Parenting from the Heart

Parenting and education, as I understand them, are dedicated to the future generations. We serve our children and their children and their children’s children, and all the ones who will pick up this torch and carry the mantle of humanity’s leadership, long after we’ve put it down and “shuffled off this mortal coil,” as Shakespeare’s famous character Hamlet said. May we engender a heart-centered and caring world in which we nurture the earth and steward all our relations. I hope that we continue to have human life on earth in a way that brings harmony and unity to other species.

The Native peoples of America often thought in terms of seven generations from now, when they considered the impact of their actions. I hope that seven generations from now these words have contributed to a form of parenting and education that is so profoundly loving that we will look back on these ages as the dark ages, when people didn’t understand how to love each other and use empathy in education. 

Who is the Center of Parenting?

Since the topic is parenting, you might think children are at the center. However, the most effective parenting is centered on the parents. Similarly, in a heart-centered way of being, the heart is at the center, not what the heart serves. For example, the limbs are very important body parts, but the heart must still be at the center in order to effectively support the limbs. If you’ve ever flown in a commercial airline you probably remember the flight attendant instructions at the beginning of an airplane experience. By putting on your own oxygen mask as a parent, you then have something to give to your children. To achieve true balance and harmony in your family, your children must orbit around you like the moon orbits around the earth. When your entire focus and attention goes to the children, it breeds insecurity and self-absorption and perpetuates generations of parenting self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is not heart-centered. The heart does not sacrifice itself for others. Instead, it takes care of itself to tend to others.

Free Yourself from The Parenting Trap

Sacrificing yourself for your children is a time honored tradition in which no one is currently happy because we sacrifice our life force for the future success of our children. This is a recipe for zero happiness. Children can not be truly happy if the parents aren’t having fun. And, the children will become future unhappy parents. This is absolutely no fun for anyone! You can live for yourself now, and still support your children. When you live for your own best interest in your parenting, it becomes a radical act of liberation from the shackles of conditioning. It’s all about your mentality! When you believe you have to sacrifice yourself, just like your parents did for you, then you come from conditioning. When you take the approach that you are on an adventure of love and liberation, then you can realize the greatest potential imaginable in parenting. Let’s make parenting the most free and loving activity we could ever engage in! Let’s play with parenting so fully and completely that we celebrate this act as a revolutionary change in all of human consciousness.

Happy Children Orbit Around the Parent

Happy, well-balanced children orbit around their parents much like the earth orbits around the sun. They don’t need to be the center of the solar system or family system. In fact, when they are the center, they don’t have enough love or perspective to hold the system together. It literally stresses them out. Developmentally, they are simply not ready for this position at the center. 

Get Out of the Busyness Trap

The pace of modern life has sped up so much that we no longer have time to take our time and enjoy ourselves. In a great book called The Tao of Pooh, author Benjamin Hoff called the people who are always busy the “busybacksoons.” They say they are busy and they will be back soon. When they come back, they are still busy and they are gone soon.  Busyness cuts us off from inspiration or inspired wisdom. Wordsworth expressed this in his poem, “The World is Too Much With Us.” 

The world is too much with us late and soon. 

Getting and spending we lay waste our powers. 

Little we found in nature that is ours.

When we are stuck in the busy trap, we can not be free to live in the way we were meant to live. How do we survive and get by in this life without conforming to the demands of a work schedule, which drives us too hard, or a family that pushes us too far? When we are too busy to enjoy ourselves, something is wrong. Life is meant to be loved and lived fully. We can’t fully enjoy or experience ourselves, when we move at a pace that doesn’t serve us. 

Parent Yourself First

Self-care is essential to good parenting and living a good life. You need to put your open oxygen mask on first to take care of yourself. This allows you to parent with physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Parents have to set up healthy practices and rhythms for ourselves. This includes eating well, exercising, and having a practice that connects us to our heart and what really matters. Then, it’s easier to tend to the children in a good way. 

After you have a solid self-care practice, the next step is to actively parent yourself. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you continuing to set up systems that help you mature and grow as a human being? Do you know how to set direction for yourself and keep turning your attention to your own blindspots to keep yourself developing? 

The essence of all good parenting comes from knowing how to parent yourself. Do you know how to structure your life around what you most need, to optimize your own happiness and effectiveness in the world? This is an ever deepening journey, of course, so no one knows how to do this perfectly. And, you want to have practices in place which help you keep learning, growing, and developing yourself as a person and as a parent. The more you accept yourself as you are, and parent out of self-love, the better everything will flow in your parenting.

Our founding company, Bridging Worlds Behavioral Services, which gave birth to Heart-Centered Revolutions, was developed according to these principles of parenting. We support any parents who need our services.

If you’d like to connect with me, I’m on Facebook at Heart-Centered Revolutions and Adam Bulbulia. To read additional articles or one of my books, go to Heart-Centered Revolutions, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to forging a world that works for everyone. Facebook | Youtube | Instagram

For example: 

If the client is nonverbal we might work on expanding their communication skills to include gestures or pictures.

If the client is overstimulated in the grocery store, goals might include short trips to the store with ways to self-regulate.