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Thread: Question about parents and unattachment

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Question about parents and unattachment

    These days people have asked me about how unattachment works on parenting. Seems that they can understand no to be attached to material stuff, but not to people.

    I currently live with far less attachments than I did years ago and I tend to live by the day when it comes to personal relationships.

    The thing is I am not a dad* and I can't know how it is to be attached to your kid.

    So my questions to the Treeleaf dads and moms are:

    How do you live unattached to your kids?

    How do you teach unattachment to them?

    Thank you!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin


    * I am a dad, but I don't see my daughter since she was 1 year and a half. She's 15 now. Long story.
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  2. #2
    Hi Kyonin. Healthy parenting involves healthy attachment ...and healthy heartbreak. There is joy and heartbreak in seeing them grow, and letting go. It is not good for a child if a parent does not form a healthy attachment. There is also unhealthy, neurotic, attachment... but that's a different story.

    Gassho,kojip.
    大山

  3. #3
    Indeed, Kojip. You see, I have a daughter and since she is ten I saw her twice. I haven't seen her for seven years ( she is in her twenties now), haven't heard about her for about two years and I carry this absence-presence as a huge weight sometimes. The reasons are too common in England, mothers have all rights, fathers none: backed up by law, my very angry ex wife and the "good friends" around manipulated the truth and presumably painted a very dark portrait of the bloke. My daughter quickly declared she did not want to see me, dropped my name to pick up her mother7s name, stopped any connection with her grandmother...Yes I left home at the time, yes I had somebody else was in my life, yes... and yet, the reality of what was taking place at home made it necessary for me to leave. I wanted so much to save my relationship to my daughter and instead, I have lost her. I also lost my job, most of my would be friends then, everything I had and ended up in Sainsburys stacking shelves after having been a Universty professor. My adopted son, Masato, will tell what kind of guy I am. He seems to like me a lot and we are having a wonderful time together.My daughter is living under the spell of other people's malicious and ignorant nature, disguised of course in the most spiritual, friendly, loving ways.

    I have no grudge. I don't hate these people. Ignorance is the core of it all. I love my daughter but I have given up any hope of meeting her again. She is like in another world and yet living with me everyday. I have done my part of counselling and worked on that. She might have to do it if her pride and arrogance don't get too much in the way. So... Parenting? Attached-detached and heartbroken sometimes. It is okay.

    One more thing, Kyonin, I never wanted to intoxicate my daughter with religion, always respected were she was born and never shared any of my practice or aspect of my faith...unlike her mother who pushed her to Church for years every sunday, imposed Christian beliefs mixed up with a strange spiritual mixture that goes under the name of Anthroposophy, decided that she would go to a Waldorf School where I had to teach to partly pay for the ridiculously high fees...I would still do the same, not interfere. I don't talk about Buddhism at home, don't show Masato anything about it. I leave it to him to discover what works for him. He can see the effect of Buddhism if any "live", in my interaction with him. That's my way, you see I am a f..... French guy as my ex wife served me one day. Yep. I agree. And if you want to share Buddhism with your kids, that's okay too.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  4. #4
    Thank you Taigu. Sincerely. It speaks deeply to me to read this. Partly because I want nothing but happiness and peace for you and partly for self serving reasons. I am looking at moving away from my twin daughters and I know it'll be hard, but your words remind me as well that it'll be OK...so thank you for being so open and honest.

    Grateful gassho

    Dokan

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2
    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~Anas Nin

  5. #5
    "Attached-detached and heartbroken sometimes. It is okay. " Thank you for being so open, Taigu.


    Gassho,kojip.
    大山

  6. #6
    Thank you, everyone, for these heartfelt responses. So much to say....

    Let me give my first response to Kyonin's initial question. One of the results of my engagement with Zen has been an occasional ability to allow to drop away my attachment to my idea of family members -- my wife, my kids, my parents -- such that I can see the actual people in front of me with greater clarity. It happens rarely, to be sure, but when it does it's powerful: their faces, lives, unknowability... it all explodes in a glorious way that's hard to describe.

