“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 His 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 He loves also the bow that is stable.”
Kahlil Gibran, On Children ~ The Prophet
Parenting is a beautiful experience. Parents play the vital role in helping children grow. In their role as creators and providers can we compare parents to the sun..?? As we know sun is the sole provider for earth who maintains whole existence here, by giving tirelessly without any expectations. How about role played by children..?? Can we compare children to the moon; who continuously receives from the earth, to sustain it's existance, without giving back much..?? It doesn't sound like the whole truth and there has to be much more to this relation than what it seems like, at surface level. Let's go ahead & check the role played by both parents and children in the course of life and see If parents are just the giving entity or are they also recieving simuntaneously..??!!!
Bringing a Life on Earth…Creation Phase
A life is conceived when the creation & nurturing forces come together as father & mother. From the moment a life is conceived, every cell of the embryo or to be a child is formed from the body of the mother. How a child looks like is decided by how father, mother or the ancestors looked like. The health of the infant is the reflection of the health of mother & father because she gives the infant what is very own her and he gives the genes and creates a conducive environment. The conditions in the womb are just the reflection of mother’s food habits, mindset and the moods which shape that of the child to a great extent. Mother herself is very much reflection of her own outer environment and inner strength.
Raising a Child….Maintenance Phase
Parents are the representation of the society to the child. A child would start and advance exactly from the point parents themselves stand. If parents feed child, she’ll have food. If parents can recognize child’s emotions, she would learn to recognize and understand her own emotions. If parents respond to her needs appropriately and create a secure environment, she would have security in her heart as well as life. If parents recognize her talents, capacity and inclinations; she would develop them. Child would invest herself continuously in any intellect developing medium like school only because of the will of parents. Through their will she would eventually develop her own will. She would learn from the values parents’ project, observe the way they live and make those standards her own. Parents are the lens through which child looks at herself as well as the society. Overall growth in every aspect of the child from physical to spiritual is just the reflection of her parents. Child carries her parents throughout her life. The impact of parenting on child is projected further in the article about effective parenting.
Adulthood & Marriage…The Learning Phase
This is the phase where initial growth has happened and individual can take care of himself in every front. He can earn his food, contain and express his emotions, think & analyze rationally, make his own decisions and most importantly has developed a will; which helps him to set goals and work for the goals without any immediate reward in vicinity. This is the phase where he learns to look at his belief system from different angles, consider the bigger picture rather than a single perspective and take his own stand. He hastens his exploration and expansion as an individual. Once a certain amount of development is in place, he is ready for marriage.
Marriage is the coming together of two people on the foundation of commitment to contain the attraction and expand the intimacy, within its very own boundaries. So far, the person has been mostly a receiving entity; with marriage he starts to give, to accommodate and to walk with. The success of any marriage is the reflection of the extent to which two people involved can respect each other give unconditionally & appreciate what’s received. This is the beginning of Love or self-expansion where one starts realizing the joy of giving. More about marriage is discussed in the article on role of romantic love in marriage.
Giving Birth & Raising a Child….The Shaping Phase
Once couple can contain each other in a trusting environment, they are ready for further self expansion in the form of parenthood. Conceiving and parenting a child gives an individual the opportunity to give unconditionally, which is the meaning of real love. Children are the answer to a parent’s craving for an eternal Life. Children strengthen the bond of parents with universe by teaching them to love truly. Responsibility towards children is the will that motivates parent’s to work harder. By helping children gain agency, parents strengthen their own confidence, esteem & agency. So parenthood; by driving Love, motivation, & responsibility drives the higher order growth of men. Parents shape the future of children & are in turn shaped continuously during the process. They expand self, attach themselves to children as if they are one with them and then detach from children eventually; gaining wisdom in the process. Parenthood teaches understanding & develops inner strength which in turn creates a bond of trust and caring towards society .
Late Adulthood….the Testing phase
This is the phase where the outer strength which was taken from someone else diminishes however inner strength which was built so far is tested. The person is happy to the extent he has managed to expand. If he gave everything he could to life unconditionally and received all that parenting & parenthood gave him totally, he would be more content than insecure. He would be even with life because he would have received a lot & given unconditionally. His body becomes less important to him than his emotions, emotions lesser than intellect & intellect less important than mastery & will. His concept of home expands.
Are We like the Sun or the Moon as Parents & Children..??
In the journey of life; we are the past, present & the future. Any phase of Life isn’t independent of us. We were the children who received from yesterdays, we would be the parents who shape tomorrows by giving & we are the individuals who are evolving the present day. If we received directly from some, we would be giving some others. When we gave, we already would have received at a higher level. Life has been flowing through us throughout yesterday, today & tomorrow towards eternity. Be a parent or child, we are the links for life to flow & we ourselves are the life.Hence We neither are the sun who is all giving & nor the moon who is all receiving. We are the earth who takes from the sun & gives to the moon while sustaining Life & evolving every day during the process. Let’s cherish the interdependence and connection we share with everyone/everything & grow together...!!
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