Visionary Parenting: Your Parenting Vision Allows You to Begin at the End
by Laura Pickford Ramirez
Your parenting vision begins at the end.
In many ways, visionary parenting is a lot like writing a book. Some of the best authors out there begin their novels with a vision of the end in mind. If you accept that you are the author of your destiny (and even if you don't), please take a moment to consider this technique.
"Beginning at the end" means that you hold a vision of who you want to be, what you want to accomplish in your life and work back from that. Your parenting vision becomes a kind of mission that you consciously strive toward each and every day. This parenting vision guides your actions, even as it gently compares your behavior to your ideal. As you can imagine, this is a particularly helpful technique for developing a heartfelt style of visionary parenting.
This technique which was presented in Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (and which has been practiced by Native American cultures for hundreds of years) goes something like this: imagine that in thirty years each of your grown children are asked about your influence in their lives. What would they have to say about you as a parent? What in your heart of hearts would you like to hear them say?
As you listen inside yourself, write down what you hear and work with it until you’re satisfied that your words resonate with your deepest wishes for your child. This parenting vision becomes a sacred contract between you and your child.
Let me offer you my own parenting vision as an example. I would want my boys to say:
"My mom was always around. She delighted in making our home an inviting place filled with wonderful sights and smells."
"I could talk to my mother about what I was going through and she would listen and help me to gain a greater perspective. My mother saw inside of me … she saw my attributes, even when I failed to see them myself. She believed in me, helped me to find my nature and the discipline to walk the path toward my dreams."
" My mother liked male company and enjoyed a healthy and loving relationship with my father and so I grew up trusting women and had an innate model for a good relationship. I feel that this was a big part of my ability to find a healthy and mutually supportive relationship with my wife."
" My mother taught me courage and conviction. She taught me to pick my battles wisely and to fight for justice. She taught me that relationships matter more than things and that true success creates peace of mind. My mother is part of me and I carry her with me in everything I do. "
It’s important to commit your parenting vision to paper. In this way, you’re able to define clearly what you want. Most importantly, your hopes and dreams for your child will become a written commitment with a greater aspect of yourself.
To continue the process, set aside some time once or twice per week to review your parenting vision and make sure that you’re aligned with it. Be gentle with yourself. Revise your vision as necessary. Use it as your compass, as a means of guiding your behavior and as a reminder of what’s truly important in your relationship with your child.
Ask yourself what you can do on a daily basis that will help make this parenting vision a reality. In what ways can you find creative solutions to the challenges your child presents?
(In my book, Keepers of the Children, I reveal a secret that will make your vision as heartfelt and resonant as possible. I also reveal strategies that will help create a deep connection with your child ... a connection that will last your entire life.)
What kind of role model do you need to be and what sort of values and experiences can you offer your child in order to bring this to vision to light? If you need help, write a separate request to ask for guidance. Your answers may come in dreams, intuitive flashes or through other synchronicities.
Always remember that although you may think of yourself as the teacher, you’re the student too. After all, children are our ultimate teachers. They challenge us to plumb our depths and reach our spiritual heights. They teach us about the virtues of courage, patience, compassion and humanity and the capacity of the human heart. Most of all they give us vision and a greater sense of how our individual actions contribute to the future and quality of other people’s lives.
As the parent of two young children, I’m always amused when married or single people tell me that they don’t want to have children because we live in such a terrible world. Perhaps the most effective way to create lasting change is to raise a generation of children who are loving and humane, yet grounded in the realities of the world. Raising your children with a parenting vision will help you to create this.
Your commitment to your parenting vision has an even greater truth as a shared vision for the planet. Every gift you give your child becomes your gift to humanity because it enhances your child’s ability to reach out and make an impact. The seeds that you sow in your child’s consciousness will bear fruit for generations to come.
After all is said and done, the future of humanity begins at home. And it all begins with a parenting vision held in the hearts and minds of parents like you and I.
Copyright © 2000 by Laura Pickford Ramirez. All worldwide rights reserved.
This article is the sole property of the author and may not be copied, distributed or reproduced in whole or in part, electronically or in any form, without her prior written consent.
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