Raising A Conscious Child
For me raising a conscious child meant putting away all the parenting books, ignoring the advice from family and friends and just getting real, and real brave. I believe that we are all conscious beings to begin with. Fancy being arrogant enough to think that we are more conscious than our children and that we (as a parent or a society) need to teach them. We are the ones, usually through not being raised consciously ourselves who are often living in the dark. (I like to call it the Matrix!)
Children are born connected to the Universal consciousness. They are wise and all knowing. They come here, choose us, to deliver us these great gifts of simply BEING ONE WITH ALL.
So the only way to raise a conscious child, to allow them to remain connected and wise is to join THEM! You must be a fully Conscious Being yourself. And here in lies the challenge. It sounds easy. But have you ever tried practising it 24 / 7? With one, two or more children watching your every move and soaking in your every feeling, thought, action and word?
Being constantly conscious, being present, remaining loving, forgiving and filled with compassion, creativity and joy for life may be easy for some of you but it was a completely foreign concept for me a few years ago. (and perhaps for a few minutes this evening as I was putting children to bed…..and perhaps yesterday…..and at times last week…..)
It is an ongoing challenge to be first what we want our children to be.
It is easier if we look to them first as our greatest teachers.
And they help us implicitly by mirroring our faults to us on a regular basis. Whatever our weakness is it will show up in their actions every day. Their behaviour issues, their weaknesses, their dislikes, allergies – whatever, are all triggers for us to look inside ourselves. And on the flip side they show endless love, compassion, trust and faith. They are the ultimate personal development tool. But the master key for me was embracing this not as a burden but being thankful for this true gift.
My lessons took the form of my baby with severe sleeping problems. I breast fed her every 2 hours all day and night for about the first 18 months. With severe sleep deprivation and stress I became sick, depressed, resentful and fed up. As she grew older she was clingy. She wouldn’t play with other children, she wouldn’t leave my side. She came everywhere with me and just sat on my lap where ever I was. The hairdresser, the dentist, meetings, coffee with friends. So I went to every doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, energy healer, (so called) health experts seeking answers. What was wrong with her? And what was wrong with me? (I was really sick by this time – she was about 3 years old by then)
Well after a second pregnancy, another screaming baby who wouldn’t sleep and my health declining even more, I hit rock bottom. Many of you mothers know this place I am sure!
One day I got it. A shift occurred and I realised that there was actually nothing wrong with my child. It was just my attitude to her behaviour (and to a lot of other things in the world) that needed to change. A shift from seeking externally to looking internally. The shift from blaming her to accepting my role in creating my own misery. I began to work at BEING conscious. Not at just layering new beliefs on top, but actually in changing my BEING. It was hard work. It still is hard work. I waited anxiously for the day she would start school and I would finally be free of her clinging and have some space to breathe and think. It finally came (after much preparation) she started school in a Steiner (Waldorf) school but after one term I had to pull her out. She was having nightmares and she was clinging again each morning and screaming in sheer terror at the thought of me leaving her at school. She wanted to be there but she couldn’t leave me. I knew what I had to do but I enlisted a counsellor to confirm to me my greatest fear. I had to home school her. She had to stay with me at home longer. Funnily I didn’t feel horrified but a sense of relief. I knew deep down that it was right.
It is now one year later. I have homeschooled for one whole year and now enjoy good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health – and so do my two children.
I can’t believe the power of it (home schooling and being more conscious!) and how much I enjoy it. I feel free because I faced my biggest fear and followed my Divine Path. I have raised my own consciousness more in the last year than I did in the previous 40 years. In every lesson I prepare and deliver for her, whether it be language, arts, numbers I am always blessed 100 fold with what I gain in return. She is like the village Shaman, so wise and true with her words and feelings. Not only have I had to learn to draw, paint and model (I am following the Steiner home school curriculum – Rudolph Steiner education philosophy is the only one I could find that truly treats the child as a spiritual being) but I have been faced with all my ‘stuff’ (how I play victim, how I focus on time too much, how I judge others, how I seek approval all the time, how I let my ego run my life). Once all this is mirrored to me it is up to me to let it go of it or wait for the next lesson where she will show me all over again.
So now I get to live in a daily world of beauty, play, fairy tales, magic, music and dance. Together we have created a lifestyle based on living consciously. My challenge is to allow myself to BE in this world for longer each day – in a world of pure consciousness. To live in her perspective of the greatness, awe and mystery that life beholds. Instead of inflicting any of my unnecessary ‘beliefs’ based on my past fears and experiences.
A homeschooling mum’s job can be long and tiresome. Fifteen hour days usually of cooking, cleaning, playing, teaching, prepping lessons, washing, singing, dancing, gardening, hosting and feeding. But every minute I stay conscious is another minute of pure heaven. The closest connection to God that I have ever felt.
Every day I feel like someone on a journey with no map, no guide, no sniffer dog and often no outside companions! A constant, unknown, unravelling one step at a time. But of course this is what life is for a young child so it makes sense that I, as the mother and home school teacher, should walk that path also as they learn from mimicking us.
But for me little security blankets and comfy cushions to assist the journey are a necessity. I have a husband who keeps me grounded and a dear friend who
isan awesome, and often needed, energy healer. I have nearly all the Bunny Hull CDs and Books now which we use constantly. I have also found some fantastic Steiner inspired resources for teaching and many lovely story books that help remind the child on their inner spirit. Since we don’t watch TV, go to movies or the like, inspirational songs and books are my life line. It is both funny and heart warming to hear the children flip between an upbeat church song, a Bunny Hull song and a yoga chant. And I have to admit I do the same. At circle time with our Friday playgroup I tend to deliver a mixture of Steiner songs, Bunny Hull songs and activities and kids yoga. And the great thing is that coming from three completely different countries and philosophies they complement each other beautifully. Of course why wouldn’t they?
After all, we are One in a World of Difference.
Heidi Robins lives in Adelaide, South Australia and is a mother of 2. Bianca aged 7 and Junah aged 4.
In 2007 Heidi commenced a not for profit organisation called Future Families to inform families on alternative choices such as natural health, gentle birthing, conscious parenting and sustainable living. Heidi ran this organisation for over 3 years but has now slowed down its operation to dedicate her time more fully to raising and educating her children.