    But too often I quickly return to old judgments and hurts, to whom I believe they should be instead of who they are. (Or, in the case of my late schizophrenic brother, who they were.) Letting those judgments and hurts -- those attachments -- go is going to take time, a lifetime, probably. But the few moments when they fall away and I can see them in their bumbling, flawed, human nobility: those moments become part of a me that I didn't know existed.
    Chris Seishi Amirault
    (ZenPedestrian)

  7. #7
    Thank you, Taigu, for retelling that story. I have perhaps a dozen male friends and acquaintances who are divorced fathers who have lived a similar experience, a good father painted as a beast by an angry mother trying to "win over" the kids, and her lawyer trying to win over a judge in the child custody fight. (And not to sound sexist ... it happens in the other direction too by fathers trying to win custody).

    And Kyonin ... we do not live "unattached" to our kids ... or wives, parents and others we love. I would say that Mahayana Buddhism allows us to be "attached-non-attached" to our loved ones, which is not the same as being cold and unattached by a longshot.

    I would describe this as something like loving and caring passionately with all our heart, yet not squeezing too tight. Savor every moment when we are together, the ups and downs of life, the smiles and tears ... allow yourself to feel a broken heart filled with grief when our loved one leaves (as our growing children someday will by growing or divorce, or our aging partners and parents inevitably will ... and we inevitably will too with passing time ...) ... hold gently in our arms, let go when the time must come ... be willing to feel the natural pain of loss and separation and missing that is part of being human (as Kojip so beautifully described) ...

    ... and simultaneously know that which cannot be separated, without distance or time or age or birth or death, without loss or anything "missing", all just as it is, At Once As One. Such is Attachment-Non-Attachment.

    Then, one might feel tears running down one's cheek, one might feel the frustration of a parent sometimes ... yet also profoundly a Buddha's Peaceful Smile & Contentment. At Once As One.

    Something like that. The best of both worlds, One World.

    The last time I encountered this very hard and head on was when our baby daughter was in the intensive care earlier this year and the prognosis was not good.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ld-in-Hospital

    How to pass it on to kids? I guess just to let them see how you react to things ... to life's ups and downs. I think that is the best way.

    Gassho, Jundo Dad
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-08-2012 at 04:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post

    But too often I quickly return to old judgments and hurts, to whom I believe they should be instead of who they are. (Or, in the case of my late schizophrenic brother, who they were.) Letting those judgments and hurts -- those attachments -- go is going to take time, a lifetime, probably. But the few moments when they fall away and I can see them in their bumbling, flawed, human nobility: those moments become part of a me that I didn't know existed.
    Chris, so well said. Thank you.

    I faced this today in a small small way when our 9 year old forgot to do his homework then told us a lie, teased his sister and left his game in a restaurant ... all in the space of an hour. All the same as any parent feels, try to scold and correct and teach them a lesson ... all while not falling into anger. Accept him for who he sometimes is, just a child doing childish things. Not easy sometimes, and it would take the patience of a Buddha! Yet, that is what we should try to do.

    Same for long term hurts, the abusive parent, the sibling rivalries or scars that go on for decades, the "black sheep", the former spouses in the messy divorces ...

    ... we somehow need to forget, carry the lesson, recognize the real scars, move one, forgive as best we can, heal. Often not so easy. All just Practice.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-08-2012 at 06:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Indeed, Kojip. You see, I have a daughter and since she is ten I saw her twice. I haven't seen her for seven years ( she is in her twenties now), haven't heard about her for about two years and I carry this absence-presence as a huge weight sometimes. The reasons are too common in England, mothers have all rights, fathers none: backed up by law, my very angry ex wife and the "good friends" around manipulated the truth and presumably painted a very dark portrait of the bloke. My daughter quickly declared she did not want to see me, dropped my name to pick up her mother7s name, stopped any connection with her grandmother...Yes I left home at the time, yes I had somebody else was in my life, yes... and yet, the reality of what was taking place at home made it necessary for me to leave. I wanted so much to save my relationship to my daughter and instead, I have lost her. I also lost my job, most of my would be friends then, everything I had and ended up in Sainsburys stacking shelves after having been a Universty professor. My adopted son, Masato, will tell what kind of guy I am. He seems to like me a lot and we are having a wonderful time together.My daughter is living under the spell of other people's malicious and ignorant nature, disguised of course in the most spiritual, friendly, loving ways.

