|Listen to an inspirational talk by Blake Steele on meeting the key developmental needs of your children through a creative approach to parenting.
An audio Mp3 version for web is included here. You will need a media player which most computers have.
The written transcript is also included on this page so you can follow along and print it out for further study. This is really good stuff, absolutely life changing.
Page two has some ideas of things to do with children at different ages to get your own creative juices flowing. (Go to Page 2.)
|Script on Creative Parenting
by Blake Steele © 2008
Getting to the Root Causes
Children learn from the energy of the family dynamics. They soak it into their body/mind system. It is not what you say, what you teach, the lectures you give, or even what you do. It is the energy, or spirit in which you speak, teach, act that they absorb. Life is energy, or Spirit. We must wake up to this fact. And we pass on to our children our energetic patterns of being. This is the first cause from which all effects flow.
We have been conditioned by our parents and society to constantly deal with the effects. We avoid the root causes like the plague. Why? Because to be aware of the root causes we must take a spiritual journey through our defense mechanisms, through our familiar conditioning, into our pain and out the other side where everything becomes astonishingly simple and clear. There is no money in this: what I mean is there is nothing to buy, no pills to take. It is a spiritual journey of awakening. When we take it we know for ourselves the mystery and meaning of Life. We have found the root of existence and found that root to be super alive, harmonious, full of Light and clear. We have found that root to be pure and free. It is from the root of existence, which we can only find in the core, in the deep center, in the high clear place of peace within us, that wisdom flows; that the harmonious and creative nature of real Love shines.
Pass On Something Better
It is from this inherently happy center, this open clear space within us that we find fearless Life, wholeness and the wise insight we need to pass on something better to our children, better ways of growing and being, the courage to embrace Life on its own terms, creatively, lovingly, without fearful repression, without guilt or shame. It is here we find the inherent purity of all energies, and the freedom to delight ourselves in them. It is here we find a healthy harmony between what we call our unconscious, which is actually our very sensitive and aware body/mind energetic system, and our conscious mind with all our hopes, desires, aversions, understanding and dreams.
The Pearl of Great Price
Jesus called our essence, or center, the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field, the lamp that we hide under the bushel basket, the Kingdom of Heaven within us. We will find no real and lasting answers anywhere else than here, flowing eternally out of the Divine order at the Source of all Existence: an order that unites creative freedom with harmonious order; laughter with responsibility; playfulness with parenting; wonder and joy once again with our daily lives.
If you want to be a good parent, keep growing to be a more Light-filled, Love filled, happy human being. Keep healing your old wounds in rivers of spiritual Life. Open up and grow more open. Only this way can you break the power of social conditioning and return to the wisdom of the way Life really works. Only as you are on the way can good parenting happen through you.
Essential Developmental Needs
God has designed each of us to pass through essential developmental stages in our growth. To understand parenting we must be very clear about the vital importance of fulfilling each of these developmental needs in Love. Whatever we are lacking in these developmental needs we are destined to spend the rest of our lives trying to fulfill them.
The First Need: Feeling Wanted and Welcomed
The first need is to be warmly, lovingly welcomed into this world. The child in the womb absorbs the energetic atmosphere of its mother. Are there songs in the night? Is her heartbeat singing welcome precious child out of the beauty of God’s heart into the mystery, hardship and beauty of this world? Or is her energetic atmosphere saying, I wish I wasn’t carrying you; I wish I felt better’ If I wasn’t pregnant, I would be happier; I would be happier without you?
Forgive Yourself and Change the Patterns
By sharing this I do not intend for you to think back on your pregnancy and feel guilt. We are one link in a chain of cause and effect stretching back to the origins of the human race. The energy of the parents is passed on to the children who pass it on to theirs, generation after generation, until someone wake ups and starts to live with new perspective and in new patterns. So don’t blame yourself for your past. We have all failed to be illuminated and guided by Divine Love. The way forward is to forgive and accept ourselves completely, just as we are, with all our shortcomings, with all our wounds, with all our very human weaknesses and ways. Each of us comes into this world to experience this brokenness, and, to hopefully have the courage to see it, wake up, make a contribution, change the patterns even just a little, and thus move us all towards God’s patterns of freedom and peace.
Again, the first developmental need of a child is to feel warmly welcomed into this world. It is never too late to give this too them. They need it again and again. Why not have periodic “We celebrate you” days: unbirthday celebrations of your child’s presence that have nothing to do with their behavior. Not as a reward for them having been so good, which often means not being a bother to us, but just because they are a mystery and miracle beyond comprehension. This celebration of being is powerfully healing. To feel welcomed, not because we are good or bad, but because we are. To have our deepest self, which is forever united to the God of Existence, recognized and celebrated in spite of the wounds in our souls or body/mind systems. This is good medicine for everybody.
