Monday, January 12, 2009


By Jim Garrison
1. First & formost, love your child. Self-esteem is a valuable commodity. A few kind words or a simple hug from you as your children are growing up could save thousands of dollars in therapy bills down the road.

2. It is essential to the continued good health & well-being of any parent to cultivate a possitive outlook as much as possible. No, I don't mean running out & joining the Barney fan club. What I mean is that it is important to welcome every good thing that comes into your life, so that as you show gratitude, your child learns to likewise develope gratitude. You can't expect your child to develope such things without first learning them from you.

3. As a parent, you have incredible power & influence in shaping the life & attitudes of your child. Its a big responsibility. Being a parent is a task & obligation that defines us, our role, & our community from that point onward. Parents shape the future through their children. Think about what you teach your child, the words you use around them, & the way you respond to their needs & demands.

4. Be fair, honest, & open in how you treat your child. No good comes from lying to your children. Attempting to teach your child the concepts of honor, integrity, & honesty will force you to adhere to these same things. If that doesn't teach you some humility, nothing will.

5. The best thing about being a parent is that you get to do all the things you wish you could have done as a kid, & in a way you can heal you own inner child.

6. I do not preach to my child. I dislike proselytizing, & will not condone it in my home. I raise my child to be tolerant of other religions. I encourage my child to think for herself, to make up her own mind, & to feel free to discuss or question anything. If I can't explain to her that I need to get some sleep so I can go to work in the morning, how am I going to explain such things as manners, bounderies, spirituality, or (eventually) sexuality to her? I see my child developing in leaps & bounds & going places I could never have gone at her age. Watching her grow has given me a renewed & deepenedrespect & reverance for the way life works.

7. Laugh & play with your children. Be part of their fun. It will strengthen your bond & it can heal a lot of the grimness & hardness we all accumulate over the years. Your kids can teach you a lot about how to be happy, to reconnect with the child-self within all of us & how to make life special again.

8. Act responsibly & show some respect to your children. If they want to follow in your footsteps, there's plenty of time to do things right. Your children don't have to be initiated to grow up within the Craft. When & where it's appropriate, include you children. Create your own rituals together, traditions that the whole family can share & take pride & pleasure in. Provide them with suitable activities, like seasonal crafts & decorating the house. Take this special time to teach your children the stories & myths, the reasons you do what you do. Give them the chance to participate in the fun Pagan stuff & don't make a big deal about what goes on in the circle -- leave that for another day, when they are more mature & ready to deal with it in a spiritual context.

9. Always let your child know that you love them & take pride in them, no matter what. The three most powerful magic words in the English language are "I love you." Don't be afraid to use them on your kids frequently.

10. You're human & make mistakes. WE all know this. Make sure that your children know this, too. That way they'll know its ok for them to make mistakes, & then they won't have to watch as you fall off of that pedestal they might have built for you. Their expectations are shaped in response to your own. Cut them a little more slack than you do yourself. They haven't made all the same choices you have, & they may see things differently than you do.

11. Empower your kids. Teach them how to get things done. As they get older, show them how to do things for themselves. Learning how to cook or help to so the laundry can cultivate problem-solving skills better than practically anything else. After a few domestic training sessions, you'll find the shared context useful in explaining all manner of things to them down the road.

12. Encourage your children to read, first by reading to them, then by having them read to you. One of the most powerful & important acts of magic in literacy. This is a very important gift to give your child, & one that will enrich & enhance their life.

13. Listen to your children. They can sometimes teach you a great deal about things you probably have been taking for granted for a long time. Just remember that you're the parent & it's up to you to set the limits & boundaries for you children, not the other way around. Give them their say, but the final decision is yours.


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