Healing the Parent - Conscious Parenting Made Easy
By Jayashree Ashok

A parent is the child’s first teacher.  Many of us today are aware of the need for more loving parenting and teaching approaches. Perhaps, because of our experiences while growing up we have become more aware of the detrimental effects of harsh and punitive parenting styles on children. Harsh words and actions can cause long term damage to a child’s fragile and growing self esteem. Children are wide open sponges – they completely internalize a parent’s words and actions and believe it to be real. 

The Mother whose vision for parenting and education has guided many at Auroville in Pondicherry India has categorically stated that parents and teachers need to “be” who they want their children to be. Children learn from who their parents are – not just words spoken. They deeply internalize from their parents “being”.  Parents are truly a child’s first and most important role model and teacher.

Let us take a common example – often parents “lie” to a child to pacify him or her. They then turn around and admonish a child for lying to them! It simply does not work. A child internalizes that lying is okay by watching adult behavior. To encourage the truth and prevent a child from lying a parent needs to be authentic themselves.  Often children lie when it finds it unsafe to speak the truth. A home environment where it is safe to express the truth encourages children to do the same. 

Let us look at another common behavior pattern most of us as parent’s exhibit - perhaps subconsciously. Most of the time, we expect children to achieve something we have been unable to achieve.   Or protect our children from failures where we have failed in life! We parent mostly from fear – we fear everything for our children that we are afraid of.  We project our fears on to our children! A child is subjected to subtle and not so subtle pressures to perform and conquer what we have been unable to.  These pressures stop a child’s inner flowering. Their inner self which pure infinite potential shrivels up and takes on these pressure and fear patterns.  They stop the child’s inner flowering.  Every child has full potential to develop their own unique identity.  With careless parenting and teaching we damage the child’s inherent genius.  How can we overcome this? Can we parent and teach in a way that allows our children to unfold naturally and fully?

In order to achieve this we need more conscious and spiritual parenting and teaching. But these principles are inadequate without our own healing Despite our best intentions for our children we tend to fall into repressive parenting and teaching styles because of the emotional triggers we carry deep within our own sub conscious mind. Let us explore this some more.

Healing the Parent’s Inner Child

We carry within us emotional triggers deep in our psyche. These triggers are frozen emotions, thought and belief patterns that lock us into limitations. We have also experienced childhood and adolescent “trauma” due to unmet needs. These unresolved emotions lock us into the same pattern of behavior we may have internalized from our parents.  “Inner Child Healing” is a truly wonderful journey of becoming aware and then free from frozen emotional triggers and old behavioral patterns.  It helps us first! From this healed state and deeper understanding conscious spiritual parenting happens naturally and easily. By taking care of ourselves – we automatically care for our children. They can absorb from us renewed healed energies. We can be healthy role models for our children!