Recently many friends and colleagues had a baby arrive in their family. So I started thinking about parenting and what it is. Here is why I think it is the most amazing journey of your life.
I became a parent first in 1998, and the next few months were very different. My life changed completely first and foremost in terms of basic taking care of the child and then in terms of my life’s overall priorities. Parenting is one job each of us wants to take most seriously, yet, it is not something we have learnt in college about nor have our parents necessarily taught us that skill directly.
We collect notions and behavioral habits from our own parents and families that directly affect our parenting styles. One thing is for sure we all want to do a great job and raise kids who are creative (intelligent) and successful. We may not realize it but what we really want is for our children to be happy and all other things including academics, job, and success are all but means to their happiness. Many parents get so focused on the means (success) that they lose sight of what it really means to be happy and successful for their child.
With all these great intentions we embark on an amazing journey that can be very rewarding or extremely frustrating. This book is written to help you make your journey successful and the whole parenting experience joyful for you and your child. Like with life, parenting role does not come with a manual listing exact steps and yet there are key principles and techniques that you can learn and apply easily to make the whole process effective, easy, joyous and rewarding.
Parenting can be a lot of hard work or an enriching part of your own life. Choice is yours – what you make it depends upon how you learn and apply these key principles and techniques.
”What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”- Albert Pike
What is parenting?
If you ask people why they want to become parents you will get most varied answers possible ranging from “I love kids” to “it will bring happiness to me and family” to “its time in life to have kids! I am not getting any younger”.
So what is parenting? Is it a moral duty? Is it a joyful and fulfilling part of life? Is it something we do for our long term support and security? Or is it a personal growth opportunity? Actually it is all this and more. Let’s understand the various perspectives.
Whether you are religious or not, whether you believe in god or are an atheist, there is no denying that if you bring a life into the world, you would have certain responsibilities towards that life. These responsibilities may are on a continuum that runs something like:
• Provide basic shelter and care
• Provide nurture and love
• Provide guidance and learning
• Provide financial and other resources in the future
Different cultures expect parents to do different levels on this continuum, but whatever you choose, it is clear that basic needs, nurture, and love are undeniable rights of any child.
A joyous journey
Besides what we do for our children, parenting is for many a “joyous journey”, with all the lovely and cute moments and lots of “unadult”ered joy! As we grow up we lose our innocence many times and being a parent can allow us to get back to that joyous state.
A personal growth opportunity
Most of the parents think that it is their responsibility to teach their children but you will be surprised to know that children can teach you more than even you can. While you may help them learn how to walk, talk, and read, they can teach you “how to be”. You see they are pure joy! They are natural born and untouched by fear, doubt, ego, or biases. They have not absorbed any dogma from the outside world and they can help you shed a lot of these if you take them as a teacher. Though you need to know that they teach by “being” unlike us adults who are too used to teach by “talking” even when we cannot be what we teach.
Even though you do have to take parenting as a serious responsibility, I believe that approaching it as a “joyous journey” for both and a great “personal growth” opportunity for self creates the magic in your life! May be that is why when a new baby is born in the family we say – “We were blessed with a baby girl (or a boy)!!”