Having had three children, all very different in every single way, with absolutely no similarities even in their looks, it didn’t take me long to discover that what worked for one did not work for another.
I remember going into my second pregnancy feeling like it was my first, and having a friend share with me to treat it as that, and I found parenting them was no different – they were all as if they were my first – and three children in, I am still learning and feel like I am starting from scratch at times.
The only thing I could feel that was the same was they all needed the same quality and consistency from me: they needed to be parented, and that came from how I was with me first, then from me being fully with myself I could feel what they needed individually and how I could support them.
After having our first child I observed how easy it is to place them in front of a television to give me some time to get things done… a break. These days TV has been replaced by electronic devices in becoming the babysitter of the millennium. And what a great distraction… a child can be distracted by an electronic device for hours on end, allowing you as much time as possible.
In our case, we soon discovered that our daughter became quite despondent, distant and at times angry during and after watching television or using an electronic device. We started to cut back on the amount of television she watched, and electronic devices weren’t really a big thing when she was young so that was fairly easy to cut back, and out.
Eventually, after noticing a massive shift in her without watching television, we decided to stop watching TV altogether. It was a choice we had also made for ourselves earlier on so it was a natural next step for us. After all, if we could feel how television impacted on us and why we were choosing to watch it in the first place, then she was definitely being affected equally so.
Again, the choices we made when it came to parenting our children first came from us and what we had felt, and watching television for us felt like a distraction: it took us away from feeling what was needed, and from being able to take into account each child individually – each one needing different routines, rhythms, boundaries and consequences.
Even though each child is different, there is a level of consistency that each child needs to feel from us as parents. This includes a willingness to be present in each moment to be able to feel what is needed, rather than going into ticking the boxes or wanting to look good. It also includes not being afraid to stand out or shy away from the reactions of others because we choose to parent our children in a way that is different and at times confronting for others.
I see myself as their guardian until such point in time that they are old enough to make their own choices. Being a parent has allowed me to commit to my own level of and quality of livingness, to connect to and feel what is needed in each moment for each child as an individual, but also taking the whole into consideration.
There is no off time when you are parenting children – you are always on. I know through my own observations in the home the impact electronic devices, unhealthy foods, routines and rhythms have on our children and it is not a life I choose for them.
Don’t get me wrong: at times it can be challenging – being ‘on’ all the time asks me to not go for the distraction or quick fix. But being ‘off’ – I have discovered very quickly – is far worse, and for me parenting is not at all ‘in-joyable’ when I am looking to escape, even if it is just for a second.
I appreciate every day all that our children have brought to us, and at such a young age have shown me the absolute glory there is in loving and deeply caring for myself.
I also deeply appreciate and am forever ‘great-full’ to Serge Benhayon for reflecting and living true family, for without this reflection, I would not have the family or children I have today.
Blessed in every way for these children being sent, and an absolute honour to be their guardian for the lives they have chosen this time around.
Published with permission from my husband.
By Nicole Serafin, 45, Woman, Self-employed Salon owner, wife and mother, Tintenbar NSW
Re-claiming the Responsibility of Being a Parent
Parenting from the Heart
Mothering, Me and Serge Benhayon
We learn a great deal by parenting ourselves with the same care and nurturing as we offer a young child.
“No off button” turns the whole way we do thing around as we are always connected and we are choosing to be in that awareness, so we are turned onto our essences and not turned off to this innate part of us, our most divine aspect or Soul.
Nicole I feel that there is no time off at all whether it be parenting yourself or children or any other person. I can feel how we have to be on all the time because the negative forces that surround us are trying to infiltrate our bodies and get us to give up, withdraw, checkout, become distracted, anything to stop us from returning back to our soul. Its a constant vigilance. We have no real idea of how our every move is watched, and sometime the negative energy allows you to feel your going really well and then suddenly they pull you back its like a mouse being played with by a cat.
TV. has taken us back to the dark ages and we are under a spell of thinking we are evolving, when the use of this medium and so many other devices are divisive in the way they separate us.
Are any of us the same? I feel not. Sure our essence is identical but on top of our essence we’ve had a million experiences that happened to us in a specific way, at a specific time and for specific reasons. All of these experiences shape us in incredible detail, detail that is minute with nuances that are attributable to us and us alone. The Way of The Livingness is incredible because it is a way of living that suits everyone, not because it treats everyone the same but because it is able to bend and weave itself to the exact requirements of us all.
