Childhood is the most important and the most neglected phase of human life.
Children’s Day is not about celebrating childhood, mind you! If any thought is given to celebrating childhood, one will realize that one day in a year is simply not enough.
Childhood is the most important and the most neglected phase of human life. When children are born, generally speaking, the parents think they know how to raise them. However, there is a world of difference in becoming a biological parent and evolving as a conscious parent. Nature needs to procreate itself, therefore it uses the bodies of men and women but real parenting takes place only when the parents become mentally aware, emotionally mature, and spiritually conscious about the colossal task of helping another human being learn and grow.
Parents need a broader perspective when looking at their children, as mystic poet Khalil Gibran says:
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
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.”
We need enlightened guidance on cultivating children. Osho has given some valuable tips to parents for raising children.
The most important one is: don’t be possessive of your children. Conflict between parents and children arises because while children grow out of childhood, parents never grow out of parenthood! Man has not yet learned that parenthood is not something that you have to cling to forever: when the child is an adult, your years of parenthood are over.
Secondly, Osho wants parents to stop making decisions about their children according to their own ambitions. Let’s say dad wanted to be very rich and didn’t make it: he is hoping through his children that his ambitions will be fulfilled. Placing such a burden on one’s offspring is no way to bring them up. Parenting a child ought to mean giving them more and more freedom, encouraging them to be independent, and allowing them to move into the unknown, where you have never been. The child must be helped, but not forced, because once you start forcing, you are killing the child.