Children are a profound gift to each of us, whether we are a parent or not. If you hang out with a child, especially a young child, you will discover a wise being that is still in connection with the Divine. Each child comes onto this planet as a bundle of pure love that is full of trust and wonder. And parents are charged with the immense responsibility of not only nurturing the child’s physical being but emotional health and spiritual unfolding as well. All this and on very little sleep!
Until I had my daughter, I was one of those people who was easily annoyed by children. I was not good at connecting with them and I generally felt awkward around them. All of that shifted when I became a mother and I now feel a deep connection to all children. That’s not to say that it’s not trying at times — parenting truly is one of the hardest things I have ever done — but it’s also the most spiritual and most rewarding.
Parenting is not just for biological parents, either. There are lots of people who mother and father others without a blood connection. And of course, anyone in a child’s life, be they family, teachers, neighbors, etc., helps to shape and mold our children. And since not all children are born into nurturing environments, your impact may be even more important.
This section is going to focus on what it means to raise healthy children — and healthy in all areas of the Wheel of Wellbeing. Over the next few months, I will be adding more content to this area. In the meantime, check out the recommendations below to get you started on your own exploration.
- The Aware Baby by Aletha Solter (a MUST read for any new parent)
- The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary (a MUST read for toddler-age on up)
- The Everyday Parenting Toolkit: The Kazdin Method… by Dr. Alan Kazdin (a MUST read for toddler-age on up)
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
- Tears and Trantrums: What to do When Babies and Children Cry by Aletha Solter
- Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More and Argue Less by Cockrell, O’Neill & Stone (great for parents in any type of relationship)
- The Gift of Motherhood: Ten Truths for Every Mother by Cherie Carter-Scott
- Taking Back Childhood by Nancy Carlsson-Paige
- A Kinder World by Monica Lenches (don’t let your child watch TV until you watch this 15-min documentary)
- Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood (many rental stores carry this titled)
- Waiting for ‘Superman’ (for parents with pre-schoolers and older)
- Race to Nowhere (for parents with children in 4th grade or higher)
- Babies (wonderful! great multicultural view of babies around the world)