Newsletter Subscription

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

Subscribe!

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Unsubscribe

Blog Archives

View full Archive

Proudly Supporting

Proudly Supporting

Parents and Children - Who is Raising Who?

By Sally Collings - 2nd May 2011

My six-year-old daughter has decided that she is going to be a builder. I’m over the moon. She is very logical, she loves constructing things – we have a large collection of artifacts made of boxes and masking tape to prove it – and I can tell you that she 'don’t take no nonsense from no one'. I’d get her to build my house any day.

I suspect that we all have a secret (or not so secret) wish list for our children. Maybe you want yours to be strong, or resilient, or kind, or loving, or successful – or all of the above.

What I would really love to see in my children’s lives is richness and authenticity. I don’t really mind if they don’t become CEO of a multinational corporation or an Oscar-winning actor, but I do care that they have every opportunity to find the thing that makes their heart sing, whether that’s building or painting or writing or designing gardens or cutting hair. Supporting me in comfort in my old age would be nice too.

Maybe you want your child’s life to be better than your own. Or to take that idea one step further, maybe you want your child to be better than you. After all, parenting is about leading, nurturing and moulding. Or is it? In the process of parenting, are we changing our children – or ourselves?

From the instant you hold your newborn baby, you start to change. Your heart melts and breaks and some of us are forever softer. I am resigned to the fact that I’m a cinema sobber now: even Disney schmaltz like Beauty and the Beast can reduce me to tears.

So who is changing the most here? There’s no doubt that the way we speak to our children, the way we touch them, the activities we offer them, the paths we encourage them to take, this parent-child relationship – all of that affects their lives in the deepest way. At the same time, our children enable us to shed our skins and become something new.

Shefali Tsabary is a clinical psychologist based in New York, who writes about conscious parenting. She says, “When we parent with the understanding that our children are born to us to create profound internal change within us … the axis upon which the parent-child dynamic rests shifts.”

I guess it’s a micro version of the challenge Mahatma Ghandi offered us: “be the change you want to see in the world.” Who you are and who you are becoming will be the one thing that most profoundly affects who your children become.

With our children, all the guards are down. They see us in the shower, on the toilet, laughing, crying, shouting, sleeping (although that last one is a 'maybe'). “There is no other being with whom we will be given such an opportunity for intimacy as with our children,” says Shefali Tsabary. It’s through that intimacy that we learn so much about ourselves: the things that make us angry and afraid, as well as the enormous restraint and compassion of which we are capable.

Parenting: it really is the best way to raise ourselves.

Editor's Note: Sally Collings' new book 'Parenting With Soul' is now available.

image freedigitalphotos.net graur codrin

Member Login

Subscribe to our Blog