    I have no grudge. I don't hate these people. Ignorance is the core of it all. I love my daughter but I have given up any hope of meeting her again. She is like in another world and yet living with me everyday. I have done my part of counselling and worked on that. She might have to do it if her pride and arrogance don't get too much in the way. So... Parenting? Attached-detached and heartbroken sometimes. It is okay.

    One more thing, Kyonin, I never wanted to intoxicate my daughter with religion, always respected were she was born and never shared any of my practice or aspect of my faith...unlike her mother who pushed her to Church for years every sunday, imposed Christian beliefs mixed up with a strange spiritual mixture that goes under the name of Anthroposophy, decided that she would go to a Waldorf School where I had to teach to partly pay for the ridiculously high fees...I would still do the same, not interfere. I don't talk about Buddhism at home, don't show Masato anything about it. I leave it to him to discover what works for him. He can see the effect of Buddhism if any "live", in my interaction with him. That's my way, you see I am a f..... French guy as my ex wife served me one day. Yep. I agree. And if you want to share Buddhism with your kids, that's okay too.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Thank you Taigu ... I know where you are coming from. I too had the same experience and for the longest time was unable to see or be a part of my daughters life. I was outcasted and I carried that guilt backpack for a long time ... however, my daughter is now (21) and she has made it her choice to connect with me and so we, (via these amazing medium that connects all of use, the internet) have build a beautiful connection.

    So thank you again Taigu for sharing your story ... it touched me deeply! I hope that one day this beauty will come to you and your daughter.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Wow! Just....WOW! This thread is very beautiful and moving. Deep Gassho to each one of you for sharing your touching life stories
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

  11. #11
    Thank you all for this thread and the openness used to help teach us. It is recognized and much appreciated. What more can be said.

    Gassho,

    Daido


  12. #12
    So much of life in this thread. Who amongst escapes the pain of fractured relationships and loss?

    Kyonin and Taigu - thank you for sharing - it may be, in the future, that a reconciliation will come to happen with your
    children.


    I can remember only one image from a poem I wrote about my kids - when they were small, but beginning to adventure into the world. I saw them as free - clambering about a 'glittering net of their own intentions'.

    Their freedom to do this felt so important. My kids are now in their 30's, 40's - still - at times - clambering upon this glittering net of possiblities, new challenges - BUT - of course there are holes they may fall through.

    All along - there has been another net, a fine-tuned safety net beneath the glittery one. This is the safety net of a parent's love, firm, simple, unadorned and steadfast. And though they may never so much as glance down to see it - they know within themselves that it is there.

    For anyone who has lost a child - or facing separation, if a seed of love has been planted nothing can take that away.

    Gassho

    Willow

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this, Taigu. I definitely relate in this.

    Once upon a time I also had to say good bye to my baby and leave. Her family portraits me as the incarnation of evil, so I don't get to see her.

    Since then I had to learn how to live attached-unattached.

    Gassho, Kyonin

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Indeed, Kojip. You see, I have a daughter and since she is ten I saw her twice. I haven't seen her for seven years ( she is in her twenties now), haven't heard about her for about two years and I carry this absence-presence as a huge weight sometimes. The reasons are too common in England, mothers have all rights, fathers none: backed up by law, my very angry ex wife and the "good friends" around manipulated the truth and presumably painted a very dark portrait of the bloke. My daughter quickly declared she did not want to see me, dropped my name to pick up her mother7s name, stopped any connection with her grandmother...Yes I left home at the time, yes I had somebody else was in my life, yes... and yet, the reality of what was taking place at home made it necessary for me to leave. I wanted so much to save my relationship to my daughter and instead, I have lost her. I also lost my job, most of my would be friends then, everything I had and ended up in Sainsburys stacking shelves after having been a Universty professor. My adopted son, Masato, will tell what kind of guy I am. He seems to like me a lot and we are having a wonderful time together.My daughter is living under the spell of other people's malicious and ignorant nature, disguised of course in the most spiritual, friendly, loving ways.

