Our world is in desperate need of emotionally healthy children who will have the confidence and resolve to contribute their talents to the world, making it a better place.
The principles discussed in Parenting from Your Soul are based in spiritual ideology, challenging you to examine the role of parent from another perspective. Conscious choices made from this place can help us
• honor our children’s individual path;
• appreciate the phases of our children’s growth;
• open our hearts to give and receive a deeper level of love;
• practice forgiveness for others and ourselves;
• learn universal laws to create the life we want; and
• create relationships based on acceptance, honesty, and compassion.
Parenting from Your Soul helps you guide your child to a life of happiness and purpose while assisting you in making positive changes in your own life. It offers information about transforming your relationship with your child, no matter his or her age. Applying this information can open up a new way to approach your role as parent and change the way you approach issues in your own life.
The greatest gift we can give this planet is the creation of children who are able to live their lives with joy, purpose, and intention. You have the most instrumental role in this creation.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.38(d)|
|Age Range:||1 - 17 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Parenting from Your Soul
A Spiritual Approach to Raising Children with Compassion and Wisdom
By Jeanmarie Wilson
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Jeanmarie Wilson
All rights reserved.
A Parent's Love
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. —Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism
A parent's love is profound and pure; it infiltrates every cell of our bodies. It is magnificent, yet terrifying, to love so deeply. It is good that we do because there are many moments when our love is tested: when our sleep-deprived body hears the 3:00 a.m. cry of our infant, as we grit our teeth through our toddler's fourth tantrum of the day, as we anxiously await our teenager's arrival home past curfew, or when we grant acceptance to our adult child who does not make decisions we agree with. During those times—and many others—we will draw from this well of love.
This love has an intensity to it that can bring us to our knees and it changes our lives forever. We never look at the world again in the same way after we have children. Love for my children has pushed me to grow in ways that were sometimes painful, but which ultimately make me a better parent and a better person. I have often found myself in a place of raw vulnerability, a place that makes me more authentic and helps me realize what really matters.
Awareness stemming from this honest place helps me make choices that are better, not only for my children, but also for me. Because of this awareness, I have pushed myself to look authentically at my choices and my actions, my beliefs and my expectations, to see if they really serve me as a parent. Within this process, we may find things we don't like about ourselves. Those times are difficult, but looking at them honestly and objectively will only help us to evolve and grow.
Author Elizabeth Stone said, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." We become this vulnerable in order to experience the gifts that loving a child holds, but in order to do so, we have to let down our defenses and enter a place where we are real. It is a vulnerable place to reside, but it is the true essence of parenting.
Parenting, similar to aging, is not for the faint of heart. It is a sacred journey, filled with learning experiences for both parties, not all of which are easy. This journey requires that we are brave, honest, noble, and resilient. It contains challenges, but it is worth all of the difficulties we encounter. Love for our children carries us through this journey and encourages us to feel more, give more, and be more than we ever thought we were capable of.
When you want to experience life and love on another level, you have a child.CHAPTER 2
Why We Do What We Do
When parents do too much for their children, the children will not do too much for themselves. —Elbert Hubbard, American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher
Let's examine why we do what we do for our children. Do our actions come from a place of guilt? Are they directed by our egos and their need to control? Do we need to be needed just a little too much?
When we over-manage our children's lives, even from very early ages, we give our children the message that they are not capable. We don't let them learn how to navigate disappointment or fear. We teach them they don't have to be strong and resilient, that they can sit back because someone will come along to pick up the pieces for them. We do our children no favors by not setting boundaries or expecting a certain level of respect and behavior. Sometimes we do this because we want to give them more than we had or because we are trying to garner their love. It may stem from a feeling of remorse; we feel we were not enough at some point and are now overcompensating, but it never works. Almost all parents have been guilty of this to a degree, but we should spend some time reflecting on this form of parenting.
