Who Needs a Parenting Plan? You!

What is your parenting plan? Do you have one?

If not, don't feel bad because most parents don't. Most parents raise their children semi-consciously, in one of two ways. Either they raise their kids exactly how their parents raised them or they raise them in ways that are opposite from the ways in which they were raised.

Even the rebellious parent is not as clever as she thinks because she is not creating a true relationship with her child, she is just rebelling against the relationship she had with her mother and father. And even the grownup who has rebelled against the ways in which she was brought up will find herself acting just like her parents. So what is the solution?

A parenting plan. A written contract between you and your child will guide your behavior, especially during challenging moments when most of us tend to resort to acting like our parents. In my book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, I talk about the importance of creating a vision for your child. This idea is based on the Native American vision quest and invites you to make parenting into a journey deep into the heart. A journey that will show you who you really are—as a parent and a human being. Best of all, you will learn to see your child from the inside out, unlike other parenting books that teach you to define your child by his behavior.

You see, the parenting plan is not really for your child—it is for you. As adults, we are the ones who have been indoctrinated and need to examine our behavior. We are the people who have been alienated from our hearts. When babies come into the world, they are pure of heart. Unless they have been neglected or abused, they are connected to their center. As we raise them, using tactics like shame, blame and punishment to get them to do what we want them to, they suffer a rupture of the heart. And so the torch is passed.

I'm here to tell you that we can raise children to get along with others, to know how to behave appropriately in a variety of situations without resorting to the tactics our parents used.

This is where your parenting plan comes in. It will help guide you through the forest of your own indoctrination, so you can emerge on the other side, as a whole human being. It will transform you from a semi-conscious parent into a conscious one. As you use your plan, you will reflect upon your upbringing with understanding and compassion for yourself and your parents and this compassion will be passed on to your child. Best of all, as you learn to see into your child's heart, you will see more clearly into your own.

About the author:Laura Ramirez is the author of Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting . This award-winning book is the only parenting book that combines ancient native ideas (like stewardship) with heart-centered psychology to show parents how to raise children to develop their natural strengths and stay attuned with their spiritual nature. This book makes parenting into a journey of discovery for parent and child. It will open your heart and mind and turn parenting into a spiritual practice.

Laura teaches a parenting class that is starting soon. Since it's a teleseminar, you can take it from the comfort of your home. Click on the link for a schedule and a glimpse into what you will learn.

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Copyright © 2006 by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved. This article may not be copied in full or in part without the express written consent of the author, however, you may link to it from your web site, blog or forum. parenting plan

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