    I have no grudge. I don't hate these people. Ignorance is the core of it all. I love my daughter but I have given up any hope of meeting her again. She is like in another world and yet living with me everyday. I have done my part of counselling and worked on that. She might have to do it if her pride and arrogance don't get too much in the way. So... Parenting? Attached-detached and heartbroken sometimes. It is okay.

    One more thing, Kyonin, I never wanted to intoxicate my daughter with religion, always respected were she was born and never shared any of my practice or aspect of my faith...unlike her mother who pushed her to Church for years every sunday, imposed Christian beliefs mixed up with a strange spiritual mixture that goes under the name of Anthroposophy, decided that she would go to a Waldorf School where I had to teach to partly pay for the ridiculously high fees...I would still do the same, not interfere. I don't talk about Buddhism at home, don't show Masato anything about it. I leave it to him to discover what works for him. He can see the effect of Buddhism if any "live", in my interaction with him. That's my way, you see I am a f..... French guy as my ex wife served me one day. Yep. I agree. And if you want to share Buddhism with your kids, that's okay too.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Jundo,

    Thank you for your words. I asked those questions because some friends asked me about parenting and unattachment, but since I don't have the experience of actually raising a child, I had to ask.

    I guess I wasn't too far off from what I actually do with my girlfriend, parents and friends.

    Like I said, I live by the day. I love them very much. But I know that I have to be ready to let them go when the time comes. I allow myself to live the emotions of the moment whether it's joy or sadness.

    That's why I cherish every second I get to spend with everyone around me.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Michael,

    My experience is similar to yours. My daughter got in contact with me via Facebook and for a full year I got to talk to her, even on video! It was a magical experience.

    Sadly, her mom did not agree of that and she had to delete her Facebook account.

    All I can do is wait until the time is right again.

    Hope things go better with you and your daughter.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin

    Quote Originally Posted by ecoist View Post
    Thank you Taigu ... I know where you are coming from. I too had the same experience and for the longest time was unable to see or be a part of my daughters life. I was outcasted and I carried that guilt backpack for a long time ... however, my daughter is now (21) and she has made it her choice to connect with me and so we, (via these amazing medium that connects all of use, the internet) have build a beautiful connection.

    So thank you again Taigu for sharing your story ... it touched me deeply! I hope that one day this beauty will come to you and your daughter.

    Gassho
    Michael
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  16. #16
    I'm sorry to hear so many sad stories... Separation would be very hard. I hope things work out.. as adults they have the freedom and the choice to connect.

    My son was born at 27 weeks... very premature, weighing 2 lbs... with many developmental consequences.. His upbringing has involved intensive intervention.


    Gassho, kojip
    大山

  17. #17
    Lovely thread, great replies! Thank you all for sharing.

    How do you live unattached to your kids?
    I do not. I live quite attached, as others have mentioned, knowing full well I will suffer as that is my duty to them. In the same breath, my non-goal, is to allow them to just BE.
    This all said I realize they will be gone and bow to that too.

    How do you teach unattachment to them?
    I do not, I let them experience it all as it comes, if they ask me about such a thing I address it as best I can.

    When our cat went out one morning (to die) and did not return, after a couple of days I realized what had happend as did my daughter, and she asked where the kitty was.
    I said at that point she was a great kitty, and she went off on her own because she knew she was going to die. This obviously was upsetting and she cried (me too a bit, had this cat for 10 years or so). She then asked why I let her go die (face palm) and so I explained it was her desire to leave naturally, and that is what they did before being pets to prevent harm from coming to their family, we being that family she was a very kind being that did not want any harm to come to us and so she did what was natural to her. Now my daughter already knows the ins and outs of food chain and survival etc in wild animals as she is much smarter than her old man- and this made some sense to her. For days after I let her be with it. If she asked I explained. If she cried I held her and listened. She asked if there was a kitty heaven and I said that I did not know, but if there is one, she would be there. What else can we do?
    My own experience of loss and suffering are what ended up bringing me here, to this point in time, to practice, to my wife and now our kids etc. I will not work to interfere with these lessons, just be there when they are inevitably bumped into.


