Your child is the progression of your consciousness. A child’s consciousness comes into life as the culmination of the consciousness accrued at that time of both its mother and father. This is one way that consciousness expands in our universe. The purpose of children is not just the expansion of universal consciousness; it is also the expansion of our consciousness as parents. We are prevented from expanding when we are emotionally stuck in our own childhood. All adults still have an inner child. If we have not re-parented our inner child yet, we are at the mercy of our childhood needs and impulses. Our emotional selves never grow up. Our emotional selves are always children, so the leaders of our world are essentially angry, fearful 5 year olds with nuclear weapons. A child gives us an opportunity to externally parent our own inner child. Our children will reflect us specifically so that we can heal ourselves. Except instead of heal ourselves (because that implies something is wrong), let’s say integrate ourselves. Having a child give us the opportunity to parent the child within ourselves externally through our child. Love becomes distorted if we do not address out own pain. For this reason, we need to be willing to address our own childhood wounds. We need to be willing to “integrate our emotional body” in order to ask ourselves the question “what did I need from my parents that I did not get?” It is easy then to see the mistakes that we are making with our own child. It is easy then to see how to parent instead. If you parent in the same way that your parents parented you (which is the way you’ll parent unless you become more conscious) there is no progression of consciousness. It is in fact a state of ended-ness.
The number one most important thing we will ever do for our children is to dive into our own emotional pain, integrate our own un-integrated inner child; and parent that child in a more loving way. If we do not, we will pass those wounds on to our children. We pass the baton from generation to generation until someone decides to use the presence of their consciousness to become aware of themselves and integrate the inter-generational trauma. Pass only the baton you want to pass to your children! If you are not brave enough to sink into your pain and move through it and become conscious of it, you will not see how much trauma was caused by your parent’s treatment of you and so you will treat your child the same way. You will default to raising your child the exact same way that your parents raised you. This means, you have passed on the wound. Wouldn’t you rather say “the buck stops here” and be the one to deal with intergenerational wounding then to hope your child figures out how to do it? We project our own wounds onto our children and externalize our pain this way, making it about what is wrong with the child instead of recognizing our own projection. Fiddling with and trying to “fix” the child is like trying to fiddle with the reflection in a mirror, it changes nothing because it never addresses the cause of that projected image. It never addresses the source of the reflection, which is you. I demonstrate a process to use in order to do this in my YouTube video titled “Healing the Emotional Body”. If I had my way, all parents would incorporate this process into their daily routine. The truth is, when you shift, your child will shift. This is why I do not do work with children. If a child has a problem, I work with their parents. I understand how hard it is to hear what I have just said; it makes you feel immediately defensive. But think about this for a minute, if you blame your child for your child’s behavior or problem, what kind of an environment do you think they are growing up in from their perspective? What kind of self-image is this growing within them? If you have an issue with your child, it is nothing but a mirror of what is unhealed within you. If the parent shifts, the child shifts immediately. There are no exceptions to this rule. When we are approaching parenting from the angle of “parenting our own inner child, if your child is upset, it is easy then to ask yourself “what did I want from my parents in this same scenario when I was a child? I’m going to give you a hint though. As a child, you did not really want anything other than unconditional love. You did not want to have your parents become obsessed with trying to make things better or different, you wanted them to be with you unconditionally no matter how you felt. This brings us to the next important part of parenting, which is (as far as I am concerned), the pillar upon which parenting stands. Validate emotions. One of the worst things you can do to your child is invalidate their emotions. This is sad of course because it is a super common behavior amongst parents. A lot of it stems from the rather selfish fact that we cannot stand to see our children upset and so we try to do everything to make them not upset. We do this not because of love and consideration for them, but because of a drive for self-preservation. We do it because we don’t want to feel upset when we see them upset. Just like we need to be fully present with ourselves no matter how we feel, we need to be present with our children no matter how they feel. Here’s a common scenario. A child experiences negative emotion because his parents decide he cannot have something at the store. The child is crying, mom or dad gets angry and then proceeds to repeat “no” or start arguing with the way the child feels by saying things like “stop that crying right now, there’s no reason to do that. Money doesn’t grow on trees you know. We already got the pop sickles you wanted” etc. In this scenario, the child is being taught that how they feel is wrong. The child is being forced to suppress the feeling they are feeling. The child is not allowed to experience and move through the feeling and so the feeling is stuck in them. That feeling will now become an imprint in the child’s emotional body, which will mirror out into his adult life as situations that make him feel guilty or situations that make him feel poor. The parent has in that seemingly small moment set up the child’s future in a negative way.