Second Need: Physical and Spiritual Bonding
The second developmental need of a child is to bond to its mother’s body, to her fragrance and softness, to drink its mother’s warm, sweet milk from her soft comforting breasts. This bonding develops trust, the ability to relax and receive Life on its own terms, to know that the body is good and to feel oneness with the motherly essence of Life. If you have a young child, hold them, rock them, coo to them, sing to them, let them feel your bodily warmth and presence. Let them smell you, touch you, nuzzle you, taste you.
Third Need: Free Exploration
The third developmental need is for the child to freely follow their awakening curiosity, to play and explore. Guide a child, but never tell them they are bad because they are curious and getting into everything. You must allow this, encourage it, and support them with your laughter and words of Love. If not, you train them to turn against their deep, God given instincts and developmental needs, and this energy reversal within will become the painful, conflicted root cause of all the discord, grief and trouble to come.
Fourth Need: Independence
The fourth developmental need is to develop a sense of independence from the mother’s energy, to find their own will, their unique being. This too must be fully supported in Love, even though the child can be quite selfish and stubborn. Your resistance of them will either strengthen their stubbornness or crush their emergent unique self. Here is one of the greatest challenges of parenting, to stay so close to the child in your attentiveness, loving support and playfulness, even as you attempt to guide their emergent willfulness. Here is where you can practice creative guidance through play rather than your stubborn will clashing with theirs. Flow with the child. When they are fixated on a desire, see if you can outsmart them by offering them something more interesting.
Be More Playful: Recover Your Joy and Humor
When in doubt, become more playful. It is the God-designed way for animals and human children to learn through carefree playfulness and natural imitation. To do this you need to recover your sense of humor and inner freedom so you can look for the unexpected, and spring the surprise.
This is a tremendous opportunity for you to recover you child-like joy in existence, to rediscover your sense of wonder, to see with new eyes. Your child will not follow your lead perfectly. They are not supposed to. They will dance with you, and then away. This is their developmental instinct. Allow it. Embrace it. Encourage it. Grow more aware and become freer with your child. And remember this critically important thing: whatever you repress becomes demonized. Each time you repress a God-given Life energy you create inner stress, anger, pain, and at last rage. Don’t repress your child’s boundless energies, creatively inspire and guide them and you will continually discover the beauty of Life with your child, through their eyes even as they discover Life through yours.
Don’t think being a good parent is a technique. It is a growing state of being, a transformative journey, just as all of Life is meant to be. Nothing less.
Fifth Need: Relational Skills
The fifth developmental need is for the child to develop relational skills outside the family structure, to expand out to discover others and to be discovered and valued by them. This expansion of relational experience happens naturally as they go to school, but you can encourage it in pre-school years by allowing them to play with other children, by modeling sharing when they feel threatened by the other child’s curiosity, or when the other child wants something your child feels is theirs. There will be tears, there will be conflict: it must be. Allow it. Allow your child to experience the pain of their fear, the stress of their selfish clinging. Don’t tell them they are bad. Allow their own energetic system to teach them that when they go against the happy instincts of kindness and Love they create stress. We are here in this world to experience this.
Allow Learning Through Tears
Here is the occasion for you to learn wisdom and patience, and to let go of any ideas you might have that you can protect your child from selfishness and suffering. God is not protecting them from this, so don’t you. It is impossible. Use the occasions to develop your own ability to accept them just as they are, and to move from being demanding and upset to a creative, curious and more playful attitude of Life.
Be With Them With Full Attention
As your child grows they explore many things and develop their own attractions and repulsions. Keep your communication channels wide open. Ask them many questions and listen to them carefully. Make time to really hear your child, no matter how limited their communicative ability. Spend time with them. Feel them with your heart. This is how they learn they are of great value. Do special things. Cook together. Clean up together. Take bike rides or walks.
Open Their Awareness of Life
Explore Nature. Let them discover their connections with God created things. Introduce them to the sky and earth, to trees and birds, to animals and fish. Play games. Model to them the gift of being able to laugh at yourself, to not take yourself so seriously. Show them the freedom and security that only comes from knowing that the silence of God listens to you, knows you and accepts you completely, just as you are. Be an example of how to be kind with your own limitations even as you nourish your heart-felt dreams. Your child is feeling your energy. Let them feel Life happening in you.
Explore new parts of the world around you. Watch movies and talk about them. Repress nothing, creatively guide them to discover what they Love and why, what their body/mind system finds repulsive and why.
Get Your Own Body/Mind System Healthy
Trust the Divine wisdom in their energetic systems. Our body mind knows what is healthy if we will only listen to it. But if we ignore its urge towards health and harmony we may pollute it with unhealthy eating habits and recondition it to become used to what is imbalanced and toxic. Then it will deceive us until it is cleansed and returned to its natural connections to the Pure Breath of God, to the miracle of the Light of Life within us, and to our instincts for pleasurable health and harmony. Get your own body/mind system healthy and naturally harmonious again and listen to the God-given wisdom within you that will forever draw you into the ways that are natural, balanced and wise.