    Gassho

    Shohei
    (who is still learning!)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Michael,

    My experience is similar to yours. My daughter got in contact with me via Facebook and for a full year I got to talk to her, even on video! It was a magical experience.

    Sadly, her mom did not agree of that and she had to delete her Facebook account.

    All I can do is wait until the time is right again.

    Hope things go better with you and your daughter.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Thank you Kyonin ...

    I am sorry to hear about the road block you are facing with your daughter, it is very hard! I wish you all the best and hope one day your daughter's mother will see the value of allowing that connection between you two.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Kyonin,

    Shohei spoke my mind already, so I will simply include the following:

    A friend of my wife's who already had kids asked me once what parenting method I had chosen before our first son was born. My reply? "Well, my goal is to keep the kid alive...everything else is gravy!"

    I did not have a parenting method and still don't...I just wake up every day and do my best. I am very attached to my children and likely always will be. They are very attached to me and hopefully they will become less so if I allow them to come into their own. I will tell them about non-attachment, but only in subtle ways and never pushing anything on them.

    That's all we can do.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  20. #20
    This thread is great and prompted me to come out from lurking to simply express another part of this parenting and attachment discussion. Particularly from a greenhorn like me.

    I'm a stressed out, neurotic guy. This is something I am coming to accept about myself. Since I joined Tree Leaf, I have made begun reflecting upon the times in which I become stressed, angry, frustrated, etc. Much of it involves attachment. Attachment to my title at work, attachment to my sense of duty at home, etc.

    I have come to realize that this too includes attachment to my children. My first daughter is a three year old. As with all three year olds, they have a tendency to act out. I found that this led to some strong emotions. What I have learned is some of these are simply a normal part of being a parent, but in other cases it goes back to attachment: attachment to my expectations of the child and attachment to my expectations of myself as a parent. I'm learning or at least trying to learn to live more in the moment, to reflect upon my emotions as they occur, and continue my practice through zazen.

    Gassho,

    Richard

  21. #21
    I think its pretty ok to be attached to your children, very natural. My view is that we just have to drop our attachments on _our_ ideas on how they have to behave, what they have to like, to do and most important who/what they are going to be. By allowing my children to find their own way (which not means not to guide them at times), they have the chance not to become a clone of my dreams and believes. This is something I need to remember and often forget.
    Just 2c from the average dad
    _()_
    Myoku

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Thank you for sharing this, Taigu. I definitely relate in this.

    Once upon a time I also had to say good bye to my baby and leave. Her family portraits me as the incarnation of evil, so I don't get to see her.

    Since then I had to learn how to live attached-unattached.

    Gassho, Kyonin
    Taigu and Kyonin, thank you so much for your story. When I was 14 through about 21 years old, for 7 years, I was estranged from my dad. We had a big fight while I was visiting him in Pennsylvania, and I traveled back home to Illinois early. It was a typical fight between a teenager and parent. However, his girlfriend at the time convinced him to not contact me and my mom. My dad's girlfriend had psychological issues which was one of the reasons for her to response this way. And my dad has dealt with depression and alcoholism his entire life that resulted in low confidence and self-esteem so he was easily manipulated. So, we didn't have any contact with each other for about 7 years and it was heartbreaking. I really missed him and it did impact my life.

    When I was 21, my loving grandmother died of cancer. My grandmother and I were close so her death was very painful. Well, my dad had moved back to Illinois and heard about her passing. So there I was grieving with my mother and family at my grandmother's wake and guess who walks in the door, my dad. After 7 years of not speaking to each other, at my grandmother' funeral, we finally spoke to each other. Actually, we hugged each other when we first saw each other. It was one of the most emotional moments in my life. My dad and I have been close ever since. In fact, my son and I just visited him last weekend. It was a lovely time.

    I hope the both of you will have the opportunity to reconcile with your kids. It's very painful to be separated from your family no matter what place you are in your lives.

