My Parenting Journey Thus Far
With a belief that we instinctively parent how we ourselves have been parented, I have set out on a mission to break the mould and parent spiritually.
Let’s rewind to my childhood. Brought up in a middle class family in an affluent suburb of Adelaide, as an only child I was taught from a young age to work hard and earn my way. This involved being a diligent student, partaking in numerous sports and extracurricular activities, having a job from the age of 12, saving for my first car, contributing to the running of the family home from a young age (helping out with chores and cooking meals), buying my first house at 21 and volunteering in my community.
My upbringing was great in many ways and not so great in many ways. I am Grateful for a good education, a roof over my head, food aplenty and family holidays. My parents did the best job they knew how. They taught me to keep my word, work hard, study hard, ask strangers for help, be confident when talking to adults’ respect and speak politely to others. In a nut shell, they taught me how to conform and please others.
I feared to authority and as a result would do (mostly always) as I was told but I learnt how to manipulate in order to get what I want and how to control others. I learnt how to judge sometimes unfairly. I believed I was better than some and maybe not as good as others and I learnt how to be dishonest. I lived in a world of inequality and disillusion.
While still quite young, I would drink myself to oblivion on weekends in order to feel like I fitted in and escape reality. I was taught that something was wrong with me if I wasn’t in a relationship, and so became promiscuous and engaged in unsuitable relationships. I was taught that when you finish school, you go to uni, then get a good job and pay your taxes and so become a slave to the rat race.
One day I realised that like attracts like. When I noticed a pattern unfolding of unhealthy relationships in my wake, I sought to understand this. What it all boiled down to was...ME!
What did I need to change? Who did I want to be? Where was I going? Who did I need to become? Just a few of the questions I began asking myself, and so began my spiritual journey. Many books, courses, counsellors, conferences, conversations and reflecting on my past has brought me to where I am now.
How do I choose to bring up my daughter? I want her:-
To have a solid set of spiritual values with which to live her life.
To be curious and ask questions.
To not accept what she is told at face value and to come back to her own intuition/gut feeling on what is right for her.
To not fear authority.
To be accountable for her actions and to believe that she has equal worth to everyone else.
To minimise how she judges others.
To believe and trust in herself.
To always come from a place of honesty, even if she knows she may hurt someone in that moment.
To share her energy with others and to always be focused on her growth and her journey irrespective of what others tell her she should be doing.
To know she has freedom of choice so that, despite what restrictions might be placed on her at any time, she can choose how she is going to react in any situation.
Most importantly, I will love and support her for herself. I hope to parent according to her needs, not according to my needs and what is convenient for me. I will never pretend to know more than her just because I am older. I will try to encourage her to be the person she is meant to be, rather than to simply fit in. I hope to model self-respect and self-worth. I will listen and hear what she says. I will protect and support her but hope that I will never squash her spirit.
To be continued...