Tree with Strong RootsWhen the roots are deep, we need not fear the wind.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this saying, and what it means to me as the parent of two adolescent children. When it comes to our children, ‘the wind’ can take many forms in our lives, both real and imagined. Certainly, the kids and I have faced inevitable issues and challenges along the way, but I’ve also found myself gutting many fears that never actually materialized. I think we can all be gripped with worries at times about the path our child might take. Or maybe we are sitting inside very real agony watching the path our child is taking. It strikes me that we have very little true control over the wind.

I think this is why I take comfort in the understanding that when the roots are deep, we need not fear the inevitable wind. It has helped me to realize where my parenting energies need to be focused: on cultivating roots that anchor both my children and our relationship together regardless of any problems or issues affecting the relationship; the space between parent and child. This is my true place of influence in my child’s life. That is where my work is and always has been.

But what does this mean? How can we put this into daily practice in our parenting relationship? How can we understand, protect, and nourish this vital connection that anchors growth, maturity, and resilience for our children? Probably the first step towards considering these questions is to simply bring consciousness to their importance. When we begin to even yearn for the answers to such questions, it leads us to become more reflective and mindful about who we are and how we are in connection to our children. Through this process we consider more what children need, not what parents need. In this way, we can find our way through along with our child during the more difficult times of parenting. We can rest in a sense of trust that we know exactly what is needed in the inevitable tough times: to focus on the roots of relationship, regardless of the winds.

Parenting is not about what you do to your child, it is about who you are to your child.

 

For more about the child-adult relationship as the context for raising children, you may wish to register for our upcoming online course: The Vital Connection, Part I of the Power-to-Parent series. (Starts Monday, October 3rd and runs for nine weeks.) The course will meet online weekly from 1-2 PM PDT, covering topics such as how to cultivate a context of connection and how to win back one’s child if need be.

You might also be interested in Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s upcoming webinar, Attachment Roots: Back to Basics, about how the capacity for relationship is meant to develop as well as why this development is so necessary, taking place on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 10-11:30 AM PDT.

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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