Why Does Parenting Matter?

“Much has been written on how to bring up children, a Herculean task if ever there was one. So how do we best transform the child into the finished adult? 

Do we lay down the law, or is it better simply to let them experience life for themselves?

So what are the major mistakes in bringing up children?

“The major mistakes in bringing up children are many, but I will talk only about the most important. 

First: the idea that they belong to you. 

They come through you; you have been a passage, but they don’t belong to you. They are not your possessions. Out of this idea of possessiveness many mistakes arise.

“Once you start thinking that they are your possessions, you have reduced them into things, because only things can be possessed, not human beings. It is the ugliest act you can do. And those poor children are so helpless, so dependent on you, they cannot rebel. They accept whatever your idea is. 

And to protect your possessiveness you make them Christians the moment they are born. You make them Hindus, you make them Mohammedans, you make them Buddhists, you make them Jews – you can’t wait! ”

And can’t you see the absolute absurdity of it?

“It’s hard to not think of them as mine, having given birth to them….
“Just to give birth to a child is one thing – to be a mother is totally different. Any woman can give birth to a child; that’s a very simple phenomenon. But to be a mother needs great art, needs great understanding.

“You are creating a human being – that is the greatest creation! A painter paints a picture; we call it great art. Picasso – we call him a great artist. But what about the mother who created Picasso? A poet writes beautiful poems, but what about the mother who created Shakespeare?”

-Osho, Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Talk #3 

How can I guide them without interfering?

“Don’t take it too seriously, otherwise you will destroy the child. Your seriousness will become destructive. Take it playfully. 

The responsibility is there! – but it has to be taken very playfully…. Play carefully but play playfully. If you become serious, then the child will start feeling your seriousness and the child will be crushed and crippled.

“Don’t burden the child: don’t start feeling that you are doing something great to the child… you are doing something great to yourself. 

By helping this child to grow into a beautiful human being, into a buddha, you will be becoming the mother of a buddha. 

You will not be obliging the child: you will be simply enjoying your own life; your own life will become a fragrance through the child.”

-Osho, Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Talk #3

“Sometimes it is difficult for you to accept the children’s vision – because you have lost it yourself! 

A child is trying to climb a tree; what will you do? You immediately become afraid – he may fall, he may break his leg, or something may go wrong. And out of your fear you rush and you stop the child. 

If you had known what joy it is to climb a tree, you would have helped so that the child could learn how to climb trees! 

And if you are afraid, help him, go and teach him. You also climb with him! Help him learn so he doesn ́t fall. 

Your fear is good – it shows love, that the child may fall, but to stop the child from climbing the tree is to stop the child from growing.”

“There is something essential about climbing trees. If a child has never been doing it, he will remain in some way poor, he will miss some richness – for his whole life. 

You deprive him of something beautiful, and there is no other way to know about it…!
“Let him climb the tree. And if you are afraid, help him, go and teach him. You also climb with him! 

Help him learn so he doesn’t fall. And once in a while, falling from a tree is not so bad either. Rather than being deprived forever.

“The child wants to go out in the rain and wants to run around the streets in the rain, and you are afraid he may catch a cold or get pneumonia or something – and your fear is right! So do something so that he is more resistant to colds. Take him to the doctor; ask the doctor what vitamins should be given to him so that he can run in the rains and enjoy and dance and there is no fear that he will catch cold or will get pneumonia. 

But don ́t stop him. To dance in the streets when it is raining is such a joy! To miss it is to miss something very valuable.

“If you know happiness and if you are aware, you will be able to feel for the child, how he feels.”

-Osho, Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Talk #2

And what is the best thing I can do for my children?

“Give your children meditation as well as thinking. Thinking will help them to be successful in the world, and meditation will help them towards success in the divine. Give them thought to sharpen their intellects, give them meditation to nurture the sacred in their hearts. 

The most important phenomenon in the world happens where sacredness of the heart meets the activeness of the intellect. In that meeting, activity and inactivity balance each other, the day and the night both cease to be, and you start catching glimpses of that which lies beyond both life and death.”

-Osho, Nowhere To Go But In, Talk #10

About juanfilpo

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