Every emotion a child has, no matter how extreme it may be, is appropriate. Even though an action taken as a result of an emotion may not be a healthy way of expressing that emotion, an emotion is always valid. If you have just come from a perspective of unconditional love and unlimited abundance, coming into a world where love is conditional and abundance seems limited, is like being locked in solitary confinement. An extreme reaction is appropriate. It will never work to impose your adult perspective (with all of your years of experience and all of your years of suppressing your own emotion) on your children. You will not be able to get them to see things your way. The point is not to alter your child. The point is to be there with them for their experience unconditionally. Unconditionally means no matter if they feel good or bad. In the previous child in the store scenario, the thing to do would be to kneel down at their level and express genuine empathy. By saying something like “I know lovey, it’s ok to feel really upset. I feel that same exact way when I want something that I don’t feel like I can have.” And then you can encourage the child to express to you verbally how they feel or where they feel that feeling in their body. By doing this, you allow them to have feelings and not suppress them. You allow them to move through that feeling. You cause them to know that no matter what, you will be there with them and for them through everything. They are not alone. You are raising an emotionally intelligent child instead of disfiguring their emotional capacity. Notice we did not rush to make the emotion better by giving the child what the child was asking for? We didn’t try to rescue them from their emotions, thus causing them to believe that negative emotions are bad or wrong or to be avoided. We didn’t immediately buy the child what they wanted and give in. The child did not become a dictator of the household who everyone is now a slave to. Instead, the child was treated as an equal member of the household. In this exact scenario, It may be good to explain to the child while you are on one knee that “mommy doesn’t have the best abundance mentality and mommy also isn’t the only source of your abundance.” Depending on the child’s age, this may even be the perfect time to explain manifestation. Your children are not served by thinking that you are perfect. Allow them to be aware of your “imperfections”. If you don’t know the answer to something, demonstrate asking someone else for the answer or meditating in order to ask the universe for the answer or say “I don’t know but maybe you’ll find out one day”. Instead of following ego down the path of needing to be a god to your children, empower them to be the progression of you.
All emotions should be understood and validated. We are not validating that the child’s belief is right. We are validating what they feel. We are mirroring it. The concept of mirroring emotions can be seen in this scenario. A child falls down and is crying and instead of whisking the pan away, we say “Oh I bet that felt really scary didn’t it? I know I used to feel really scared when I fell down when I was your age” We just mirrored how they felt. By doing this, the child is not fighting against their negative emotion and as a result, the emotion blows over quickly. All to often, children are shamed for the way they feel and the way they act because of how they feel. This leads me to the next point. Do not shame your child. Shaming is emotional abuse period the end. You can’t argue otherwise. And children will only respect and love those who respect and love them. Shaming creates humiliation and it makes the parent the enemy. The child cannot learn if they are shamed. Shaming is as good as pouring acid on a child’s self-concept. Children are more than capable of learning from their own actions. I am constantly explaining to parents the value of letting kids make mistakes. As parents, we have to deal with lots of criticism for this and also flack from teachers. But we want to raise children who feel free and loved and who are responsible for themselves, not children who are just parts of our societal machine that do things purely to avoid conflict with authority figures. This means for example that if your child does not go to sleep on time after being informed of the potential consequence (feeling too tired the next day at school), let them find out for themselves. Let them experience the consequence, without ever saying “I told you so” and they will eventually decide to go to bed on time themselves. Shame is worse than guilt. Guilt is believing that one has done bad whereas shame is believing that one is bad. Those of us who are conscious of what our own childhood did to us are well aware of just how damaging that belief can be when it is carried on to adulthood. We think a parent can only traumatize their child if they are hitting them or neglecting them etc. This is not the case. In fact much more damage can happen on an emotional level as a result of things we have become acclimated to, things that that we call “normal parenting behavior”. Shaming is one of them. I’m going to make a bold statement, having myself been the victim of a multitude of different abuses. Seeing the damage to my adult life that was caused by abuse in childhood, by far the worst kind of abuse that a person can suffer is emotional abuse. emotional abuse, including shaming, is worse than physical abuse and it is worse than sexual abuse. And it is a tragedy that we have created a society that has accepted the practice of the worst form of abuse, while widely condemning all other forms of abuse. If the emotional aspect of yourself is wounded and if your self-concept is corroded, all other aspects of your life are a living hell. These behaviors that we think are “normal” and that we are in fact desensitized to, cause trauma in the child’s being and result in a dysfunctional adult who cannot thrive. I love this term “failure to thrive” that they use when dealing with children of abuse and neglect. There are a great many people who fail to thrive that are “functioning” members of society. But what does it mean to thrive? I can tell you it means a lot more than just surviving into adulthood.
The more you integrate your own childhood, the more you will see just how damaging the so called ‘normal good parenting’ of our time is and just how many long term negative effects have to do with this popularly accepted style of parenting. We need to question everything we have come to believe about parenting and how a parent should and shouldn’t be with their child. It is frightening just how much we parent on autopilot. We become acclimated to the status quo and we adopt the beliefs of other parents (especially our own) about the right and wrong way to raise children. But conscious parenting is about waking up. Conscious parenting is about being aware enough of ourselves and of our children that we can change the status quo and facilitate both expansion and progression in this world.