The 8 Gifts of Parenting
No one who has hugged their child can doubt the gift of a childís presence in
their life. The love that is expressed in that simple act is one of the most
profound ways that we experience love in this world. In order to nurture the
special relationship of parent and child, and fulfill our roles as parents,
there are number of things that we are signing up to do. Here is a list of eight
essential ways to fulfill our parental responsibilities.
These are gifts that we should freely give to our children without thought of
what we will receive in return for our efforts.
- The Gift of Life. It is easy to forget that in the act of receiving a
child into our lives we are sharing the gift of life itself. Remembering the
precious nature of life can help us to keep the ups and downs of daily life in
a proper perspective.
- The Gift of Love. The most essential ingredient for a happy life is
love. There is no feeling more satisfying to the soul, both in giving and
receiving, then love. When we include a conscious awareness of this truth and
nurture it as the most basic value of our relationship with our children, we
will find that many mistakes Ė on both sides Ė can be weathered.
- The Gift of Time. Time is the proof of our caring. When you spend time
with your child you are saying with your actions: I love you and I would
rather be with you than doing anything else. This is one of the best ways that
you can objectify your love. It is also one of the greatest blessings.
- The Gift of Good Manners. Children from a young age can be taught to
behave. This isnít an imposition on their free will. It is a gift that will
enhance their lives. The process of developing good manners will help them to
begin learning to see how others are affected by their actions. Through the
establishment of basic good manners we are giving our children a skill that
will benefit them in every other part of life.
- The Gift of Self-Control. Through the establishment of good manners
from the very beginning we are planting the seeds of a character trait that
can serve as a strong support for success in any endeavor: Self-Control.
Practice cultivating self-control in your own self first. Then attune yourself
to ways that you can instill these same values in your children.
- The Gift of Positive Mental Culture. By bringing the principles of
positive thinking into all areas of life we develop in our children the
experience that all good things are possible. Positive mental culture includes
ten overarching areas of development: Non-Violence, Non-Lying, Non-Greed,
Non-Sensuality, Non-Covetousness, Cleanliness, Contentment, Self-Control,
Self-Study, and Devotion to God.
- The Gift of Education. An academic education isnít essential for
living successfully in this world. There have been numbers of great people
throughout history who couldnít read or write. But next to those great souls
who can shine in spite of this lack of formal training, there are millions who
could advance their lives immensely if they could but read and write. It isnít
enough that we simply send our children to school. This is a gift that opens
up a world of information and possibilities for our children. Donít leave this
area to chance.
- The Gift of Reverence for All Life. Along with these most basic gifts
we need to add a reverence for the sanctity of all life. While we canít make
our children believe in God or appreciate the beauty and value of the
incredible variety of life forms that inhabit our planet, we can communicate
our own belief. Not to share your view on these issues is to - by default -
preach that they have no value. The communication and application of the
highest aspects of life should always be at the forefront of family life.
Given the mixture of things that we want to share with our children we will
need to mix and match according to how the soup is cooking. This is one of the
beauties of life Ė its variety and spontaneity. It will, no doubt, turn out
different than what we had anticipated in the beginning. If we give our
children these eight gifts we will be well on our way to fulfilling our duties
as parents and sharing with them the tools that will allow them to experience
the best that life has to offer.
Submitted by: Lawrence Vijay Girard * †
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