This is a short version of Rearing the New Generation.
Parenting is challenging, but not just for the usual reasons. Many of us are trying to bring our kids up to be capable citizens of a fair and sustainable world.
How can we enable our kids to get things right?
To avoid projecting stress upon children and overburdening them we need to set a positive example; the initial evolution has to occur in us. Ridding ourselves of our judgmental and defeatist mindset is essential. Then we can make progress by sensing the positive potential of humankind, having compassion for all, taking action in any small yet positive way that inspires us, noting and highlighting the good things and through collaboration and forgiveness.
Do our kids have to cope with change?
Change is desperately necessary so it is NOT changing that is the only thing we need fear.
What does it look like in action?
I, for example am working upon myself and my attitude. I have my own Manifesto for One (and see here) and I involve my family and encourage them to join in.
How can we protect our children? How can we bring them up to be different, better...?
Our kids are more resilient and capable than we have ever been given credit for, to enable them to work up to and beyond their limitations we need to first credit ourselves with this resilience and capability. In making this change we allow ourselves and them to shape the future in a positive way.
So how about setting examples and not exhibiting contradictory behaviour?
It will take time for the best ways to emerge and in the meantime we must simply do just the best we can, step by step. The difficulties are no excuse to give up!
What is the essence?
Active and conscious nurturing is the tool that will help the healthy growth of our little ones and the community around us to extend beyond us and our limitations. Kids learn life lessons when we exhibit them as our everyday bahaviour.
Our children can watch us grow too, allowing them to see us learning and adapting does not take away our status as amazing and adored protector in their eyes, instead this form of allowing ourselves to be taught is showing our capacity to extend beyond our limitations. Sounds heavy? Sounds destabilizing? Not at all! Children have all the tenacity and rigour of mind to deal with this and much, much more.
But every child (person) is different! How can kids deal with the heavy stuff?
Knowing how a child's mind works is beneficial, but as a baseline it's good to keep succinct, clear and truthful and mostly explain through action and example rather than just words. The importance of humour and fun as teaching, releasing and healing tools cannot be overstated.
The birth of Nurture Culture.
The world needs doula or midwives to assist in the birth of Nurture Culture. We have a have a whole lot of work to do, first upon ourselves, then for each other and for our own and the world's children.
10 things we can do to assist children, ourselves and each other today.
1. Be happy. Have fun.
Kids (and adults) respond to positivity, things they learn while having fun are much more likely to stay with them.
2. Look in the mirror.
Be what you want your children and the world to be.
3. Listen to your inner voice.
If you believe that things will improve and that you are a valuable part of that, then your kids and the world will have a chance of getting there.
4. Be truthful and fair.
You want a truthful, fair world? Then be so in every area of your life.
5. Have empathy.
Have empathy for your child, appreciate their age, comprehension level and capabilities, then they will grow to have empathy for others too.
6. Prompt questioning, listen and talk about what you do and why.
Learn stuff together. Empower children by letting them see how conscious decisions are made and acted upon.
7. Tell stories.
Notice, share your perceptions and listen to what your child perceives, from this open, receptive and story telling stance hitherto unknown possibilities can emerge.
8. Be in charge.
Stand up for yourself, your health, your principles, your life, your people and your planet and watch your children take it upon themselves to stand with you.
9. Be consistent
Even if everything else in life changes, the emotional home is the nurturing nest essential to healthy development of the individual and society as a whole.
10. Do stuff
Be proactive, entice your kids to join you and let them adopt the habit of being positive and active humans.
I reserve the right to add to this list as, just like everyone, I'm learning as I go along.