8 years ago, when my first child was born, I asked myself questions like: wait! what?… What does it mean to be a great parent and raise a child with love? What is the essence of wise parenting? Who is a child? how to raise a child with a delicate balance of staying true to human values and keep growing creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial? where does it happen? When is the best time? Why do some parents succeed while others fail? I wonder… & discovered parenting as a quests laboratory that requires constant observation and testing; so as a studio where an artist has a clear pottery of values in mind and skillfully works to bring it into being.
I found myself looking for every opportunity to learn more on the practical side of wise parenting to raise kind, loving, curious, caring, mature and wise individuals. It lead me to study deep the wisdom of the past, discover latest scientific findings, learn evidence based strategies, read hundreds of books, take dozens of classes – & even got certified by Microsoft Educator Community as an Innovative Educator, and talk with hundreds of families from different countries, cultures, nationalities, & religions.
I realized despite our difference, we have more in common and couldn’t we at least agree that we, parents, share the same mission: to raise a human being as a whole engaging heart, mind, body, and soul. A creative and innovative individual with a good character. I also saw an enormous need for parents to better understand HOW to impart greatness: love, kindness, responsibility, gratitude, respect, strengths, wisdom and maturity. Parents are the most powerful & influential teachers in their kids’ lives.
The 3 Key Lessons:
As a result of my study, I’ve learned many lessons worth sharing, but what truly matters is knowing that:
1. Every child is like a unique pottery designed for a mission & purpose in life to make this world a better place for the common good. As clay needs just enough water in the beginning to make a shape, so as a child needs good timely parenting practices teaching values and life lessons with calmness, positive emotions, mercy, and practicality; teaching by illuminating & inspiring with love and not by threatening or shaming.
2. To bring up a unique pottery requires mastery of a potter who has a vision of a final art with hope, faith, and love and skillfully working to bring it into being. So parents are not born with mastery but can learn the parenting ‘craft’ by understanding the foundational principles in parenting and skillfully practicing them daily. As wisdom says, “Good parents are not the ones who don’t fail but the ones who learn”. That’s how the learning parents community was born.
3. Yes, understanding parenting principles is relatively easy. Teaching & upbringing our children’s potential and working on our own behavior is slow and difficult. Thus, the goal of the learning community is to invite parents to think, reflect, ask questions, gain more confidence, share wisdom, believe, “talk the talk” & “walk the walk”, and learn from our own observation and testing lab so as from each other. As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the whole world to raise a family.
When we help a family, we help a community. When we help the community, we help the world. Let’s build a community of learning parents together! Let’s keep learning, ask questions, find strengths, share knowledge, wisdom, & understanding!
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The birth of a mother, her new identity, new family starts with the birth of a child and, perhaps, even several months earlier. For some, it is not the one who gave birth but the one who took on a challenge and opened up a heart and door for a child to share their lives together. The birth of a mother. The very first step. The beginning of a journey full of ups and downs, happy and sad moments, challenges and opportunities…. The journey of motherhood is unpredictable but these three remain constant: hope, faith, and love. And the biggest of them is love.
The very first love starts with the very first second a mother holds a child & looks at the child’s eyes – that is remembered and treasured forever. Mother is the one who’s love is patient, kind, does not brag and is not arrogant; it does not seek its own, is not provoked; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Mother’s love never fails. Mother’s love always loves and always hopes. Mother is the one who sees the best side of a child first. Her love never ends and never forgets. Mother’s love is unconditional. It goes above all.
Mother’s journey has ups and downs, happy and sad moments, laugh and cry, joy and sadness and all the predictable and unpredictable twists along the way. Mother is everything to a child so as a child to a mother. A whole world. The beauty of mother is as indestructible as Faith, Hope, and Love because mother is all these things and a very great deal more. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She always hopes, always believes. Mother’s smile and laugh are her precious jewelry that make her look even more beautiful, so as the tears, but the last ones she wants to wear are rare.
Mother lights up the journey one step at a time. It’s a journey to a destination – to upbring a child to become his or her best self and a human they meant to be. Every mother wants her children to grow strong, mature and filled with wisdom. To become creative, innovative and perhaps, entrepreneurial. Mother opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Mother lights up the world. She is a light, a bright light and everything Bright.
Mother is like a warrior – with the internal capacity to get started, to keep going, to overcome obstacles, to adopt and create on the fly with single-minded devotion to the children and dedication to the family mission. I wonder what King David meant in his Psalms comparing a parent to a warrior with arrows in the hand. Wait… What?!?!
What if, a mother is like an archeress building up muscles, strengths, and stability for mastering archery shooting into the target. In archery, as a predominately skill-based activity, the action of drawing and holding a bow are specialized skills using muscles that are not often trained in quite the way archery utilizes them. In addition, it is also important to train stability and strengths factors.
The ability to hold the arm and the bow in a static position and the bow hand’s wrist stability and grip strengths are fundamental in training. All of the muscles of the forearm work together when gripping and stabilizing an object such as bow. The drawing hand uses the same gripping muscles as the bow hand, but here the action of drawing your bow emphasizes finger flexion. Drawing your bow also involves the muscles that flex the elbow. Not only does your bow arm need to be strong enough to draw back your bowstring, it must also be wrong enough isometrically to hold your bow at full draw.
What if, arrows are the children, bow is a practice in raising children, and target is what kind of a human being a mother wants to see. I know many mothers who are great warriors – taking on a challenge, practicing daily the life, love, laugh, light, and staying bright. Young, old, working from home or outside home, having one or more children – they all have one in common – are the mothers!
What truly matters is not a perfect mother but a learning mother. How can I help a mother… my own mother and other mothers including myself to be their best?