I have two amazing little boys to whom I am immensely proud and any perceived behaviour of theirs that from time to time I don’t feel is optimal I see as my deficiency as their parent and teacher, not theirs.
Raising children is a pretty tough gig, we don’t really know what we’re doing, the tendency is to do what everyone else is doing, or maybe we do the opposite to our parents because we still resent how they raised us, or maybe we learn a few things from watching ‘The Nanny’, however we raise our children we’re just doing the best we can given what we know.
Most of us don’t want spoilt children but at the same time we want our children to have a great life. How do we walk that fine line? What is it to be spoilt? To me it’s not how much you have but the attitude held toward that which you have. Are you grateful for it? Is the attitude still of sharing and charity, or is it of selfishness and greed? Do you feel blessed with abundance or resentful of lack? Can you still enjoy the beauty of life without any of it?
What are we teaching our children to value? What do we value? Do these values really serve us at a core level? Are we accidentally perpetuating the cycle that has so enslaved us, the cycle of social consciousness – materialism, greed and competition?
I’ve noticed recently that our children really live in a mini mirror of adult society, I personally don’t want my children to grow into the limitations that society convinces them they should live by, nor do I want them to be enslaved by the hamster wheel of social expectation which always has true fulfillment and happiness slightly out of reach, conditional on the next this or that but never quite materialising…
When our kids have a bunch of toys, maybe they have an xbox or playstation, bikes, scooters, and they spend their days competing against other kids at school to be branded better-than or less-than, worthy or unworthy, successes or failures…isn’t it just a mirror of what we do as adults? At what point are we fostering in them values that won’t serve them, values of the man-made mind – Me/mine, separateness, greed, attachment, judgement, fear.
Are we gradually turning them from their inherent state as creators, rich with imagination and overflowing with natural joy to that which we have become, fierce consumers, entangled by socially induced limitation? I think we are.
Jesse who is my oldest boy (6 years) has ever since he could walk been the most generous, selfless, caring and considerate little boy I have ever been in contact with (parental bias noted and disregarded). His character was and I believe fundamentally still is glowing with the virtues of unity, compassion and charity.
I have however started to notice recently, just now and then very little things, which on the surface may seem insignificant and are so often dismissed by protective parents as ‘it’s just a phase’ or ‘they all go through that’, and unfortunately to the great detriment of our children I believe this is true.
Little things like when being offered a bowl of treats where other children are present being over-eager to be the first to grab one. Being more worried about who’s going to get the next piece of pizza and therefore scoffing his down at pace to ensure it is he, rather than simply enjoying and savouring that which he is eating. The protest launched forward if someone else has the last of something for it must mean he has been deprived.
In fairness these in balance are far outweighed by the display of amazing virtues for a six year old however they still feel to me like the undertone of socialisation starting to take hold. Without even realising it our children are converted into the social attitude of lack, greed, competition and judgement.
Do toys lose their appeal quickly? Great consumers they are becoming. Is their identity as an individual slowly but surely being made conditional on the accumulation of more and more stuff? The mighty trinkets of insignificance! Is great importance placed on whether they have the same or greater as the next child-consumer-to-be? If they don’t then do they consider themselves ‘less-than’?
Oh what a web we weave. Eons of genetic predisposition and cultural momentum. How do we stop it when we suffer from the same condition? I’m not sure I know other than attempting to correct myself and then trying to be a magnetic light to them, to try and keep them on a path that will serve to realise their true and beautiful potential.
What is it that by way of society we tell our children they must become in order to meet expectations? Be rich, famous, powerful, thin, pretty, have the latest gadgets, the shiniest car, be better than the next person, compete! If they come to us and say they want to become a poet or a musician, maybe a painter or a writer, how do we react? These passions are the expressions of the soul, means to create. We are creators in our essence. We are the very embodiment of creation. There is an expression gaining momentum – ‘follow your bliss’. I want this for my boys. I want their life to burn bright in the fires of passion, I want them to create and contribute, I want them to dream lofty dreams and rejoice in each moment toward their manifestation. This is the sure path to inner discovery.
Smack a child and a criminal you could be, but a far greater crime it is to rob our children of the purity from which they came. Yet we know not what we do. Can ignorance really be an excuse? I want it to be different for our kids.
The world craves passionate beings, let our children send ripples of joy through the world as they carve up new frontiers and show us what it is to really live. Gold will follow the pure expressions of the soul there is no doubt, but even if it was not so, none should be concerned as the fabric of joy is not woven from gold and passionate joyful expression will be eternally with it’s creator.
I am immensely grateful to have an amazing woman as the mother of my children and we very much share the same vision for how we wish to raise our children. We want to allow their full potential to gracefully bloom upon this earth, for them to enjoy their natural state of being and from it to shine forth a joyous celebration of the finest of gifts, that of life itself.
May it be so.