My daughter is 18 years old.
All throughout her childhood, tween and teen years
our family has been a place of joy and peace.
No arguments, no fights and no rebellion.
We get along like best friends.
We have fun together, we create together and we learn together.
We also deeply respect each other’s opinions.
My daughter knows that I want her to do what she feels is right,
but she also will take it very seriously if I offer her a suggestion.
Rather than resist me she is extremely open to my input and actually values it.
I could go on and on listing the wonderful qualities
of our relationship and our family.
I feel very fortunate that things are the way they are
and I feel that my daughter is going to go out into the world
with a solid foundation.
Harmony is Neither an Accident Nor Luck
Having said all this I feel it is important to note
that this did not happen by accident.
Nor is it a result of my daughter being some kind of magical child.
At least no more than all children are magical.
When looking at my family and the relationship that I have with my kid
people often assume that things have been easy and effortless all the way along.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth.
Harmony Through Effort
Our relationship is as it is because of
the hard work we have both done to make it so.
Uncommon Recognition And Respect
From the very day my daughter was born
I have treated her with uncommon recognition and respect.
When I looked into those deep beautiful eyes
the moment she popped out,
even before her cord was cut,
I could see the power, intelligence and love in her.
I knew in that moment that I had to treat her as though
she were my equal and
not someone I had power over.
We Were Equal Learning Partners Right From the Start
I could see that she had at least as much to teach me
as I had to teach her, probably much more.
This has certainly been the case as I reflect back upon our lives together.
It is because I saw her this way and treated her that way that she responded in kind.
I could tell from the moment I saw her that she knew me.
She knew my heart and mind.
She knew my intentions and she could feel my respect.
She agreed to teach me what she knew
and was gracious enough to receive what I had to teach her.
Imagine growing up feeling like your parents admire you
and learn from you so deeply.
What a beautiful self-image this creates.
Living by Principle Requires Fighting my Programs
In order to live this way consistently
I have had to be continuously aware of my own mind.
Like all of us, my mind is a product of my experiences.
My dramas and my victories, my joys and my pain.
I was programmed about life
and my own self
by my parents
from the day I was born.
Those programs are very deep inside me.
Inner Vigilance is Required
Therefore I have to always be on the watch for when a program,
thought or behaviour pattern emerges
that is contrary to the principles by which I chose to parent.
It is too easy to allow those things to take hold
and just become a reflection of my own upbringing.
Instead I chose certain principles and have continuously
pushed myself to adhere to them,
regardless off my own reactions.
I Fail Every Day
Of course I have failed at this often.
If I’m honest I will say I fail every day.
And yet I persist.
However many times I fall off track
I push myself back on and keep going
So the bliss in our family has come through a lot of effort,
gut wrenching effort!
Harmony Available To All
I say all this not to show off, but to express that all families can be this harmonious.
I do believe that a joyous family is possible for everyone.
Anyone willing to work at it can achieve it.
Sometimes even the smallest change in the direction of the conscious parenting principles
can transform your family so dramatically it seems like magic.