Consider that how you treat your child is probably how you were treated as a child. And it is how you treat yourself.

-
Cheri Huber
TIME-OUT for Parents: A Guide to Compassionate Parenting

There is no single life event that has a greater capacity for transforming our mind, body, and soul than the birth of a child. Giving birth and becoming a parent brings us face to face with our own deepest fears and desires. We are given the opportunity to choose to open our hearts, face our fears, and rediscover love and trust. I believe that loving yourself and your spouse is good parenting!  

Parenting is about modeling.  Without any formal teaching, our children will absorb the fundamental truths of our lives and values. They will see us for who we truly are: not only our public persona but our real selves. They will take in how we treat ourselves, how we treat others and what we believe about the world.
If we would like to teach our children to have healthy relationships with others and to love themselves, we must have healthy relationships and love ourselves. Many of us mistakenly believe that loving our children (or loving anyone) means putting our children first, ahead of our own needs. But what do they say on the airplane? “Put on your own mask before helping others.” In order to teach our children how to take care of themselves, we must start by taking care of ourselves.

As most parents realize, children are insatiable! There is no end to their capacity to demand of you! You and only you can set healthy boundaries and make sure that your needs are consistently being met. Your child – and your spouse – cannot do this for you.

Eventually most of us realize that being a parent is not about teaching our children, but about learning ourselves. Nature designed us perfectly: Teaching is the best way to learn. Or as a French academic put it, "To teach is to learn twice."

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