Compassionate Parenting

by livewhatyouknow


All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the


We put so much into our kids.  We love them so much and we do so much for them.  It can start to feel as though they owe us something or we deserve their respect, etc.   I want to be like the sun and just shine love on my children and not expect anything in return.  I also want them to be kind and loving people with great character and good manners who always do their personal best and see the best in others, so it can get tricky!

Parenting is the hardest job on earth (here is where I am supposed to say that it is also the most rewarding job – yes it is that too!).  It is easy to take things personally with our kids or feel like their choices are a reflection of us.  When they don’t do something they are supposed to do or make what seems like a bad choice, or require us repeating ourselves two thousand times, or are just plain rude to us, its easy to take it personally and let it bring us out of the place where we want to parent from…compassionate presence.  We don’t have to take it personally!

The truth is they are their own little people and they are doing the best they can to live what they know at their young age.  The more love and compassion they see, the more likely they are to be loving compassionate beings themselves.  Today, I commit to being the love and light for them no matter what choice they make; I will show them love through my non-reactions and present love and treat them exactly as I want to be treated.  I don’t have to take it personally if they lose their mind for a bit or make seemingly silly choices.  I don’t have to let my ego step in and think they owe me a bunch of respect.  Love is the answer and I choose to dwell in it!

I love my little ones so much, I can be intense about teaching them all I can, expecting a lot from them and then overreacting when it doesn’t go well.  As far as living a non-reactionary life, it is a tricky business when it comes to parenting.  I feel like it is the best spiritual practice around.  I don’t always react the way I want to, but I do my best.  When my best isn’t so good, I try to forgive myself; guilt is a waste of time and energy.  Kids are really forgiving, we can learn that from them.  I never hesitate to tell them I am sorry about my reaction if it isn’t so great.  They always say “its okay” even when I know it isn’t and I should have done better.  We sometimes do a little re-play (like a do-over)…I tell them okay do that or say that again and we’ll do it better.  We actually act it out as the best version of ourselves.  Then my true compassionate response can come through.  It helps me practice and allows them to see my true intention…love.

Kids are very intuitive, they can feel what we are feeling.  They know if we’re present and giving them our full attention.  They know if we are annoyed or impatient or if we are truly being in the moment and going with the flow.  Parenting really is the ultimate spiritual practice!  As far as not reacting to what happens, we may have our external reactions under control…but if we are resisting things inside and giving our peace away, our kids can feel it.  Even if we don’t react externally, if we aren’t at peace and coming from compassion and love, we are still reacting.  First step – external reactions, second step internally keeping our peace of mind and not giving our peace away whenever things don’t go our way or the kids don’t do exactly what we had hoped.  If we can model this for our children, imagine what they will become.

What I really want for my children is for them to feel love and compassion from their mother all the time, no matter what happens.  I want to bring the best out of them with love.  What I really want for myself is inner peace that remains no matter what is happening with my kids reactions and choices.

It should be noted that a lot of practice with staying present in the moment is essential for true compassionate parenting…stay tuned for many more posts on presence and the moment and inner peace.

Wishing you all love and compassionate presence in all that you do.  Think of that great poem by Hafiz above when you see the sun today!  Love it!