughters answers and views of life don't cease to amaze me. I believe a big part of who they are is due to the fact that since they were little they were respected and nourished as individuals.
I see little children going to the park, holding onto their parents hands happily or sometimes just walking sadly by their upset parents and my heart shrinks! They are treasures. Each one of them is a diamond, and we scratch them often until their light stops from shinning brightly and happily.
What is it that makes us think that we as parents deserve more respect from our children than the respect they deserve from us? Ask yourself is this applies to you.
In my personal experience, I have always respected my children, their privacy, their ideas (independently of my agreement or not) and the result is that they respect me equally.
Very often parents want their children to manifest the dreams they themselves did not manage to fulfil. We must understand that they must live their own dreams and that their dream very possibly will differ completely from ours! We must respect and support their inner teacher. If we don't, how can we expect that they will be confident in the world?
Every cell in our body has a unique function. We have liver cells, red cells, brain cells,....and like the cells, each one of us has a unique function in this body of existence. This is called "Sva-Dharma". Sva means Self and Dharma is law, order. Joined it means unique soul purpose. But guess what? Many of us are not doing what we were meant to be doing in our lives. That is why there is so much unhappiness in the world.
There are plenty of unhappy doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers out there that only chose to do that for living because their parents, teachers or elders, decided their future for them, or convinced them of not trusting their dreams. Money is always a factor that parents and society tend to confuse with success. Happiness somehow never is. Is't that weird? Surely that is the first question we should ask our children...There is this big belief that somehow we are not here to be happy! But our emphasis should be on educating children to understand that whatever it is they do, they must have social responsibility, that they must care for the world they live in. That success is only valuable when we are able to use it on order to help others.
Don't take away the dreams of you child. Feed them, nourish his/her dreams. It is difficult to be a young adult in this competitive society. Oh boy but if we support our children in their dreams they have a thousand times more probabilities of succeeding as human beings. Even if they make mistakes (like we for sure have), our job is not to tell them "I told you so", our job as parents is to hold their hands and say, all happens for a reason. Stand up keep living your life fully. You are brave because you tried.