I had the privilege of attending a seminar titled “Spiritual Secrets To Raising Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children” by Dr. T. Aaron Lim recently. While I went without setting any expectations but merely the intention to learn more about how we can be better parents to Ewan, I certainly did not expect to walk out of the seminar feeling much enlightened and inspired.
According to the speaker, we are trying to be good parents and give our children all they need to develop into well-rounded and successful adults. We may, however, be missing the very core of our child’s being, his/her spirituality. Spirituality is the base from which grows self-esteem, values, and a sense of belonging. It is what gives life direction and meaning.
What you are going to read next may sound absurd to you, so if radical ideas are not your cup of tea, you may want to stop reading here. Otherwise, read with an open mind.
Here’s a summary to share:
► Suffering comes from the attachment to an idea – holding strong to the age-old notion that this is how we should live, what we must be able to afford, how to parent our kids. It is merely what most people generally think, do, behave and expect out of us. The stronger our desire, the higher our suffering and vice versa. If you have no expectations, you’re FREE.
► Opposites don’t attract. Our spouse mirrors who we are, no matter how different you think he is from you. I have always thought that my parents are two individuals who probably shouldn’t have gotten married but the truth is (and if I really look closely), they are very similar. One expresses while the other suppresses.
► Your children are not your children. Babies come into this world for their very own reasons – some to fulfill a bodily desire and some for the world. Parents are merely a medium for them to transverse into this world. They come through us, not from us. We may house their bodies, but not their souls.
► The golden rule for raising a spiritual child is to love them and support them for whoever they want to be. Treat them as an individual, and permit them to be themselves. Do not attempt to mold them into the image of yourself or anyone else.
Which made me raise the question:
“Letting my son be completely himself and support him in whatever his heart desires, alright. But what if he chooses the wrong path like gambling or stealing? Do we let him be and accept him for who he is too?”
A: We don’t teach or tell them the right from the wrong. Besides, it is what WE think is right and wrong, but is it necessarily right or wrong? Instead, we teach them about choices – making conscious and owned-up decisions. Enlighten them about the consequences, honour their decisions and support them all the way.
► Show them how to be kind, caring and loving. Impart the beauty and values of compassion.
► The key to showing your love is by listening. No lecturing, no trying to be an advisor, no sharing of your tales (unless asked). Just listen.
► Do not try to protect your child against every small blow and disappointment as adversity strengthens character and makes us compassionate. Let him learn it.
► No spanking or yelling. Always make sure the punishment fits the crime. Even the youngest child has a keen sense of justice.
Lastly, a total eye-opener:
♥The goal of being a parent is to work yourself out of parenthood, to make your children so independently powerful that they don’t need you, but rather, want you♥
Right now, I just want to say: “Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy, Ewan.”
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. T. Aaron Lim is a former professor at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, USA. As a dynamic speaker and educator with a wonderful ability to inform and inspire audiences, he uses his multiple talents to help others perform at their peak and achieve their fullest potential. Dr. Aaron has shared his winning insights with thousands of people throughout the world. Along with his wife, Dehyana (www.anchoringthelight.org), he co-founded and co-directs Bodhi Fellowship / Center For Inner Peace, a non-profit, spiritual organization dedicated to teaching unconditional, universal love and selfless service based in Melaka, Malaysia.