A couple discovers that they are about to become parents … What a joy for everyone! What happiness! The young parents are filled with great desires and good intentions to raise a child who is honest, noble, intellectual, advanced, multifaceted, talented; give him or her the best education possible. Adults always have an elevated impression about their child.
And so the baby is born, grows, develops, and suddenly, to the parents’ surprise, an unfortunate situation unfolds. The child does not listen, does not want something, misunderstands, acts out, demands, rebels … He or she behaves completely different from what the parents expected. How did this happen?
After all, the parents wanted to give the child the best, with their ideals, ideas about prosperous future and in return, they expect gratitude, love and care from the child.
Mom and Dad work for the benefit of the child, often forgetting about themselves, denying themselves certain things, wishing to raise their child to the highest social standing. But the child resists what his parents are offering, he is consumed only with current needs, his immediate desires. Parent becomes a «slave» to child’s needs, which they have no power to refuse: «I want it and that’s it!».
The child, as if in a cloud, does not see or understand the good wishes of his parents: Do your homework diligently at school, so you can become a valued professional and provide a respectable future for yourself. The child does not understand his parents’ good intentions; his immediate desires are much more important than the distant future. Right now it is more important to get that coveted toy, than to study math for the abstract and intangible future. The child with his current needs, destroys his parents’ expectations. And this creates unfortunate collisions and conflicts.
Such conflicts will inevitably exist, we cannot fully know the child and will periodically impose our will on him — we have no other choice other than guide and teach the child. Yet we can always solve and smooth out these conflicts. If adults can understand this, they will be able to avoid great difficulties in the relationship with their child.
Parents want to raise their child to be an «upstanding citizen». And are the parents always behave as upstanding citizens? What kind of lifestyle have you led and lead now? Are you happy? What do you talk about? What do you aspire to? What ideals have you set for yourself? Are you searching for spirituality? Harmony? What is your highest life purpose? After all, your child is like a sponge, always absorbing the flow of images. What images do you give him? And do you yourself, practice what you teach your son or daughter?
Unfortunately, in today’s world, how we parent often comes from our own bad experiences, unfulfilled lives, failures, unfulfilled desires. But parenting — is pedagogy. And what kind of pedagogy do you choose?
You cannot raise children without love. The art and creativity of parenting is already written in love itself.
Parenting is same as sowing seeds. The time will come when the crops begin to sprout. And what kind of person will your child become?
A true personality can be raised only by true personality.
It is important for the parents to live by the highest values, doing everything that they do for God. Your child carries the image of the Creator, possessing all the qualities of nobility and goodness. The parents’ task is to assist the child to unfold these qualities, to keep that spark going, and constantly think about how to speak to the child about love ever so subtly, to touch his or her internal strings and ennoble the parenting process.
Adults believe that a child must learn. And what should the adults themselves do to motivate the child to listen, study, and understand his responsibilities? Quite often we hear these answers from parents: «… we must express our authority, pressure the child, and sometimes we can scold, yell, even hit…»
But is this how we can establish a «spiritual communion» with the child? No, this is the path to frustration and anger, breeding aggression in the child, and destroying the relationship. Is it better to capture child’s curiosity, create sources of motivation, inspire?
«A child must be lead from joy to joy, from success to success.» (V. A. Sukhomlinsky).
Inspiration breathing in the new, a spark that awakens creativity, a spark that awakens the joyful energy with all of the child’s abilities, with all his will. A parent must always be searching: how and with what can I cultivate joy and interest in my child?
What are the ways we can establish spiritual communion in the family?
And not just patience, but Creative and Wise patience, no matter the child’s behaviour.
2. The Intermediary role. Packaging.
Every parent has the sole responsibility before Nature, the Universe, and God for the upbringing of his child. After all, each child has a unique and very important purpose. And your task, dear parent, is to open him up and direct him to bring goodness to the world.
You must find such an attractive ‘package’ to the knowledge, skills and abilities, that the child is enchanted and excited to acquire them. And it will be his free choice, the child will not feel any pressure, even though you have in fact, imposed your will on him, but framed it in beauty, charm, some curious secret and alluring form; passed it through your loving heart. Beauty is inspiring power.
3. The sense of free choice.
The child has a passion for freedom, a desire to feel free.
You have to agree that motivation disappears with imposition. Duty is a state of slavery, which creates conflict. The child is looking for freedom, but we know that he cannot find it in full. We are all interconnected: there is society, laws, limitations on our actions. Where can we find freedom? In this world there is only one way choosing in what non-free form I want to live, that is illusory, imaginary freedom. Let the child make a choice. Choosing something of his own and agreeing, he will feel the desired sense of freedom.
4. «Finish painting» your child.
Shalva Amonashvili (a well-known teacher and writer on childhood education) says: the child is infinite and already holds within him the image of the Creator. The child already has all the wonderful qualities, because like all of us, he is a part of God.
And what do most parents do? Strip the paint», accuse the child, degrade and insult him/her.
But if we «finish painting» the child, praise him for what hasn’t yet awoken inside of him/her, she/he will want to fulfil our aspirations of him/her, and this endeavour, the child will surpass himself/herself.
«The person that you love in me, is of course, better than me. But keep loving, and I will try to become better than myself. » (M. M. Prishvin)
In other words, what is the spiritual communion, that is so important for child upbringing?
From the wonderful future that we want for the child, we choose those parts which are acceptable to him/her in the present, and find a suitable and interesting form, «packaging», in which we will offer the child a choice of one or another activity. This way, some of our desires will coincide with the immediate needs of the child, this will bring cooperation and the conflict will be softened.
Believe in your child. Your heart, intuition, good parental instincts, will always show you the methods to act better and more humane in a particular situation with your children. And then, you will have a place in your child’s heart and will always be an authority for him.
Maria Utkina (M.Ed.,Â Disciple of professor Shalva Amonashvili and Rami Bleckt, PhD)