Enlightened Parenting
Judy A. Laslie

Knowing how information is processed and that you have choices about your responses to input is a major tool for understanding how you function, and certainly how your children function. Let's consider the role of the five senses (hear, see, touch, smell/taste) as to how they may contribute to better self-understanding. Senses give you information that helps you make decisions about actions you may choose to take. You perceive what occurs in your life by means of your senses and make evaluations or judgements about the observation. But be careful what you tell yourself. Perceive implies a value judgement made by you, consciously or subconsciously. For example, if you touch a hot stove, you instantly receive information from your hand to your brain that alerts you to a condition urging immediate action to alter the condition.

Many of your other reactions are learned responses though and not automatic instincts as you might have thought. Responses are choices originally made at some level of your consciousness. We don't all respond the same way in similar situations. Learned responses may have some people following their family's script i.e. "Everyone in our family is cold natured", or "We don't like the smell of garlic". Rebellious individuals, or ones seeking attention, may look for opportunities to choose responses they know are shocking or possibly very different from loved ones and peers.

You probably never felt a nostalgic orientation to food scraps from a kitchen, or restaurant. I certainly have no feelings about what we would call garbage, except poor ones dealing with fermentation and flies. Yuck! (See how thoughts create? This is obviously my challenge to see this in a positive way.) But my nephew, who was born into a hardworking farm family, lovingly helped his father haul discarded food scraps several days each week from a nearby Army base to cook in their barn (special steaming process) and then feed to their hogs. One day as he smelled the family dinner cooking, he commented "Mmmm ... Mom, that smells as good as garbage." Responses to given stimuli are not the same for everyone.

Perception always limits and filters your view of life. Your perceptions are actually illusions, but they become your beliefs and are firmly programmed into your brain computer. Perceptions quickly become beliefs. Your receiver brain cannot distinguish between what actually happens and what you tell your brain has happened. You can increase your awareness to the point of experiencing a sense and then choosing a response instead of reacting to a sense. (You might want to read that last sentence once more because it makes a key point.) Responses are choices!

Observations about happenings in daily life cannot be true in the absolute sense, because as soon as you make decisions about what occurred, what the incident means, whether it is good or bad for you, or any other judgment, you alter and limit the experience. And yet, you put this perception into your brain computer and it remains there as a belief.

Your thoughts about anything program your brain computer. Your body functions as a feedback mechanism that gives you feelings. You then say you feel whatever range of emotions you are feeling. The final computation may be to feel depressed, mad, sad, happy, euphoric, a migraine, or an aching back, etc. I purposely combined emotional states and physical conditions in the last sentence because that is how your brain functions. Emotional states become physical symptoms. Beliefs become so strong by reinforcement that they seem automatic to you when you simply react with emotion, but the thought must come first to feel anything. Everyone has "ups and downs," but what you tell yourself about what occurs makes the difference in how you feel. Where you get into difficulty with feelings, and aren't sure why, is when you program a belief at a subconscious level and you don't know it is there.

Knowing what lessons your child came into this life to learn can be a wonderful tool for more effective parenting. You relate to your child in a more harmonious way and help encourage growth in specific areas because of you insight. Numerology can do just that. In this column I will share insights into the symbolic meaning of particular letters in your child's full birth name and also make suggestions for you to lovingly guide your child based on that information. WHAT'S IN A NAME?

This month's article discusses children who have no A, J, or S (or only one of these letters) anywhere in their full birth name, the name on their original birth certificate. Do not include a confirmation name for this purpose. If the name includes Jr. or II, spell it out as "junior" and "the second". These children want to learn to make decisions, develop ability to lead, to stand on their own two feet, experience many new beginnings, trailblazer, pioneer. They may be a firstborn child, or in a situation in which they feel catapulted out of their nest early because of something ongoing in the family that helped them to emerge stronger as their own person because of that experience. They are really trying to figure out "When is it appropriate for me to lead, and when do I follow?" This can feel like a "Tug of War" game going on inside the child, and a mixed message. It is just a learning opportunity.

Parents can help by giving the child an opportunity to decide which of two outfits to wear, or which book to read at bedtime, which game to play, which toys will be shared, or which day to go to the zoo. Offer opportunities for the child to lead and decide, within appropriate boundaries, so success is achieved in making decisions. Scouting organizations are good arenas for developing leadership and later, a Dale Carnegie Course might be helpful.

Sometimes children learning this lesson may think that blaming others for what they experience is easier than taking responsibility for their own role in whatever they attract. This could even apply to what is called an accident. A child may look for a "too slippery floor" or a leg of a chair "out too far" that caused his/her fall, and not accept that it was a "do it to yourself" project. There is no rational reason to focus blame on anyone or any thing, when you realize you create your own reality. Attempts at leading may alternate with the child appearing aggressive, or even as a bully, having a big ego, or even behaving as a wimp (labels used only to exaggerate a point). Remember, this is a learning situation and can take many forms along the path to reaching competence in this lesson.

A male child learning this lesson may be experiencing his first incarnation as a male and may want a position of dominance. He may go to extremes because this role is new to him. If he perceives some adversity in his career he may suffer, agonize, and believe that going forward and initiating for himself is difficult. If he believes his security and self-worth severely undermined, he may think that standing on his own is extremely hard to do. A man will sometimes follow a family script in vocational choices to avoid making a decision; and if the job terminates for whatever reason, not of his choosing, he may perceive he was emasculated and incapacitated. His lack of experience in decision making skills may contribute to his possibly giving up and not looking for employment again.

You may have been chosen by your child to parent him/her because of your dominating influence, even if your child leaves home early to feel free to be him/herself. Your particular influence will help your child to stand taller and become more independent. It may not be just you. It may be both parents, an older sibling, or a grandparent living in the home. (Sometimes it is even a culture that provides the needed lesson.) Someone will probably play that roll for this child and will be resented at the time and only understood and appreciated later.

Parents have every right to be who they are even as they remember that every word, every action either does one of two things. They either build a bridge or build a wall. Please make it your goal to lovingly build bridges to the best of your ability, and be good to yourself in the process.

Judy A. Laslie, author of 9 Chances to Feel Good About Yourself, B.S. in education, does speaking/counseling based on holistic numerology at an award winning healthfood store in Birmingham, Michigan.
Web Site: http://www.rust.net/~9chances
Email: 9chances@rust.net
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