For me, spiritual parenting means raising aware children who view themselves as part of the whole of humanity, who recognize that We Are All One, and that everything we do affects others. It means being conscious of how our actions as parents affect the inner landscapes of our children. It means helping children be humane humans who want to better the world, who recognize their connection to Divinity, who care about others, have empathy and are kind, and understand that actions have natural consequences both positive and negative.
Spiritual parenting is being aware that children are not half beings, but full beings, entitled – by their mere humanness – to respect and love. They deserve to be listened to, cherished, treated as whole people, and even consulted in their own lives. I believe in helping children find the element of Divinity that is Pure Love inside them; helping them be their own highest selves. I think children should be taught to think, to read, to explore, to investigate, and to create. Through these activities they will learn to live life authentically! I want children to grow up knowing that they are perfect, indivisible aspects of God and that they are special, important, and in charge of their own destinies. I also want children to know that they have the right to the autonomy of their own bodies.
Some of the things we do to incorporate our spirituality into our daily life include meditation, yoga, deep philosophical conversations, Reiki, talk about world events and how they relate to how people treat each other, talk about how we treat each other, how others have treated us, and how it could have gone differently. We always try to ask, “What would love do now?” in our interactions with each other.
Even when things go “wrong” we try not to get angry, we try to approach the situation with love (and I’ll admit I don't always succeed). But an example of a time I succeeded in being my own highest self was the time my daughter kicked a ball (after I asked her to stop) and broke a wood carving my husband gave me. I didn’t yell because I knew she didn’t break it on purpose. We talked about how sad I was, and she helped me glue it back together. I hoped that having her be part of the solution would remind her that her actions have natural consequences, and eventually this will help her play out the action through the consequence in her head instead of real life so that, next time, the object doesn’t get broken.
Parenting in the New Spirituality allows me to move swiftly through my anger and back to love. It allows me to feel understanding instead of frustration. It allows me to have hope instead of despair. And it give me patience when I might otherwise snap.
My wish is that each one of you will understand what a gift, but more importantly, what an awe-inspiring opportunity it is to be the most present parent you can be! I encourage you to cherish every moment and love every minute; finding time to sit and watch your children feeling the wonder, excitement, and love you had when first holding that child as a newborn baby! Then, when parenting times get tough, and even with the most positive of intentions they will, you can reenter this space of gratitude, wonder, and pure love to remember that your connection to this spirit surpasses and transcends the present moment.
*Adapted from comments Emily made at the "With My Child Alternative Parenting and Education Community Gathering" in St. Louis, MO on November 14, 2015.