My first awareness of the importance of working with children came to me whilst training for my coaching certification. I remember thinking how empowered our children would be if they had access to these tools and information. The question was how do I reach the children? How do I get the parent’s buy-in? The answer was to create the awareness in the parents. We are our children’s most powerful and influential teachers, and that’s where Conscious Parenting comes in……
Although we don’t get a parenting manual in the delivery room, it is our responsibility as parents to make our children as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great children than it is to try and fix problems in adults caused by mistakes we made as parents because we didn’t know better.
As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better”.
Children are born as blank canvases. I remember looking at my granddaughter when she was born and marveling at the fact that her brain will, from that moment on, be filled with information based on the perspective of others. Her reality is formed according to the words she hears and the words she will eventually speak.
Their lives unfold according to the labels we create. It’s the labels and the meaning we attach to those labels that they learn from. Labels distort the truth and divide and discriminate. Children develop into who they become based on what we as parents teach them. It’s the things we say to them, how we say it, and the way we make them feel.
Children mirror their parents. They are the products of our conditioning, just as we are the products of previous generations. They will grow up with the values we teach them, which are usually the same ones we were taught. They will treat others the same way they see us treating others. Doesn’t it make sense then to be aware of our behaviour? What are our triggers? How do we react to these triggers or events? Do we take that mindful moment to breathe and create a space where we can choose to react or respond?
My passion is to make the world a better place for all future generations, and it’s what we teach our children that will make the difference. We need to teach them to value all life, regardless of the label we give it. I grew up in South Africa during apartheid, and I know first hand how devastating and destructive discrimination is, whether it’s about race, language, nationality, or sexual orientation, or just because our beliefs are different.
Our world is hurting. It’s our responsibility to teach our children, the future generation, how to walk gently on this earth, and start the healing of this beautiful planet that we live, laugh, and express our love on.
It’s up to us as parents to create a generation who live their lives with empathy and loving-kindness, to understand that everyone has a story, and every living thing has a place. It starts with us!
If we hope to create a non-violent world,
Where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred,
We must begin with how we treat each other at the beginning of life.
For that is where our deepest patterns are set
From these roots grow fear and alienation
Or love or trust
– Suzanne Arms –
The Dalai Lama believes that we learn to love from our Mothers, and this first relationship sets the tone for all future relationships.
We must be the change we want to see in our children