Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 55: What’s the Point of Parenting? | Principled Parenting

Parenting, children, family – why do we do it? What is the point?

This is a question I’ve walked – though not per se explicitly – within my Motherhood Paranoia blog series.
Through walking, investigating and examining my own mind-set within the context of being a parent/mother – the starting point that currently prevails in our world is: survival. Where, each one of us basically thinks that ‘we know best’ and within this belief, think we are entitled to ensure the continued existence of this ‘know-how’ by passing it on to our children who will in turn pass it on to theirs. To what point? This is not really clear – since if we keep going down the road we are heading, we are on to road to global annihilation. So while the final destination’s not really clear, there’s a clear sense in each one of us that ‘we must just keep on going’ – maybe just to ensure that someone of our lineage would be present at the end of the race as the end of our race.

But – that’s not really a worthwhile scheme to invest your time and energy in, but that’s just my perspective.

So, what is?

Well, if I look at the type of world I would like to live in, the type of world I wished I would have grown up in – it is one of exploring and testing out the limits of my potential; in other words, pursuing and realising my utmost potential – being and living the best possible version of myself that I can be.

And this is exactly what Parenting should be about.

One little problem though, is that our world hasn’t been set up to allow us to explore and realise our utmost potential. So even though we would like this for our children, the reality of the situation is that within our own limitation – our ‘guiding hand’ is more likely to control them and condition them to grow within the bounds of our own limitations, rather than our hand being a guiding force for the child to explore its own self-expression and utmost potential. Whether we like it or not, who we are and how we live impacts our children.
We all want things to be ‘better for our children’, compared to ‘how things were for us’ – but the truth of the matter is that we can’t just ‘want’ things to be different; we have to actually be and live differently, to manifest the opportunity for our children to live things differently. Often, people want things to be different for their children, and will spend a lot of time, money and energy in ‘getting the best’ for their children; but will do so within already having given up on themselves. Where “it’s already too late for me, but my child may still have a chance!” Yet, within that very act of self-defeat – you are sending the exact opposite message to your child. Not one of utmost potential, but one of ‘settling’ and ‘accepting that you are all that you can be’.

If you believe you can fix yourself through having a child, or believe a child will make things better for you – think again; because everything you are unhappy about with yourself, everything that bothers you about yourself/your life that you do not direct or bring to correction – will only blow up in your face a hundred times over – screaming for attention.

The bottom-line is – that parenting starts with the parent first. Whatever you want for your child, you have to live first. This adds a whole new dimension to parenting, and this a dimension of utmost responsibility. Your responsibility towards your child, starts with your responsibility towards yourself first. Unless you are actively engaged in fostering and developing your own utmost potential, there is only limitation ahead in the child’s future.

To be continued…

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