ANISH DAVE reflects on parenting, and how the responsibility of a parent is to lay the foundation for their children to carve their own destiny.
It has been said that souls choose the family into which they are born so they can forge ahead in their spiritual journey. We may therefore deduce that there are no unplanned pregnancies, but perhaps, unplanned parenting. Whether planned or unplanned, when a baby is born it is a blessing for the parents who become custodians of the soul. The blessing in turn must be translated into a responsibility that needs to be built on the foundations of faith and love.
Parenting may sound common, but it is a privilege that many are not able to experience. With all the added stresses experienced in our daily lives, more and more couples find it challenging to conceive. Added to this, there is pressure from their families to continue the family name, traditions, religious teachings, and the different state of economies. Previously, it was a blessing to have the mum at home full time, attending to every milestone of the child, while the father was the breadwinner. Today, both parents are forced to work in order to meet higher economic demands, leaving a void that cannot be filled easily by caregivers or teachers.
Parenting does not come with a manual, which is why it is such a challenge. Some children go through early life with no hurdles, which makes parenting somewhat easier, but this is rather rare in the modern world. Parents, whether single or joint, will have different experiences with raising and nurturing children. If the foundations of love, purity, trust, truthfulness, humility, naturalness, self-respect, respect for others, and knowing right from wrong are taught from an early age, children will hold on to these principles, and they will be on their way to becoming responsible adults and parents themselves. Parents deal with their children's experiences of life-learnings like puberty, bullying, social adjusting, sexual exploration, etc. Some parents have no idea how to deal with these issues.
Heartfulness practices enable me to listen to my heart, and this has been a key component of my parenting journey. If my heart is tuned and connected inwardly, the challenges transform into benedictions. Our hearts are connected through love backed by faith.
Many parents face challenges with disabled children, mentally challenged children, children with ill-health, and so on. These parents may not realize it but they are gifted with capacity—the capacity to nurture and provide for these special souls. Love and faith will surely make their challenges more acceptable, and easier to navigate.
If my heart is tuned and connected
inwardly, the challenges transform
into benedictions. Our hearts are
connected through love backed by faith.
My hardest-learned lesson as a parent is not to have any expectations for my children. They will go through life, as they must, by undergoing the effects that are afforded through birth. When our children are born, we forget that we are only their temporary custodians. Consequently, we let the ego take over, and we start building dreams and expectations for them. This is bound to lead to disappointment.
Our children will grow up having their own dreams, their own choices, their own paths. When we insist on forcing our dreams and expectations on them, conflict arises, and we risk losing them. We need to lay strong foundations and continue to support our children mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. We can allow them to traverse their own path and let them know that we are there for them when they need us.
Communicate! Be someone who listens to them and not just hears them. Yes, there will be challenges, but there will also be celebrations when we overcome them. Yes, there will be tears of sadness and also be tears of joy. We cannot control everything that happens to them.
Once we “let go” of control and expectation, and “hold on” to faith and love, their paths will be voyaged with Divinity.