It is difficult to watch our children fall, and there is a strong desire to protect them from the disappointments of the world. Too much protection and manipulation, though, only makes things more difficult for our children when they get out into the world and we are not there to orchestrate events for them. We need to let our children develop character, resiliency, and confidence by experiencing life and by living it—by feeling the difficult feelings that hurt us to see them go through. They need to face the consequences of making decisions for themselves and to learn about the power behind their choices. The only way they can learn this is through doing it.
I have seen parents enable their children and make excuses for them. I have seen parents doing their children's homework, choosing the colleges they apply to, and filling out their college applications. I have seen parents mortgage their homes and future financial security to pay exorbitant college tuition, bail their children out of jail, hire expensive lawyers, or send them for drug treatment time and time again. I have seen parents hover over their children's lives, making every decision for them. I have even seen them justify cruelty and cheating.
I understand the reason for it; there is fear in having to watch our children accept the consequences that stem from their choices. I understand that parents, often well-intentioned and caring individuals, experience difficulty when they have defined themselves by their children's accomplishments. Unfortunately, the cover-up and enabling of the present lead to bigger consequences in the future when the stakes are higher. It leads to children growing up to be adults who fall apart at the smallest amount of adversity. It leads to children who cannot make a decision for themselves, and it leads to laziness.
There is a fine line here. We can advocate for and protect our children, but we can't give them everything without letting them earn something. We need to let them grow, to help them see themselves as capable beings and to let them experience an environment where they can own the consequences of the decisions they make, both positive and negative. Sometimes, that includes what we might consider "failure."
When we come from a supportive place, we help when it is truly needed. We let our children know that we have faith in their abilities and help them see that life includes making mistakes and learning from them. We encourage them to embrace the power that lies behind making choices. By looking at the big picture, we help our children develop tolerance, fortitude, and flexibility—all necessary attributes for independence and happiness.
Giving from a place of love, rather than fear, leads to children who grow up knowing they have all they need to be successful in the world.CHAPTER 3
Why Being A Parent Makes Us So Crazy
No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal. —Bill Cosby, American comedian, author, producer, educator, musician, and activist
Let's face it, parenting is a tough gig. The hours are long; the vacations nonexistent, and as far as positive feedback goes—not so much. There have been times when my childless friends have looked at me and smiled. It seemed as if they had it figured out a long time ago, just about when I was feeling sorry for them because of what they were missing. I would not trade my decision to become a parent for anything in the world, but there have been moments.
The reason this role makes us so crazy is because we know our mistakes can have serious consequences. We have watched as other parents made poor choices. We may have experienced firsthand how poor parenting affects a child and vowed to be different. We know our choices count.
It makes us crazy because we care so much. Careers come and go, relationships wax and wane, and our financial futures may be in jeopardy, but nothing affects us like problems with our children; it reaches a part of us other experiences do not. We say crazy things out of desperation, act in ways we do not recognize, and take action that makes little sense.
I recall a parent who submitted college applications for his son without his knowledge. I followed my twelve-year-old daughter and her friends on Halloween without telling them because I worried about their safety. My friend threw her sixteen-year-old son's belongings out on the lawn one day and changed the locks. I know another parent who assumed her daughter's identity on Facebook and disbanded a friendship she found unacceptable.
Eventually, it becomes too much. We act in crazy ways when things seem to be spiraling out of control (were we ever in control?), when we are losing our balance, and when we are reacting solely out of fear. We have to focus on doing our best and learning to let go because sound decisions are not made in a state of panic. We need to understand that we can't control everything, and we have to put some distance between the problem and ourselves. It is crucial to get objective feedback and to act from a loving place where we focus upon love for ourselves as much as for our children.
That is when you make decisions you can be proud of, even if they are not popular. This is where you can judge if your actions and words are self-serving or necessary.
