Something for the Soul: Toughest job

May 2010 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

Winnie BoltonBy Winnie Bolton

No other human activity demands as much hard work as raising children.

The single most important predicator of how you will parent is how you were parented as a child.

Your parents’ behavior and actions or inactions have formed the person you are today, even if you fail to remember all of the incidents of their child-rearing.

Many of our conscious actions have unconscious beginnings.

Children absorb their parents’ level of emotional and moral maturity because a child stores how the parents act in the world.

This doesn’t mean parents have to be perfect to raise healthy, well-adjusted children.

But it does mean they need to be engaged in the consciousness of their children’s needs and their own unmet needs.

We repeat unconscious patterns from the past.

A father who was undervalued by his own father is likely to underestimate his son’s worth.

A mother whose athletic or musical talents were overlooked is more likely to overly invest in her child’s athletic or musical abilities, perhaps pushing the children too hard when their talents may lie elsewhere.
By empathizing with your child, you are validating their feelings and thoughts you engage in conscious parenting.

It’s called interacting, but what most of us do is react to their behavior.

Giving the Love that Heals, by Hendrix and Hunt is a helpful book to read that addresses issues originating in your own childhood.

In these immoral and greedy times, it’s even harder to raise a family when the world’s maxims are: It’s all about me and I want it now – values that wreck cultures, families and even our souls.

I was raised by a mother who listened to me endlessly – what patience – and a dad who asked a lot of questions, making me examine the choices I would ponder over.

Our habits of the heart; our measures of success; our spiritual well-being and the ultimate goal and purpose of life are the values we give to our children.

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