Amazing Nicole, super inspiring to hear a mum claim that she is deeply loving and caring for herself.
Seeing ourselves as guardian of our children is a lovely way to see it, whilst deepening how we live and respond to life, ‘Being a parent has allowed me to commit to my own level of and quality of livingness, to connect to and feel what is needed in each moment for each child as an individual, but also taking the whole into consideration.’
“… they all needed the same quality and consistency from me: ” Very true – then we can feel what each child needs in any given moment.
Beautiful Nicole, thank you for sharing. I love how you describe yourself as your children’s guardian until they are able to make their own choices.
The interesting thing I’ve been noting about parenting and without having a child myself is seeing how parenting can also and equally be applied to adults too when there is the loving parenting of oneself.
Nicole, I have also discovered this; ‘But being ‘off’ – I have discovered very quickly – is far worse, and for me parenting is not at all ‘in-joyable’ when I am looking to escape, even if it is just for a second.’ I have observed that if I react, if I try and escape, if I try and avoid what is going on then this simply does not work. I have noticed that dealing with things as they happen, staying present in my body and expressing how I feel and calling out what doesn’t feel loving is a much truer and more enjoyable way to parent.
I can see from your writing, how complicated parenting can be, with so many different needs coming from our children. But then you also show how simple it can be and actually if each child is regarded as their own person, with their own journey, which has its own set of challenges, then t is not the case complicated multitasking, but rather supporting and developing people with all of you and the skills that you have.
A beautiful honouring and understanding offered here Nicole’ that we are guardians of our children. Never are they ours or do we own them, for as soon as we think we do we are imposing on them our emotional needs that selfishly hinder their learning and our fostering of their understanding of how to live knowing who they are and how to live their true power in the world as they grow up.
Knowing how to read a child and what is truly going on for them is a parents greatest ally.
The art to parenting is ‘reading’ – reading whats actually going on with them and why, many children are playing out past life fears and hurts – when we understand this we can work better with them to bring about healing.
I know that when I was growing up I was vastly different from my sisters therefore we did need to be parented differently. However no-one know about it back then so it is lovely to know of families who are doing this today.
Loving consistence is a key factor in raising children it gives them a sense of safety and trust where they can grow and expand who they truly are.
Offering them the space to work through what may feel like challenges yet reflect the imperfections of the world and how we learn and grow amongst it all.
Being consistent in our quality of connection to ourselves and others is the greatest reflection we can offer another.
When there is consistency we are offered what is needed for everyone at that moment and it is this that holds the quality and expression for each and everyone.
I have a young toddler who continues to show us how sensitive she is. When she spends time on any devices – it really effects her – and so we have to work as a family to be responsible and allow her to understand that she simply can’t handle them. Once we honour this, and explain it to her – she is fine – but this is a way of raising children in an accountable way that means they start to understand the effects of these gadgets.
Beautiful to hear that a simple explanation sufficed re I.T. I remember my young son going off the wall after drinking orange juice many years ago now. He can even recall it and we have a laugh now, but it wasn’t easy at the time to explain how his body really couldn’t handle it.
Bringing understanding to children, taking time to connect with them, and explain what is happening is super important.
I agree with you Lorraine every child whether they are aware of it or not wants to be met and understood for themselves. I have watched how young children try to get attention of their parents who are distracted and the sagging of their bodies as they feel the rejection. I feel for them as I felt for myself that as children we can easily become the unseen to our parents.
I really notice how easy it is for parents to get quiet time – electronic devices certainly keep kids quiet, but from what I observe there is a great price to pay. Electronic devices are addictive and I notice the effects on my son and other children who watch them. From my observations it affects concentration, can make kids hyperactive and unsettled, tired, grumpy and unable to focus. I have also seen them how they can affect children’s learning and ability to communicate.
‘…being ‘off’ – I have discovered very quickly – is far worse,…’ I know I avoided the responsibility of being a parent because it is 24/7 and the off moments are so starkly reflected; but I’m starting to appreciate being off isn’t ever without consequence or effect and the more honest I become about this the more I can’t deny responsibility.
“Even though each child is different, there is a level of consistency that each child needs to feel from us as parents.” Parenting as I remember from when my children were young was forever evolving as the children grew older and trying to keep them in one ‘box’ together was not possible. Letting go of beliefs, and perceived ideas of what they should be doing and when, does not take into account their individual uniqueness, their own style they have brought with them into this life; that is for us to honour and nurture and not to control.
