You cannot improve the child – Tao inspired parenting – Chapter 29

Tao Te Ching - Chapter 29

Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

- Stephen Mitchell's translation from Tao Te Ching (The book of the way)

Tao inspired parenting

Most of the time parents want to improve the child.
One cannot improve the child.

The child is sacred, pure and uniquely perfect.
She cannot be improved.
If you tamper with the child, you’ll ruin her uniqueness and potential.
If you treat her like an object, you’ll lose her bonding.

(Every child knows for herself…)
When it’s time to be ahead,
and when it’s time to stay behind;
When it’s time to be in motion,
and when it’s time to take rest;
When it’s time to be energetic,
and when it’s time to be exhausted;
When it’s time to play safe,
and when it’s time to be adventurous.

The master parent sees the child without any judgments of good and bad,
without trying to control her.
The master parent lets the child live in freedom,
and trusts that the child knows what’s best for her.

Additional Note:

Its a myth that the child is like dough or clay, and parents and teachers are supposed to give that dough a shape. This belief leads to the biggest mistake by parents to take control and teach and preach the child. This teaching destroys the natural uniqueness of the child so that she can fit into society like just another brick in the wall.

The truth is that the child is like a seed. This seed already has its shape defined inside it. All it needs is the healthy environment that will allow it to blossom the way it is supposed to. Here the parents’ role is to:

  1. The first 2-3 years to protect the child from any physical dangers. Protect that seed with fence till it grows strong and high.
  2. Provide the child with necessities of unconditional love, food and shelter without expecting anything in return. It’s like watering the plant and making sure that it has enough sunlight.

That’s all!

Teaching and preaching the child is like telling the plant how to spread its branches and roots. Punishment and rewards are like forcing those branches and roots to turn in a specific direction. Expecting a performance from the child is like tell the tree how its flowers should smell, or how its fruits should taste. When parents do this kind of control, they destroy the unique natural beauty of the tree and limit its real potential, like a bonsai. Bonsai sure looks beautiful, but how does it feel inside with its roots tied up?

The master parent lets the child live in freedom, and stays centered in love, bonding and trust.

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