What Are We Teaching Our Children?


I, like many others, have been operating at below normal energy levels since December 14, 2012.  Early that morning, little ones in Newtown, CT were having their oatmeal and pop-tarts, as they prepared for a day of learning the ABC’s and socializing.  Mid morning their lives were changed forever.

The heartache felt in every culture has surely affected Mother Earth and continues to do so, as we enter into a birth, a new cycle, of life experience.  I can only pray that it will be one of higher vibration, harmony, co-operation and peace.

In 1989 ABC Feelings was published to encourage children and parents to learn and integrate a feelings vocabulary in their lives, growing and sharing together.   Emotional literacy is as important to a child as the 3 r’s.  Now, especially, these little one are feeling so much, they are so raw, so vulnerable and oh so precious.

As the author of that book, I want to offer a few thoughts about being with your child, grandchild, or a child.  I trust you will find the following useful:

Be present with the child.  No multi-tasking.  Just be still and be here now and look in their eyes.  Allow them to be who they are in the moment.  (upset, goofy, irritable) Allow the moment to be what it is.  Be in your heart.

  1. Listen in lieu of asking questions.  If you ask, paraphrase their response.  Be kind.
  2. Your words are powerful, as are your actions.  It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  I would agree, especially after hearing clients for 20 years share the vivid image of a childhood experience.
  3. Let go of your agenda for a project and be open to what a child might offer.  It just might be superior to your good ideas.  Give the space to explore, investigate and experience.  Control simply doesn’t work.  The ego is highly threatened when it doesn’t get it’s own way.  It’s purpose is to survive…remember this.
  4. Be strong in pointing out consequences for inappropriate behavior and carry through with them, along with expressing the trust you have in them to do what is true for them.
  5. Speak the truth.  Be still and the perfect words will flow.  Be anchored in your authentic self and you will know the next best thing to say, do.
  6. Respect them as being individuals with feelings, creativity, and a purpose to fulfill here in this lifetime.  Remember the profound words of Gibran: “Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.”  Practice patience.
  7. If you slip, speak your truth and allow your humanity.  It’s never too late to say, “I’m sorry.”
  8. Refrain from judging their interests.  Nurture that interest.  This is their gift emerging into the fulfillment of their gift to the world.
  9. Lighten up.  Children love to laugh – it is a natural expression.  Adults have a lot to learn from these wise souls in young bodies.


Lastly, do your own emotional work…explore your beliefs that may prevent you from being deeply connected to the child.   You are more than your child’s mother/father.  You are their first teacher–their role model AND an authentic being with your own purpose to express here.  Your child is not here to provide you meaning.  They are here to complete their own, as you were.

From the Parent’s Tao Te Ching:  A New Interpretation – Ancient Advice For Modern Parents William Martin

you MUST own this book if you are a parent.  and if you want to raise an healthy adult.

You Have Lessons To Learn:

The lessons we most want to teach our children are the ones we have not yet learned ourselves.  So we continually try to teach what we do not know. This is futile.  Try instead to refrain from talking.  Look carefully at the situation.  Listen attentively.  Let your mind be open to new understandings.  You will learn what you need to knows.  And you will thus teach your children how to learn their own lessons.  Nothing teaches children more than a parent who is willing to learn.l  What behavior in your children makes you anxious?  What does that tell you about yourself?



How do children learn to correct their mistakes?  By watching how you correct yourself  How do children learn to overcome their failures?  By watching how you overcome yours.  How do children learn to treat themselves with forgiveness?  By watching you forgive yourself.  Therefore your mistakes and your failures are blessings, opportunities for the best in parenting.  And those who point out your mistakes are not your enemies, but the most valuable of friends.  Your children will surely notice the way you handle criticism.  If you get defensive and launch a counterattack, they will learn to cover up and deny their own faults.  Is there something you’re covering up now, with either depression, self-punishment or hostility?  Lighten up.  Accept and forgive yourself and your children will be blessed.


Be Happy:

If you have vast wealth, it will be useless in teaching your children.  If you have great power, it will be of no avail in securing their happiness.  If you have succeeded admirably in life, it will not help you keep your children safe.  Remember that you cannot teach by preaching.  Try to live with peace, contentment, love and compassion.  This will be your lecture.  This will be your lesson.  The happier i have allowed myself to be, the happier my children have become.  The more I have become myself, the more they have done the same.  This has occurred later in my life.  Don’t wait.


River of Change:

The child you see today will not be here tomorrow.  The child arriving home from school is different from the one who left from hoe this morning.  Every moment is a death of all that has gone before, and a birth of all that is to come.  You must jump into the river and let it carry you on its journey.  If you try to stop it you will drown.  Neither we nor our children will avoid change, loss and death.  But our children will interpret these things through the vision we give them.  If you can manage to see through your fear of these three things, your children will have the greatest vision possible.

We are all connected!


12/12/12 Childhood Memories … What We Have In Common
12/12/12 Childhood Memories …
What We Have In Common