This is the place where you may still act a little bit crazy, but where you are proud of what you do and say.CHAPTER 4
Teaching Our Children About Service
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. —Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary
Our society can be self-centered, stemming from a fear that there is not enough of what we want and that what we have must be protected. We apply this to resources such as money, time, energy, and even love, but this belief is a fallacy since our universe is limitless. Teaching our children about the importance of not just taking from this source, but giving back, is vital; our goal should be to leave the world a better place simply because we were here.
While in hiding during the Holocaust, Anne Frank wrote, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." This does not mean we have to find a cure for a disease or win the Nobel Peace Prize. We are only asked to do our best and consider the plight of others in our travels.
Teaching our children about the importance of service to family, friends, community, and school will help them grow up to be vital, capable adults; making a contribution always helps children feel empowered. Service to others does not mean ignoring your own desires; conversely, your truest desires can be met simultaneously. This type of service means doing something that aligns with who you truly are. For example, it does not mean choosing to work in a profession that you dislike, but earns approval from your parents. Service to family might entail helping to care for a grandparent or getting a job as a teenager to help pay the bills when a parent has lost his or her job. It might mean standing up for a sibling who is getting teased in school. Service is doing something with a genuine heart and a clear purpose, one that not only matches your goals but also helps another at the same time.
This brings to mind a story of a tenth-grade student whose mother was diagnosed with a rare, debilitating disease. Her mother suddenly became bedridden and needed a lot of care. This young woman was a promising athlete, excellent student, and leader in her class. She made the decision to resign from her athletic teams, clubs, leadership roles, and other activities to come home every day after school to care for her mother. She removed all unnecessary activities from her day to help her family. She was there for her mother every day after school as well as on weekends, assisting with basic daily care and medical needs. Through all of this, she remained a stellar student. When we met for a college planning conference, she and her father were concerned about the lack of activities on her resume. I assured them that her contribution was much more valuable than any organized activity and would be looked upon very favorably; I am truly in awe of this young woman's sacrifice and service to her family.
We affect each other's lives for better or not. We can't avoid this as we are creating our lives in conjunction with others. All of our actions have far-reaching repercussions, more than we can ever imagine, and every action is either based in love or it isn't. Here, there is no gray area.
Service to others can include the traditional notion of volunteering your time, but it also includes the way you conduct your interactions with people on a daily basis. Making a contribution through a service-based career is honorable, but any undertaking that enriches the life of another can be viewed as a service; a comedian's contribution is no less noble than a preacher's. The important factor is how you perform this service and whether it is done with integrity, compassion, and respect.
I have seen many children today who lead their lives with a sense of entitlement, and it is not a pretty sight. It is a breakdown, not just on the part of the parents, but also of a society that encourages instant gratification and devalues attributes such as responsibility, independence, and accountability.
Demonstrate through your words, but more importantly through your actions, that we all have a responsibility to help other people, the creatures on our planet, and our environment.
Show your children that we have an obligation to make the world a better place just because we were here, and that when we do, it benefits them as much as it does others.CHAPTER 5
You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. —Ernest Hemingway, American author and journalist
For years, we joked that my mother was the "Queen of Denial." Although we laughed about it, her ability to ignore what she did not want to deal with could be frustrating. The house could fall down around her, and she would not even acknowledge it. The fact that she has dementia now, while difficult for her and our family, is a blessing in a way. I think it is my mother's way of coping with the challenges that aging has brought her, and I am grateful for the peace that denial now brings her.
Denial in parenting though, does not help us face situations that need attention. Instead, it prevents us from experiencing the uncomfortable feelings that precipitate change. Denial of our children's problems does not help our children in the way that they need however, denial can be sneaky and insidious. It fools us into believing what we want without even knowing it because denial works very hard to protect its dysfunction. Truly taking stock of a situation, being receptive to change, and accepting the truth of our experiences, however uncomfortable, helps break through that denial. If our children are in trouble and need direction or resources, pretending the problems don't exist only prolongs the inevitable and keeps a possible solution at bay, even if that solution is only acceptance for now.
