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Growing Together


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Acknowledge the child’s innate individuality and wholeness and what parenthood means in terms of the parent’s own growth.

Our children aren’t projects to get good at, but fellow travelers on a journey of spiritual awakening. Being a parent today often feels overwhelming. Largely lacking the traditions and extended family that used to inform and support them, today’s parents have to manage more on their own. In our competitive culture, parenthood becomes one more arena where we think we have to prove ourselves. Not trusting themselves, parents turn to expert books on “parenting.” I hate that word, because it turns parenthood, which is a state and stage of adulthood, into a verb and makes it into something that’s done to the child — as if it’s the parent who causes the child to be human. This approach denies the child’s innate individuality and wholeness, leads to a lot of harmful micro-managing, and doesn’t take into account what parenthood means in terms of the parent’s own growth. The good news is that the challenges of parenthood cause many parents to become sincere spiritual seekers. When you have a baby in your arms, depending on you for everything, you almost can’t help feeling that you are in the God posit …

Polly Berrien Berends’s books, Whole Child/Whole Parent, Gently Lead, and Coming to Life, are based on her experience as a parent and psychotherapist.

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From the ArchivesParentingGrowingChildrenChildren And Spirituality

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