I have spent today in the local library doing research on issues that I am writing about. While researching I came across a book that I certainly found interesting and made me think about parenting as a whole. Parenting doesn’t come with a rule book right? It certainly doesn’t but there are some truly fascinating parenting books that give an insight into ways of parenting and it’s interesting to read up on. After all, like most issues in life. Parenting is growth and if we can’t gain in our environment it is worth seeking further. For that reason I can highly recommend Raising our children, raising ourselves by Naomi Aldort. She has successfully parenting three of her own children, holds a PhD, is a writer, a speaker and a counsellor of children.
For me the title totally summed up how we change throughout the years of parenting. We go in with an opinion as to how it is going to be but then as we experience parenting our thoughts can change – often they change at each stage of raising children. Naomi questions whether we should be treating our children as equal to ourselves. I particularly like the poem that she shares at the end of the book. It is not written by herself but another source. Here is the poem:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you
Cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor carries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows
are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
he bends you with this might that His arrows may go
swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so the loves also
the bow that is stable.
I adore English Literature in all of its forms. I find it fascinating how one poem can sum up her entire book and questions how control is not the answer to parenting. She certainly offers an insight into another solution. It is no rule book but definitely worth a thought.