The vast majority of people raising children are ill equipped for the job. Now, we all know the general comments like “How come they don’t teach you about this at school?” or “Why is there no training to be a parent?” But that’s not what I’m talking about. Those of us who are parents know that nothing, but nothing, actually prepares you for the day you bring your first child home from the hospital. But that’s not even what I’m talking about – I’m talking about something a lot more fundamental – and something that is ruining the next generations’ lives.
Decades of research in the field of psychology prove conclusively that the normal adult is crazy. That statement needs a little explanation! Research, across of variety of psychological disciplines has proved that normal adults only perceive what they expect to perceive (in other words, they are incapable of perceiving something that they don’t expect, even if that something is before their very eyes); normal adults perform all routine, repetitive tasks automatically, without paying them any attention (unfortunately, sooner or later, most things in life become routine and repetitive and, therefore, normal adults wander through their lives automatically); and that the normal adult is incapable of paying attention even to what he or she has decided to pay attention to! Research indicates that the normal adult only puts 1% of their capacity for attention to active use in the present moment – and that the balance of their attention is either subconsciously focused on the past or vaguely focused on the future. In one sentence – normal people do not control their minds – a sure and certain definition of being crazy.
Now, that would be OK if the normal adult didn’t have any impact on anyone else’s life! But, we all do – whether it’s our family or friends, our colleagues or children. And it’s our children who are being most damaged by the automatic mindless behaviour that is the norm. Children don’t become normal crazy adults by accident – there is a physiological process, by which the child’s brain activity changes on a continuum from around eleven years of age up to the end of adolescence – generally believed to end somewhere between eighteen and twenty five years of age. Before the age of eleven, a child’s mental activity is completely different from that of an adult. Whereas an adult is “not all there” (1% presence isn’t exactly an awful lot!), a child is fully focused, fully attentive, fully present to the here and now. As such, the child’s mind is wide open, ready to soak up all that is going on around it, sponge-like.
In the child’s early years, its subconscious mind will be most impressed by those who are most impressive – generally speaking, the child’s parents. The way parents behave will, because of the child’s sponge-like open-mindedness, be the major influence on creating the child’s self-image. But, hold on a minute! After the novelty (or panic!) of the new arrival has worn off, after having a child has become routine, after many repetitive nights of feeding, crying and lack of sleep, won’t the parents begin to care for, relate to and, actually, raise that child automatically, without giving any real and present care, any focused attention to what they’re doing? If all the psychological research is right, then, as life becomes routine and repetitive, the normal parent, being only 1% present, is doing and saying God knows what to his or her child. The little snide throw-away remarks that a parent will never remember will be etched on the child’s subconscious – remember, the child is paying full attention.
The point I’m making is that normal adults are simply raising their children to follow in their footsteps and be normal crazy adults too, to repeat and repeat and repeat the normal not-too-bad norms of the normal life. What parent wants their child to make the same or similar mistakes to them? What parent wants their child to have a more successful, happy and carefree life than them? What parent wouldn’t leap at the opportunity for their children to be extra-ordinary?
Isn’t it time you did something about it? Isn’t it time you awoke from your deadly slumber – the mindless, automatic, repetitive, careless state of mind that is the adult norm? Isn’t it time that you stopped sentencing your children to the same life sentence that you’re serving? It’s time to wake up – preferably before your children reach that watershed of eleven years of age. But, even if they’re long past that age, it’s never too late the explain to your children that they don’t need to take on the negative mantle fashioned for them by the sad and pathetic normal minds which they encounter or encountered during their formative years.
As a parent, how do you wake up? How do you become more attentive to the present moment – the moments that are shaping your children’s future? You simply re-learn your childhood ability to pay absolute attention to the present moment. Your very young children experience everything new by using all of their five senses – you must re-learn how to do the same. You must deliberately set time aside – maybe only ten minutes each day – to see, feel, hear, smell and taste the present moment. You know the old expression that we need to stop and smell the roses? Well, we better do that before we’ve ruined someone else’s life.
Willie Horton was born and educated in Dublin, Ireland. An ex-Accountant and ex-Banker, he has worked with personal, business and sports clients for thirteen years, enabling them understand how their state of mind creates their lives. Clients describe the results as 'unbelievable' and 'life-changing'. Willie now lives with his wife and children in the French Alps. For more, information visit: