I’m an idea guy. Good ideas are exciting to me even if they’re unrelated to my work or interests. I’m also passionate about parenting and child nurture, growth and development. I’ve observed that some people become very ideological about parenting approaches, almost like a religion.
What do I mean? People frequently attach themselves to a certain philosophy, technique, style or personality. Once we find our guru or ascribe to an approach, we evaluate everybody else through that lens.
At this point, we are still on the edge of being thoughtful and reflective parents, caregivers, practitioners. What we do next determines whether or not we go down the rabbit hole into ideological wonderland or stay on the path toward healthy child development.
A contemplative approach to parenting keeps the door open. It appreciates the value of every approach. It rigorously filters the flash of gold from the mud. It recognizes that what triggers aversion likely irritates the raw nerve of our own exposed shadow. That’s often where we will find our learning edge or, more importantly, a wound waiting to heal.
The reflection I read stated: “A great disappointment in our time is that organized religion itself has become more ideological than transformative.” The same can be said for parenting approaches.
We’re at our best as parents when we do our own work first. Helping our children overcome challenges and gain strong life skills follows naturally. It’s a journey toward mutual transformation. When this is true, no single philosophy, approach, or technique will be an exclusive, comprehensive or permanent fit.