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  23. #23
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Taigu and Kyonin, thanks for sharing such difficult stories... it is so sad when one of the parents teaches hatred instead of love... I hope reconciliation it somewhere near

    Kojip, I know that your son requires a lot of care but I think the results have been good, if I am not mistaken. You must feel so proud of him

    Gassho
    ______________________________
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    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  24. #24
    Wow, thank you for sharing your crazy and personal stories.

    I don't have children, but I would have to imagine that it is our relationships with family, friends and children that we should be attached to... not an overly attached way, but a sacrificial I will do anything for that person way. In a sense, isn't that the way of the Bodhisattva?

    Anyway, I really just wanted to chime in to thank you all for your sharing of the difficulties you've had.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  25. #25
    DSCF2554j.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by lipor View Post

    Kojip, I know that your son requires a lot of care but I think the results have been good, if I am not mistaken. You must feel so proud of him

    Gassho
    Thankyou.. he is doing great, and is a typical enough kid now, to be a typical pain in the ass...

    Gassho, kojip.
    Last edited by Daizan; 08-09-2012 at 08:13 PM.
    大山

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Kyonin,

    By the way, here's an example of my parenting style: I was playing Star Wars III on the Wii with my oldest son (7) and were playing two levels where the objective is to destroy Yoda statues. We each had a vehicle that could destroy a different kind of item, me gold, him silver. So, only one of us could destroy the shield generator guarding the statues, leaving the other to get into position to destroy the statue itself. On the first level he had to destroy the shield generator and once it was destroyed I started to destroy the statue. He said, "Hey...wait for me to do that!" So, I did. On the next level, I had to destroy the generator and after I did, he immediately started destyroying the statue. In a tone, just slightly mocking but not mean, I said "Hey...wait for me to do that!" He turned around and gave me a smile...but continued to destroy the statue and blew it up. He was still smiling, but having a hard time looking me in the eyes, when I said to him, "Did you like it when I waited for you?" "Well, yes.", he replied. "How do you think I felt when you didn't wait?" He paused for a long time, still smiling, but understanding what I was saying, and looked into my eyes and said, "Sorry Dad."

    You never know when a lesson will come up when you are a parent. I always tell people that being aware of this is so important, but don't always assume you'll be the teacher and your child will be the student. I'm sure within a few days or so I'll have an example of where he taught me something, perhaps even the same lesson. But I'll only catch it if I pay attention.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Last edited by Dosho; 08-09-2012 at 10:47 PM.
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,878
    Not 15 minutes after I posted the last message I wondered why my wife hadn't come home. I was just about to call her when I overheard that same 7 year old telling his 3 year old brother, "Mommy's not coming home for dinner...she'll be home later. Daddy's making it." So, I quickly made dinner.

    Now who's the one not paying attention?!

    Gassho,
    Daddy Forgetful
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  28. #28
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Davao City, Philippines
    Posts
    383
    Just wanted to echo what Myoku said. My son is a great teacher in this regard because one moment he's the sweetest, cutest, funniest toddler, all smiles and hugs - and the next he's all WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! and I feel like AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHH!. Let me add that it's not just our ideas on how they should behave but also how we should parent them. I have a lot of ideas about parenting, and I'm sure they're useful - but they're also just ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    I think its pretty ok to be attached to your children, very natural. My view is that we just have to drop our attachments on _our_ ideas on how they have to behave, what they have to like, to do and most important who/what they are going to be. By allowing my children to find their own way (which not means not to guide them at times), they have the chance not to become a clone of my dreams and believes. This is something I need to remember and often forget.
    Just 2c from the average dad
    _()_
    Myoku

  29. #29
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wherever the next mediation is. Every now and then I make it back to Norfolk, England.
    Posts
    217
    Sad, heartbreaking stories. My heart goes out to you.

    I think being a parent involves heartbreak. And joy, yes, and worry (and, in the UK, a lot of university fees). But also heartbreak. One way or another ones loses them in the end.

    And that's simply as it should be, as it is. And the heartbreak is as it should be, as it is also. The thing is, not to be attached to not being heartbroken. Sigh.

    Gassho

    Martin

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