Conscious Parenting: How Our Children Are Our Spiritual Teachers
Even if you’re not a parent, learning about conscious parenting will allow you to reflect more deeply on your inner child wounds and begin the journey of loving and healing yourself at the deepest level. Conscious parenting allows us to foster a deeper, loving relationship with our own inner child, as well as with our children. Even as babies we all began to gather wounds to our psyches that muffled us, like veils cast over our souls. We came into the world as innocent, soulful little beings of light and love. We depended on the adults in our lives to guide us, as our brains and our life skills are still developing into our mid twenties.
Even if we had loving parents, many of us have an underlying core wound feeling or thought such as “I’m not good enough” or I’m not lovable enough” that arises from time to time that can negatively impact our self-esteem and our relationships. These core wounds come from the many moments that veils were cast over our souls: Many of us were disciplined in an authoritarian manner that may have included corporal punishment, the philosophy that “Children are better seen and not heard.” Many of us were unplanned pregnancies to young parents or emotionally wounded parents, and may have memories of feeling like burdens to our parents. Many of us had to deal with a low level of verbal or emotional abuse by reactive hot/cold parents. Even though we will still say, “I was so lucky to have loving parents,” we must be aware of these details and the shadow they likely created, and not transmute them through repetition or over indulgence and lack of boundaries with our own children.
As parents it is our job to keep the veils from falling over our children’s souls. Our children are are spiritual teachers, just as we are theirs. Communication and treating your child as your spiritual equal are key components of conscious parenting. So is advocacy. We have to be advocates for our child, with our fear based, competitive, patriarchal culture that leaves little space for imagination and soul. We must be mindful of the blind spots, unkempt shadow work, and projections from their peers, teachers, and other impressionable people in their lives besides us.
Upon learning the philosophy of conscious parenting, many parents have almost immediate shifts into this awareness, and their own behavior and attitude with their children transforms in a beautiful way. Even if they sometimes get reactive, they learn to apologize to their child and have a nurturing, supportive talk with them. The beauty of conscious parenting is that it allows us to parent our child holistically, nurturing them in mind, body, and soul, and realize that they are our spiritual teacher, and we are theirs.
Christine Dufond, MFT