I was born to be a “mommy.” From my very first memories, I was in love with the idea of nurturing little ones. Little did I know that I would take on that role at the tender age of 15. Becoming a parent while still growing up myself proved to be a bit challenging. But within every challenge arises the potential for growth. I was absolutely sure that my daughter and any future children would be raised much differently than me. However, I wasn’t completely sure what that would look like.
A couple of decades have passed, and four more beautiful souls have been entrusted to my care. I feel immense joy in being a mom, and I take it very seriously. I am preparing young minds to usher in a new level of consciousness to humanity. This is BIG! Here are a few philosophies that I have integrated into my parenting:
1) Love Without Conditions
So many times, as parents, we set lofty expectations for our children. When they don’t live up to those expectations, we tend to allow this to affect how we treat them. Let’s face it, the world can be a rough place. If we cannot show our kids unconditional love and acceptance, regardless of their decisions, who will?
There are countless ways of offering guidance in a loving and constructive manner. Say “I love you” every day, and back it up with actions!
2)Instill Faith not Fear
I was raised in an era where parents taught that danger lurked around every corner. This created a lot of anxiety and insecurity in my mind, which paralyzed me at times. Children should be taught that the world is what you choose to see. If you see good in people, you get good from people. If you see good in the world around you, you get good from the world around you.
Children should be raised with the assurance that all is well, and all is working according to their Divine plan.
3)Foster Healthy Self-Esteem
One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is a healthy dose of daily affirmations. So many times, we focus more on criticizing mistakes rather than praising accomplishments. Children thrive on positive feedback. Each day we should find something to be proud of, and more importantly, TELL them.
Whether it is cleaning up their room, getting good grades, or simply being a good kid — every day let them know how truly special, unique and appreciated they are.
“You have greatness in you, or anything is possible for you!” are great affirmations to use daily.
4)Freedom of Self Expression
Someone once told me, “Don’t talk until you are 30!” What message do you think this conveyed to me? Children of all ages should have a voice, and they should feel safe to express themselves freely to their parents. Simply listening without judgment is a beautiful thing.
What a great way to build trust and open lines of communication for a lifetime? You never know what you may learn from them as well!
5)Gratitude and Happiness
Gratitude is the single most important quality one can possess. It keeps our minds focused on what is working in our lives rather than circumstances. Children need this because the process of growing up and discovering who you are can be challenging at times. Teaching them to keep a daily gratitude journal is a great way to create a positive mindset, and happiness is a byproduct of a healthy mind.
When I was growing up, I was forced to believe a certain religion because my parents did, even though it was not my truth. I didn’t want this for my children. I firmly believe that our spirituality and relationship with the Divine is extremely personal. What I encourage them to do is explore many different religions and figure out what makes sense for them. This is their journey, and we must allow them to experience it in their own, unique way.
Ultimately, being a good parent is about providing support and gentle guidance while encouraging individuality. There is no greater gift you can give a child than the freedom to be unapologetically true to themselves.
Kristy Arantes lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a married mom with five beautiful daughters. She is a small business owner with a passion for mentoring others to realize their inherent greatness. She is also a writer, freelance model, classical pianst, vocalist and composer. She is currently studying at Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta and plans to pursue the path to practitioner. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and volunteering for homeless shelters. She plans to pursue a future in humanitarian aid around the world.