Excerpted from Parenting from Your Soul by Jeanmarie Wilson. Copyright © 2014 Jeanmarie Wilson. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Parent's Love, 1,
Why We Do What We Do, 4,
Why Being A Parent Makes Us So Crazy, 7,
Teaching Our Children About Service, 9,
We Create Our Own Experiences, 14,
An Open Mind, 19,
The Difficult Child, 22,
Your Children Have Chosen You, 26,
The Perfect Parent, 37,
Raising Children With Character, 40,
Sex, Drugs, And Rock 'N' Roll, 52,
A Love That Is Real, 58,
The Greatest Gift, 63,
The Laundry Can Wait, 65,
Children With Disabilities, 73,
An Open Door, 75,
When A Child Is Ill, 78,
In The Case of Divorce, 91,
They Want Your Attention, 93,
Love Without Condition, 95,
Parenting Adult Children, 98,
The Many Faces Of Family, 101,
Your Children Have Their Own Paths, 104,
Your Future Relationship, 108,
Is It Okay To Get A B?, 110,
Life Brings Us Who We Are, 112,
A Belief In Possibility, 117,
The Power Of Love, 120,
Things Change, 123,
Kids Think They Know Everything, 127,
Living Real, 129,
Parenting Our Parents, 144,
Words Matter, 147,
Your Inner Child, 150,
About The Author, 165,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jeanmarie Wilson has been a high school guidance counselor, and a parent, for over twenty years. She combines the wisdom gained from this experience with the thoughts of a number of spirituality gurus in this delightful book. I’m happy to say that the warm, calm way in which I’ve heard her speak to students and parents is reflected in the insights she provides in these pages. Wilson organizes the book into over forty short chapters, none more than three pages long. The book progresses nonlinearly, so I’d recommend turning to the table of contents, choosing a chapter of interest, and going straight there. As the father of 10- and 12-year-old daughters who suffer from early-onset teenagerdom, one of the first chapters I flipped to is titled simply “Teenagers.” I found myself shouting, “Yes!” at Wilson’s first sentence: “Teenagers can be beastly…” She reminds us not to take our teenagers’ verbal assaults personally, that they do, in fact, love us even when they say they don’t. (Am I the only one who takes a slight satisfaction, or at least breathes a sigh of relief, when a friend says that sometimes it seems like his daughter really hates him?) Wilson compares negotiating the teenage years to teaching our children to ride a bicycle: we “have to practice the delicate art of holding on and letting go at the same time.” If we embrace this challenge, we can meet our children “on the other side” and go on to have a wonderful relationship with them as adults. The balance described above is a great theme throughout the book. Wilson shows how in so many situations it is okay to have high expectations and push our children to meet them, but that we also need to accept our children for who they are. She writes of a young woman whose parents pushed her so hard academically that she developed a skin condition, and a young man who had had open-heart surgery and yet was still pressured by his parents about his chemistry grade. “These parents were not unlikable or uncaring,” and yet, in their zeal for their children to “succeed,” they were actually harming their children and damaging their relationship. Wilson suggests we allow our children to get off the treadmill rather than pushing them onto it: “The most satisfying feeling in life is knowing we lived it by our rules… If we train our children to live by others’ standards and to look outside themselves for validation, we do them no favors.” Other chapters include “Raising Children With Character,” “The Laundry Can Wait,” and “Parenting Our Parents.” Wilson advocates for the essential, rejuvenating power of “Nature” and the belief that being a parent is “The Greatest Gift.” This is the type of book one can take off the shelf again and again for a quick burst of parenting advice and help in remaining focused on giving our children unconditional love. I know I will refer to it for many years to come.
A much needed book for those trying to raise children. Very insightful. In this age of technology where children seem to disconnect from everything unless it is automated, animated or artificially intelligent, this book gives much needed understanding to parents.