Last night, I had a conversation with a close friend who happens to be Buddhist. She has been practicing for over 20 years and is one of the most thoughtful, authentic people I am blessed to know. We are both invested in being intentional parents and she has two boys the ages of mine, so as you might imagine we talk about parenting a lot.
Our conversation went from a discussion of changing parenting paradigms, to how challenging it is to be respectful while enforcing limits with our children, and how respectful parenting can too often tip toward permissive parenting (which actually isn't respectful for either the parent or the child).
My friend told me about meeting the parents of her Buddhist teacher; how they have a gentle manner, yet energetically command respect.
Her observation struck me as a beautiful illustration of how respect is granted. It cannot be demanded. It cannot be threatened, punished, or praised into being. We must embody it. We must become respect in order to inspire it in those around us, including our children.
We are participants of a paradigm shift. We are members of a new generation of parents, seeking the tools to help us approach parenting in a way that is aligned with our values. We are the ones who will create and instill the new parenting paradigm for our children.
We are totally up to the task.
Where are you being intentional in your parenting, and where could you use a shift? Let us know; we're all in this together!