Healthy Parenting

Healthy Parenting

A rebbi at my son’s yeshiva wrote an article and touched on one of the biggest mistakes parents make: taking your child’s actions and choices personally. This innocently happens because we believe our children are a reflection of us.

How can we not take it personally? Isn’t it our poor parenting if they don’t listen, don’t get up for davening or have different opinions and outlooks on life than we do?

The Principles are pointing to a truth about human nature–that we can only have an experience via Thought in the moment. We are not feeling our child’s chutzpah, his sleeping late or his differences.

We are feeling the thinking we have about each of these things. We are feeling what we make it mean (ie: that I must have failed as a parent). We are feeling our unmet expectations, our self-judgment, our insecurity. Believe it or not, none of that has anything to do with your child.

If we truly saw the inside-out nature of life, we wouldn’t take our child’s actions personally. We would understand that he/she can’t make me feel a certain way. We weren’t designed that way. We can only feel our thinking in the moment.

There is a healthy space that is created when we let our minds settle from the busy personal thinking we have about our children. In this space, our innate health, our natural resilience, our wisdom and clarity arise and guides us in our responses to our child’s behaviors.

In an low state of mind, where we take life (ie: our children) personally, we blame them for our discomfort.

In a healthy state of mind, communication and respect make sense. Blame does not.

We each have wisdom that can insightfully point us towards a deeper understanding of the transient nature of our ego, personal thought. When we see this, we won’t take our children’s behavior personally.

When we are not lost in our thinking about our children, we have the freedom to be present to the greatness of who they really are now.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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