Frequently, we hear how important it is to parent from the present moment. This is extremely challenging as our conditioning has trained us to manipulate experience to achieve a particular future outcome.

Our children learn this also. We often call them manipulators because when they have a fantasy of some future goodie they desire, they will, for sure, manipulate the environment, the world, your mind, everything, to get what they want. 

As parents, we also have a lot of wants for our children, for them to turn out a certain way. So if good food is a positive thing in our minds and we get them to do that, we think that they are going be healthy in the future. If we can’t get them off the computer we will tell ourselves that they are becoming addicts and will end up with fried brains. 

Then, if we get them to eat good food and not hang for hours in front of a screen, we manipulate them to go out in nature. Getting out in nature then we want them to exercise. On and on it goes. Our brains are going all the time, “futurizing”, figuring things out. 

Getting off this mental treadmill requires stepping into a moment of silence, meeting our children right here right now as if it is the only moment we have. Perhaps your mind says – That’s impossible. There is always another moment. But in actual fact, there is no guarantee of that. 

This is my practice. As my daughter enters my room, before I start looking at how her hair is or ask where is she going, or query about her homework, taking a deep breath, I quiet my mind, breathing in her essence. 

I offer this as a practice to you. When you see your child and your mind takes off telling you what they are or are not doing, or that the sight of them elicits pride or disappointment – just 
PAUSE
Resist the urge to talk
Be quiet coming gently into your body sensations
Breathe

Breathe in their essence, not their behavior, all the way down into your heart. Simply connect heart to heart with the beautiful essence of you and the beautiful essence of your child. 

 

Listen to Podcast Episode 75: “Are You Manipulating Your Child?”