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New Thought Parenting and Guiding Children To Self Discovery
There’s little that is more humbling than the experience of parenting. The fellow step-parents out there can relate to the complex yet beautiful dynamics surrounding this role. Those who have given birth for the first time recntly, like myself also share many of the same anxieties and feelings of self doubt. There are different kinds of loving parents out there, but the one common denominator is the desire to facilitate the best life possible for our kids. Some parents chose to leave traditional religion out of parenting and seek a horizon built on wholesome principles, nonetheless. New Thought Spirituality should be considered here.
Showing Them The Way Without a Map
An important element of parenting is helping our children navigate self-discovery and unlocking their skills and goals. New Thought spirituality emphasizes the power of positive thinking, the law of attraction, and the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit. While it is not a specific parenting philosophy, some principles from New Thought spirituality can be applied to guide children in discovering their interests – and working hard to excell at those interests. For those who have been over-thinking this like I have, here are helpful concepts which align with New Thought concepts.
1. Positive Thinking:
Encourage a positive mindset in your children. Teach them to focus on their strengths and the possibilities ahead rather than dwelling on limitations. Positive thinking can enhance their self-esteem and confidence, making it easier for them to explore different interests. Deepak Chopra wrote in The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents, “The source of all creation is pure conciousness. Pure potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest.” Instilling the magnificence of potentiality and the power they have in creating their own reality comes with setting an example with the way we live and the way we approach challenges, wins and losses.
New Thought often involves techniques like visualization, where individuals imagine their desired outcomes. Playtime is a great time to implement this because the imaginations of children are so rich that “make-believe” is basically real to them in a different way than most adults can remember. That is to say, they know they are playing but they are capable of letting themselves become fully invested into the game. Use these moments to encourage your children to visualize themselves engaged in various activities that excite them. Do they like outterspace? Pretend to be astronauts with them! Do they want to be musicians? Be their audience when they first begin to play. Children often start by pretending to play an instrument before actually pursuing it. I sure did anyway. Play can be the first step in helping them develop a clearer sense of what they enjoy. The goals come later and visualization will help them set those and achieve those.
New Thought spirituality often involves mindfulness practices. Teach your children mindfulness techniques to help them stay present and fully engage in activities. Being present in the moment allows them to better connect with their interests and discover what truly captivates them. Affirmations that reaffirm their confidence is a part of this. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Seigel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D unpacks the ways that the brain literally changes throughout our lives. Teaching our children mindfulness gives them the power to literally mold the way they see the world and process event in their lives.
6. Encourage Exploration:
Tailending from the previous point, New Thought spirituality emphasizes the idea that individuals have the power to shape their own reality. Encourage your children to explore a variety of activities without fear of failure. Emphasize that the journey of self-discovery is just as important as the destination.
7. Expressing Gratitude:
Gratitude is a key aspect of many spiritual practices, including New Thought. Encourage your children to express gratitude for the opportunities to explore their interests. This positive mindset can foster a sense of fulfillment and joy in their pursuits.
Be Their Compass By Being There
Remember that no parent is perfect, but your children will appreciate your time, presence and attention. It is through our actions and approaches to the challenges of life that we truly teach them. As they find themselves, it’s our example that helps shape their compass for doing so. Aspects of New Thought Spirituality can be beneficial. It seems best to approach parenting with a holistic perspective. Consider combining these principles with other parenting philosophies, adapting them to your family’s values, and always respecting and supporting your children’s unique qualities and preferences. They will appreciate it in the end, and they’ll be so grateful to have you as their parent.