If we go through life with a cookie cutter approach it’s no wonder we find it same and get hurt. We repeat the same actions we thought worked and restrict life to what we think it ought to look like. It’s not sweet.
Nicole, I am realising this with my son and when I look after other children; ‘There is no off time when you are parenting children – you are always on.’ Trying to escape or check out simply doesn’t work. Dealing with situations as they arise seems key and trying to ignore what is going on in my experience simply doesn’t work. Children need that consistency and resolution.
Its ironic that TV is such a great way to switch off… a remote control we use on ourselves for us to check out and give up. Much better to switch off the TV
Love the observation of what TV does to the kids, quietly creeping up and radically altering their behaviour, of course it requires you to be present enough to make the link. But I do wonder if we apply the same observational skills to ourselves as adults? Do we take the same advice and limit our screen time, not stay up late watching TV, check our mood afterwards…. be good to check that!
Beautiful that you have shared so wisely that the key to parenting is about quality, as it is the quality of love that we live with for ourselves that confirms the quality for love that our children are, which is one and the same, and is what our children deserve. Reflecting the vibration of love for our children to feel, is what fosters their exploration in developing a relationship with this quality of who they are for themselves, their essence. This is everything that is needed for children to grow in confidence, knowing who they are and how to live guided by their innate knowingness and wisdom.
I also can feel how watching tv is a distraction yet although I do not watch tv, I clock and there may be brief moments when I find other ways to distract myself or check out during my day. The more I get to the root of those movements that takes me out from being present with myself, the more I support those around me.
All children are different and the way we parent may bring a slightly different tone and expression that supports each one but the truth lies in holding consistency in our lives that reflects far greater in the loving and stable support our children need.
Busting the myth that there is a right or wrong way to parent, this article invites me to consider a much bigger picture than my sometimes restricted view of parenting; honouring every child as someone unique, an equal learner in life and here to develop and deepen in relationships.
Children are beings who descend for their next life experience to evolve.
The love is what we can bring by our livingness during their lives the rest is up to them and their karma.
Like children we love to think we can treat every moment like one from the past. We like to try to apply old solutions to new days. By running on repeat we run ourselves into the ground and miss the opportunity to trust our feelings and just live. Thank you Nicole.
As someone who is recently pregnant – it really feels so different the second time – and as if it is brand new. It is like I can’t compare it because my body won’t let me remember it or hold onto it. I love this experience – this experimentation. It is so confirming that no 2 babies are the same.
” they all needed the same quality and consistency from me: they needed to be parented, and that came from how I was with me first, then from me being fully with myself I could feel what they needed individually and how I could support them.” So beautiful to know and makes so much sense as connected to ourselves deeply we know what is needed and that love knows everything we need to know for our children and everyone uniquely .
Every moment of life is unique, and requires us to treat it as such – the only parts that repeats are our patterns, ideals and beliefs. Everything you share about children Nicole applies to our whole life too.
so simple in making raising kids about quality first. How beautiful. It really can be that simple and this sharing shows the power of letting kids just be who they are.
Role modelling the same consistency of quality and connection to our innermost can create such a feeling of trust and safety for a child, allowing them to trust and follow their own innermost connection.
Every one of us wants to be met, loved, cherished and honoured deeply, we know when we are being supported, judged or dictated to, and we can all feel when someone is consistent in their own life, genuine or talking about something they themselves don’t live. There is no one way to parent, but the foundation of love, truth and honouring as well as a consistent reflection of living a responsible and caring life is hugely supportive for us all.
Sitting here pondering on learning to always be ‘on’. I don’t have children but that doesn’t mean I am void of that lesson. Life has a way of showing all of us the same lessons but tailored to us just as parenting different children can be as you’ve shared.
We are all unique, we bring different qualities and what we offer the world. My children were and are very different in some ways, and equally what I learnt and still learn from them is different.
We try to fit parenting into boxes, we constantly look around us for a model of parenting that works, we take what we see as the good bits and leave what we see as the bad bits which we try to fit into a picture of parenting which doesn’t work. What you are describing here of being their caretaker and guiding them until they are old enough to make their own choices takes away the need for guilt and blame and allows each individual to have their own unique expression.
We could be in a room full of people who have all experienced the same set of circumstances, ie a divorce, or even all been witness to the same thing however our personal experiences of it would all be very different. Therefore we could not assume that everyone would need to be treated in the same way in terms of the support they may need. The same is true for children, who all have their own take on life and how they cope with it or not, so it goes without saying that every child needs parenting according to their own needs.
