About the Book
A child is possibly life's greatest miracle; raising one is possibly life's greatest challenge. But fear not - help is at hand!
From conception to early childhood, Spiritual Parenting will steer you through this life-altering journey. Marrying spirituality with tried-and-true advice, it offers simple but enormously effective strategies on bringing up children in this crazy world that we live in - and staying positive and sane through it.
In this indispensable guide, Gopika Kapoor, a writer and mother of twins, shares with you all that she has learned both as a parent herself and as a close observer of other parents. From managing your toddler's tantrums to advice on kiddie birthday parties, and from suggestions on positive discipline to ideas on how to connect with your child, she provides not just solutions, but also useful tips on pre-empting the common problems that every parent encounters in bringing up Baby. However, this book is much more than a primer on how to raise happy kids; it is also about how to be happy parents. In her typically reassuring, compassionate tone, she shows us how to tackle the physical and emotional difficulties we face as parenting adults - post-partum depression, sleeplessness, strains on spousal relationships, and. much more - with suggestions for body and soul based on practical experience and spiritual lessons. .
Focused on both parent and child, Spiritual Parenting is an invaluable compendium of common sense and spiritual wisdom. Read this one book and you'll see how one of life's greatest challenges can also be one of its greatest joys.
About the Author
Gopika Kapoor is a writer and communications consultant. She has written for a number of leading publications, including The Times of India, The Indian Express, Elle, Seventeen India, and Andpersand Magazine, and has been consulted on various communications initiatives by Child Relief and You (CRY), Point of View, CREA, and Save the Children, Sweden. Gopika lives in Mumbai with her husband Mohit, a corporate lawyer and life coach, and her twins, Vir and Gayatri.
To be a parent is as close as you are going to get to being God. To your child, peering up at you with wide- eyed adoration, you are the Higher Self, the Ultimate, the One - all that we regard as God. While this is a wonderful feeling, giving the ego a tremendous boost and making you experience love in a way that you never thought you were capable of, it also comes with a huge responsibility: you are wholly, and irrevocably, accountable for another human being's life.
Only a few hours after my twins were born, I lay in my hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. I felt pinned down to the bed, weighed down by a tremendous burden. What have I done? I asked myself. The pregnancy was great - lots of pampering, lots of attention - but this was real life now. Here were two human beings for whom (and my husband) was everything. That is when 1 remembered the words of Swami Chinmayananda, the great Vedantic philosopher and my guru: God will never put you in a situation that you are not able to handle.
Today the task of raising children has extended way beyond keeping them clean) clothed) and fed. We live in a world that is stress-ridden and in many ways dangerous) and our children are all the more vulnerable for it. And so while we can't keep them constantly cloistered and protected) what we can do is give them a foundation) a strong basis of values that protects and guides them throughout their lives.
In his essay 'Baby Steps: Do our first three years of life determine how we'll turn out?' Malcolm Gladwell discusses the theory that it is the first three years of a child's life that have the strongest impact on its future. He quotes Hillary Clinton as saying) 'A child's earliest experiences - their relationships with parents and care givers) the sights and sounds and smells and feelings they encounter) the challenges they meet - determine how their brains are wired ... These experiences can determine whether children will grow up to be peaceful or violent citizens) focused or undisciplined workers) attentive or detached parents themselves,"
Given Gladwell's research, the times we live in, and the fact that our children are essentially naive and vulnerable beings, where can we as parents turn to find solutions to bring up our children right? As one mother I spoke to said, 'I don't care if my child is brilliant or gifted or successful; all I want is for her to be normal and happy:
As a student of the Vedanta and mother to a pair of frisky twins, I have found that spirituality, faith, and a strong value system have helped me raise my children better, right from conception. This is not to say that they will necessarily turn out to be scientific geniuses or business barons, but what I hope is that they have imbibed all that I've taught them to give them the confidence to hold onto their own identities
and beliefs in this big, bad world of ours.
This book will not tell you how to deal with colic or cold sores; it will not give you recipes for kiddie snacks, nor will it tell you when your baby's shots are due. What I hope to share is what I have learned with other parents like myself, as we all struggle to create an atmosphere of normalcy for our children in this world of greed and materialism, competition and commercialism. I do not advocate any religion or practice, nor do I claim to be a child-development specialist or psychiatrist. I am a writer and a mother, and what I offer are simple solutions that have worked for me, and that I hope will work for you.
Swami Chinmayananda used to say that a parent's role is like that of a farmer. The farmer does not create the seed or the soil; all he does is provide a conducive environment for the seeds to grow. Our children are not ours; we are only the medium through which they have arrived on this earth. We are their caretakers, not their owners. Let us do our very best for our children and then leave them to follow the course of their lives.
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