Sixth Need: Boundaries and Discipline
Set clear boundaries for your child to protect themand be consistent. Bring them into the process. Why not work out with your child disciplinary strategies appropriate for their age? Perhaps they will not come up with anything suitable, but they will respect you because you respected them enough to try. Don’t ever punish them for their instincts to explore new things and grow. Let your discipline be there to focus them into what you sense is good for them and help them understand this clearly. Explore the alternatives to your boundaries and focus. Help them understand what happens when blind selfishness prevails, or when pain or fear leads us instead of Love.
And let your discipline strategies be appropriate for their age. Don’t burden a very young child with trying to understand the needs of others when they have very little sense of others. The very young should have simple and clear discipline boundaries and responses. You must decide what is appropriate.
Be Honest and Earn Their Trust
Whatever you do, do it with Love. As they grow, change your approach. Always work for Love and understanding to expand and prevail. Whenever you discipline with anger, and it will happen for sure, cool down and then apologize. Model humility and honesty to them or they will see your hypocrisy with utter clarity and lose their trust and respect. Once this happens it takes a lot of humility and honesty to regain. But, at all costs, work to regain it, for once you lose their trust you have lost their hearts. So be quick to admit your failures of Love and they will understand how important the wisdom and ways of Love are to you: a lesson that will stay with them for life.
Seventh Need: Sexual Joy and Celebration
The fifth developmental need is to be welcomed to sexual energy at the time of adolescent awakening and to build a strong bridge between the innocence of their childhood and the fully responsible robustness of adulthood they are moving into. Sexual energy is the pure Life-force within our bodies. It is innocent, healthy, vital, energizing, creative, tender, delicate, fiery and ecstatically transcendent. Never, ever imply in any way that it is wrong or something to fear. Never ever turn their minds and emotions against the ecstatic power of the Life-force within them. They and you will suffer grave consequences if you do, for when the conscious mind and emotions go against what every cell in your body knows is true, a deep existential pain takes the place of spontaneous joy. This pain of grief will be expressed in sullen anger, withdrawal from open commication, rebelliousness and other forms of negativity. There is a natual need for them to experiment and create a distance from you as they explore their developing independence, but it does not have to be painfully colored by grief energies.
Bring Clarity, Apologize
If you have passed on your conditioning and done this already, go to your child and apologize. Tell them you were afraid they might misuse sexual energy, and that it was a very wrong thing to do. Tell them that their own body/mind system knows, in every cell of their body, that sexual energy is the pure Life-giving power of Creation, and that you welcome it in them and encourage them to warmly welcome it too.
Beware of Energy Reversals
I will say it again because it is so important: to turn their minds and emotions against what is inherently good, healthy and beautiful is to create a powerful inner conflict that will be expressed as rage, rebellion, depression, despair, and soulless lust. Once again, creativity, warm welcoming Love and playfulness are the ways through. Teach them to welcome their awakening energies, to explore and play with their own bodies, to Love themselves, to enjoy ecstasy thrilling their entire being, to draw it up through their body system with breath and attention, right out their heart, right up through the top of their heads in thankfulness to the great Source of Life that would give them such pure energy, such tender goodness, such pleasure to thrill and harmonize their entire being. This will unite their body/mind system with their deeper self and our spiritual instincts to melt open to God in a wild abandonment of Love. (See the HOL and EFT workshops for additional help.)
Give them your full support as their body sexually awakens, and share with them the power of this energy to unite them deeply with another. Help them understand that they are not ready to be so totally connected to another until they are ready to embrace all the responsibilities that come with it, to shoulder all the burdens of supporting that relationship.
Life is Actually a Creative Happening
Show them how to lift their pure, delightful bodily energies into creative inspiration, into music and dance, writing and painting, or into the passionate play of a sport. Show them that Life is itself creative and good and never to be fearfully repressed, but always guided into the ways that bring happiness and peace.
Fulfill Your Developmental Needs
Of course, to do this, you must experience it yourself. It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Have it with your child. It is never too late to rediscover the sweet joy of pure sexual energy in your body. Welcome yourself as a sexual being into this world. It is never too late. For the sake of all that is natural and true, Love yourself enough to allow pleasure to thrill you and follow its instincts deeper, to the core of your being, in ecstatic surrender to the Light within you, to the ultimate health, to the Pure Being you eternally are.
No Perfect Parents: Be Kind with Yourself
I would like to close by reminding you there are no perfect parents. It is the most challenging job in the world. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings. It is human to pass on the wounds of our parents unto our children. It is divine to transform the patterns and pass on something healthier. Being a really good parent means embracing your own growth and transformation into harmony with the Divine Light of Life within you, at your deepest core, in your highest places.
Accept Life on its Own Terms
And remember, you cannot save your child from his or her reasons for coming into this world. We are all here to learn both good and evil; to know for ourselves the suffering that comes from breaking away from the natural goodness and harmonious nature of Divine Love. It cannot be avoided. No matter how good a job of parenting you do, your child will suffer. Accept Life on its own terms and work creatively and lovingly with it.
Forgive yourself freely for all your shortcomings and your child will learn to do the same. And the natural flow of Divine blessing will strengthen and refresh your family with the wisdom of Love in the Light of Life.