I completely agree with you Nicole that when we make choices in how to parent our children it has to come from our own way of life, what we have felt as the truth, that’s the only way to teach our children the notion of responsibility. Children have a very strong radar and will immediately feel when something comes from our ‘head’ so to speak.
We are definitely not all the same in our expression but we are also definitely the same when it comes to being love, harmony, love, joy and truth. We are exactly the same in our essence and the best parenting can be done from being connected to this essence ourselves.
Sharing a one unifying truth in our essence and having unique expressions of this, like different angles from the same point of light.
It is interesting to read how the 3 children all needed a different way of approach.
As i just had one child this life time and wonderi g how it works when youallow for example one thing for one kid and not for the other.
And indeed the consistency as parents and the being present are important aspect of a loving education.
Reading about TV distracting from knowing what is needed is so poignant. How different would my life be if I choose to say yes to being aware each evening ready for the day as to whatever has bothered me during the day that I have ignored.
Being fully with ourselves enables us to feel how to be in life, with ourselves and with others, ‘they needed to be parented, and that came from how I was with me first, then from me being fully with myself I could feel what they needed individually and how I could support them.’
Children are beautiful emanations of the one Soul but each with different expressions.
It is so true that we can hold the same quality with all children but that their expression will differ from child to child. And so it shows the importance of as a parent, having a solid reflection to our children and allowing them to explore how they express this in their own way.
When there are moments in my day where there is not a willingness to be present with my children but to switch off and distract myself what am I avoiding or running away from? I am not only running away from feeling what is needed but avoiding the connection to self. The connection to self is first; in that moment choosing connection to myself is love.
And is this where our true responsibility comes in… not a burdensome thing, but the willingness to (and joy of) staying open to learning and not running away from anything?
Beautiful Nicole, gorgeous light you shed on parenting, how we are opened to see more truth on our parenting and that in fact it is never meant to be the same. This takes the pressure of that we can listen more to our feelings and less to images, ideals and beliefs that we have been brought up with or the way we have set up our society, communities.
Children react when we as parents are not on it, it feels like a responsibility of being a parent to be on and not check out, they rebel, play up and cause issues when they do not feel that you are aware, present and supportive. When we are on it, it offers a them a steady and consistent foundation as they grow, this can not be underestimated.
Well said Samantha, and, in truth, this goes for all our relationships.
I agree Samantha, children feel everything. We condemn the ‘naughty’ child but could the child that misbehaves either at home or in the classroom or in both places be reflecting something we are avoiding within ourselves that we don’t like to see, hence the reaction and blame on the child? Being open to the reflection a child is offering through his or her behaviour is paramount because then, we are open to learning.
I love what you share here, Nicole, ‘The only thing I could feel that was the same was they all needed the same quality and consistency from me: they needed to be parented, and that came from how I was with me first, then from me being fully with myself I could feel what they needed individually and how I could support them’. Energy works through our children in the same way it works through us and we can feel our buttons being well and truly pushed at times, which is why it is so important to come back and re-connect with ourselves before we go into reaction. Then we allow the space to feel into what is needed in that moment.
Asking whether children all need to be parented the same is like asking if we all need to dress the same; it’s possible, but does this appreciate everyone’s individual expression and flair?
When we hold expectations with our kids they start to learn very quickly that they can’t just be themselves and resort when very young, to trying to please and perform for parents, and I see that regularly at my work.
Letting kids check out in front of the TV or by using electronic devices or gaming has its price further down the line. It might buy a bit of time and space in the short term but longer term it leads to alienation, lack of communication and moodiness, amongst other things.
They are also becoming the lost generation and prime candidates for lowering the age of the onset of dementia.
To understand that the behaviour of our children (and our own too) can come from eating certain foods that are not supportive for us or watching tv, playing a video game and so on is absolutely life changing, because, then we can cut back the things instead of thinking that it is normal behaviour from time to time and ignore the fact.
All children are different and have mastered different things, it stands to reason therefore that there are different things they have to master and therefore need a different approach to their support. What is beautiful about this, however, is the reflection offered to us all in terms of that mastery as without it we would not be able to support each other to evolve.
If only we recognised that there are things that children have already mastered and didn’t treat them as most of us do, with the assumption that they know nothing. We miss out on the their reflection, whilst their qualities get dismissed or ignored or both.
