How should you think about your job as a parent? Here’s a new way to do it:
Imagine yourself as a young child. Recall a memory of yourself at 5 or 6 or 10 years old. You might picture old photographs you’ve seen often, or stories you’ve heard repeated. That was once you. Laughing, learning, getting frustrated, being held.
Now bring to mind a picture of yourself as a teenager or a young adult. Imagine what it was like to be that young person: Socially aware, and at times socially suffering. Feeling a new sense of independence and excitement, along with new states of uncertainty and fear.
Now look at your life right now as it is—your relationships, where you live, your job, how you feel about yourself. You are the continuation of that younger you. That child, that teenager, that young adult. Those early experiences helped shape the person you are and the mind you have today.
As a parent, you are laying the foundation for your child’s future mind. You are directing their attention, shaping their habits, and telling the stories that will become their worldviews and values. The future adults they will become follow from the experiences you provide today. Take care of how you do this.
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