As a well-meaning parent, I'm certain most of us have looked into various parenting methods - RIE Parenting and Conscious Parenting being the most prevalent these days, at least in my circles of parents and caretakers. While I agree with most of the philosophies behind both methods, something in me ever-so-slightly cringes when I hear or read advice from any structured parenting method. Usually, I hold my tongue while burying those opinions just below the surface of my consciousness because I know all of us are just trying to navigate our way through the hardest job in the universe. Plus, I suspect that I'm expected to fit the bill of such parenting methods.
The truth is, if a fly on the wall were to observe my parenting style and report it to any parenting method expert, they would be at a complete loss trying to peg me or they would blithely assume I was lost and confused. I think it's safe to say that - behind closed doors - even an A+ student of any method end up with their own style of raising their own children. The simple reason being: Every child is different and unique just like any other person out there; therefore, requires unique attention. Conjointly, every parent-child relationship maintains their own complex story that longs to be experienced from the most authentic level of Being and not molded into any one particular method of parenting. I'd say most of the time our relationships with our children are even karmic. How does a 3 year-old know how to push my buttons? Why do I feel so triggered by his temper tantrums? Why can't I just be the picture of Conscious Parenting and show him the type of communication he deserves? Those are all good questions that can't be answered simply unless you bring karma into the picture.
Admittedly, I'll find myself judging other parents who seem rather neglectful of their children. For instance, I can't stand seeing parents more obsessed with their image on social media than they are with their child's newfound journey of this phenomenon we call Life. But, really - who am I to judge? Especially if I subscribe to the spiritual notion that our children choose us as their parents even before being a blip on our radar. Again, karma. We're tied to unfinished business beyond these physical bodies until we can undo the knot. These karmic experiences - those hair-pulling moments that suddenly shift into life-lessons from the Divine - is the panacea for undoing the knot. If "self-obsessed single mom" was suddenly "humble, devoted single mom," then her child would miss out on the formula designed to make him the greater, more evolved human that he's meant to be. It's like that old adage, "Every flower must grow through dirt." Of course, his mom is also evolving; though, not as obvious to the outsider's blurred, macroscopic point of view. We're left to mere judgements and bereft of condemnations.
So, next time you find yourself raging, saying something against the Conscious Parenting handbook, stepping in when RIE says you shouldn't, just know that even the authors of those methods have most likely broken their own rules. Being natural - working from what you know; your state of consciousness and not anyone else's - is what we're aiming for because children can see us being unnatural from a mile away and they don't like it. It's bizarre to them. And I'm sure it's terribly confusing to them seeing as they are the most natural you can get in our society rife of affectations.
Photo by @moonandcheeze