I know that I have always known that our expression is different this does not mean that we should be treated differently in value just supported to bring our own qualities to the fore and share these with the world.
Reading your words today Nicole I get the sense how we can tend to look out at the world and expect other people to think, feel and behave as we do. We call this similarity friendship and connection, but is it really? It’s become super clear to me that we each are very different in the way we operate – but the love and connection we have inside is the thing that is here to unify. The more we step back and understand that we each bring something beautiful and unique, we can stop living in a world of wrong and right and embrace each other’s light.
Children have just as much to offer to adults as the other way around, treating them as lesser is super damaging for both parties.
Living or being with children is not a one way relationship, and this is important to see because we are not the only ones who do the teaching but equally can learn from them about life, sensitivity and how the relationship needs to deepen..
Providing a loving and nurturing environment is the foundation for setting boundaries which is easy to feel here. Boundaries without this are just rules.
The only cookie cutter parenting is to be you in all you do, the true loving expression of you, then you will always be what is needed for whom ever that may be.
“Being a parent has allowed me to commit to my own level of and quality of livingness” – this is gorgeous because I very rarely hear parents talk about what they have learned from their children, when children are very obviously people we can learn a huge amount from.
“Eventually, after noticing a massive shift in her without watching television, we decided to stop watching TV altogether. It was a choice we had also made for ourselves earlier on so it was a natural next step for us. After all, if we could feel how television impacted on us and why we were choosing to watch it in the first place, then she was definitely being affected equally so. ” This is a magnificently courageous, sane choice and I fully applaud you for making it Nicole.
I love how you view your role as a parent Nicole, “I see myself as their guardian until such point in time that they are old enough to make their own choice.” I feel that by developing a loving foundation that children can come back to we can support them to live in a way that is honouring of themselves and their expression of the wisdom they can connect to.
Thank God we are all different even though at heart we are all the same. Life can never be boring or a drudge with kids when they are allowed to be who they truly are rather than boxed into a ‘should be like’. Challenging at times yes but so much more fun
I have twin daughters that were like chalk and cheese, which are now 41. I remember one did not even try to learn to walk and fall as they do. She would just stand and hang on to something and watch her sister’s, attempts at walking. After the act was mastered and had watched the mechanics of the process and then, she just walked, after observing how to do it. What fun would the world be if we were all the same?
“Even though each child is different, there is a level of consistency that each child needs to feel from us as parents.” this confirms to me the real importance in not only the fact each child is different but that the quality we are and bring to each and every situation should be the same, just different in the way it may be with each person.
“There is no off time when you are parenting children – you are always on. ” What a blessing children bring for this to be the case. The notion and perceived entitlement of off-time is what dampens us and our connections with others. We are meant to be always on, always purposeful and thus serving – not withdrawing from life.
This is the power and the potential of love that every child brings.
What articles of real life experiences that differ so much to the norm. There are so many articles here that could be used as a handbook to life and parenting. Throw away the books from the shops, this is where it is at!
What you have shared here is total gold Nicole, as true parenting starts within ourselves first and the reflection that is offered to our young, as it is by way of reflection that they are inspired to make positive changes in their lives understanding that life is about responsibility and choices that are aligned more to the true essence of who we are.
Francisco that is undoubtedly true in the fact that the more myself and my wife deepen the care and love for ourselves, the more we reflect to our child how to grow up, how to develop and what is most important in life.
Consistency is essential in all our relationships… It is the foundation of true connection.
Children are barometers of truth and it is so amazing to actually appreciate this in full. Technology can take them out of their bodies and into their heads very easily, and as parents, we can clock this and see it as an opportunity to support them to not lose themselves. it is also a great reflection for us as parents and what technology actually does to people.
Children are not born liars, they learn it from us.
This is spot on that every child requires uniquely tailored parenting that best support themselves to establish a way of being in life where they are confident to deal with whatever comes their way without compromising their sensitivity. This is why sibling rivalry (comparison) can be such a killer the natural deepening of love and understanding that is there for every family. Often the solution to comparison is to treat everyone the same regardless of their unique qualities and the specific love and support one needs for what they are developing in their specific stage of life. Love treats everyone equal but quality first and foremost, the physical outplay of the is simply the delivery of what is needed in each moment.
True Abby, uniquely tailored parenting is a natural and responsive thing with each child, and exposes the traditions that are often adopted when making decisions for our children – where the choice is not what the child truly needs.