In my previous post I described what it is to assume responsibility for our children. Let's now look at the kind of parents we are when we are responsible to our children. (This post was taken from my weekly “Victim Vocabulary” series )
Being responsible to our children means we understand that they are not our possessions. They do not belong to us. They belong to themselves and we are simply their teacher and guides.
Rather than venting our frustrations and unhappiness on them, we treat them with respect.
Rather than seeing them as our second chance at a better childhood, or better parent who can finally “do it right this time,” we see our time with them as teaching moments, opportunities to share the wisdom gained from life experience for the purpose of supporting their growth and understanding.
Rather than feel exhausted by our children, we make them an enjoyable priority. We understand there is no greater responsibilty, or joy, than the moments we spend giving to them.
We learn as much from our children as we teach. We pass on basic life principles that provide a firm foundation for a rewarding life and we model those principles in our own lives so our children can learn by example. We are relaxed and caring with them, firm and honest, reliable and fun. Showing such responsibility to our children develops a bond of loving trust between us; such fertile ground fosters spiritual connection and capable lives result.
When we are responsible to our children, we do the following:
We see them as individuals on their own life path, rather than as extensions of ourselves.
We share our own life experience & speak to them honestly and from the heart.
We share guiding principles that support a positive belief in a Universal Source that supports.
We encourage them towards age-appropriate independence.
We let go of controlling their outcomes and trust God to work in their lives.
We encourage free AND respectful interaction.
We are interested in their thoughts, opinions and feelings, but not ruled by them.
We allow them to experience the natural consequences of their choices.
We encourage them to take healthy risks and try new experiences that will stretch & grow them.
We set & reinforce healthy boundaries that are age appropriate & arrange consequences when those boundaries are violated.
We give them age appropriate choices, rather than control them with “because I said so’s.”
We assign age appropriate duties that will develop their sense of importance & usefulness in the family.
We never do for them what they can do for themselves (even if they can’t yet do it as quickly or as well as we might like).
We never threaten consequences we are not willing to deliver.
We do what we say we are going to do.
We model self-responsibility.
We support them to make corrections, rather than punish their honest mistakes.
We explain why we make the decisions concerning them that we do.
We win their cooperation, rather than make demands that result in power struggle.
We share universal/spiritual principles that set them on a path of liberation and faith in a Source that loves and guides.
May your parenting be blessed, whether you are parenting your child(ren) or yourself!