The Gifts of Awakened Parenting – It’s Not a Contest

The Gifts of Awakened Parenting

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I was happily sipping a glass of wine at a Christmas party fifteen years ago when the hot topic of EI (emotional intelligence) vs. IQ (intelligence quotient) came up.  This was the first I had heard of the concept even though Daniel Goleman’s  Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ was a best-seller. The data basically suggests that people with higher EI make better leaders, have more successful careers and lead happier lives. This did not sit well with a room full of parents who were spending thousands of dollars on a Catholic school education each trying to stake a claim that their kid was the smartest in the first grade.

As the alcohol continued to flow, the conversation got more heated as a friend continued to opine that emotional intelligence is a skill gained through compassionate parenting, not a text-book.  Some dads huffed and puffed that EI means nothing without the intelligence to back it up.  Neither side was really listening to the other, both camps positioning their rebuttals.  Thank goodness someone started singing Christmas carols diffusing the stand-off.

I tell this story because it illustrates how some of the most well-intentioned adults act as if parenting is a contest; that their superior nurturing teamed with education, opportunity and their exceptionally good genetics will produce rock star kids because that is the goal of every “good” parent, right?

But what does it really mean to be a “good” parent?  What qualities or behaviors make someone a “bad” parent?  If I had you in a room together with white board I’m sure y’all could come up with an endless number of adjectives describing both.  But let’s dig beneath the surface shit.

Let’s talk about good vs. bad parenting (if there really is such a thing) in terms of awakened parenting.  Please note that I am not referring to the movement in conscious parenting which asks adults to parent with presence and awareness instead of using traditional disciplinary techniques, although this is one aspect of my theory.

In my introduction to this series I asked how you might change your view of parenting if you knew that your child chose you and all of your unpacked raggedy, old, baggage before she was born because you are the best person to guide her through her soul journey?  What if she chose you because of the traumas you’ve overcome, the skeletons in your family’s closet and even your poor health?  And how does that change the paradigm of good vs. bad parenting?

Here’s a biggy…. what if all of the “crappy parents” are perfectly teaching their children the lessons they requested before birth???  I know, my brain is cramping up too.

Our dualistic human nature wants there to always be an either/or, a good/bad, a black/white.  Non-duality  thinking asks us to look for a third way…a “both/and” way and to swim in the murky gray waters.  So does awakened parenting.  It asks us to stop looking at parenting in terms of right and wrong, good and bad.  It requires us to get outside of our dualistic thinking and look at soul growth; not just caring for this little creature, but nurturing a soul in its progression.

This is where the judgement caps need to come off (which is almost humanly impossible) and ponder that perhaps what society sees as a negligent parent might be just what the child’s soul requested.  Of course we don’t want to see children abused and neglected, but again, I’m asking you to think outside of the human condition and view parenting from a soul to soul perspective.

This is not an easy task because your child wasn’t  born with a lesson plan in hand spelling out what it wants to learn during its time here on earth.  And if we’re not in tune to our own pre-selected  “course requirements” we surely will not see what our child needs.  Being born with no memory of the course description and no syllabus leaves you with a huge opportunity to fail.  And that my friends is called free-will.

So I ask you to go back and think about how you were raised.  What made your childhood blissful?  What made it difficult?  What did you learn from these experiences and how have they shaped you into the person and parent you are today?

Then take a deep breath…and realize… “Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti


About Goddess Arriving

Welcome to Goddess Arriving! I'm a 52 year old mother of three budding goddesses, grad student, runner and seeker of all things spiritual. This blog is my "white space" to speak my truth and explore ways to live well and age with grace and wisdom.

3 comments on “The Gifts of Awakened Parenting – It’s Not a Contest

  1. Another rich, beautifully written and thought provoking article in this series…
    “Digging beneath the surface shit” (I love that!) is one gift I feel was enhanced for me by the parents I chose, who refused to acknowledge that anything deeper existed or mattered, whereas I lived in the deep.

    I pondered these questions you have posed often in my early teens trying to make sense of or heal the painful contrast between my parents personas and behaviors and my own.

    Doing so has affected my parenting for sure. It has also brought me an appreciation for my parents …who once never seemed to “fit me” until I found this perspective.

    Also, the EI/Iq debate played a huge role in the way I look at parenting. Competition in parenting is usually due to parents who derive their sense of identity and self worth through their children. It’s a huge burden to put on a kid and sad for the adult as well. It’s just misguided…not bad.

    I love this conversation…I vibe with your line of thinking. I’m hoping others will share their thoughts and comments. I will share this on facebook. Do you mind having your work re-blogged on wordpress? I didn’t see a re blog button.
    Thanks, Susan! 🙂

    • AHHH! You have just set up my next post! I did the same thing in my teen years, struggling to understand why my beliefs were so drastically different from my parents. I had an “AHA” moment in my mid twenties that shifted my perspective about my parents and their parenting ability and that made our relationship so much richer.

      I absolutely don’t mind you re-blogging any of my posts but when I moved over to I lost the re-blog button as an option. I’m not sure why exactly but if you have a solution or know how I can get it back I would be very grateful.

      I’m so happy that you are sharing in the conversation!

      Thanks Angelina!! Big cyber hugs!

      • Yay! More synchronicity with that aha moment! I can’t wait to read your next post. I don’t know the solution to the reblogging button, unfortunately. The button is an easy way to share posts, but I can still share it without one. Blessings to you and cyber hugs back at ya!

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