Call birth, “birth,” and death, “death,” without seeing one as good and the other as evil and your children will be at home with life.
If you teach them to achieve they will never be content.
If you teach them contentment, they will naturally achieve everything.
You do not live your life through your children.
Therefore they are free to find their own true fulfillment.
If you overly protect your children they will fear failure and avoid pain.
But failure and pain are twin teachers of important lessons.
Unless your children fully experience both how will they know they have nothing to fear?
Parents who hide failure, deny loss, and berate themselves for weakness, have nothing to teach their children.
But parents who reveal themselves, in all of their humanness, become heroes.
For children look to these parents and learn to love themselves.
Whatever they are doing, they are learning.
And it is, for them, pure joy.
All of your “God” words will not teach your children as much as will your nurture, and your love, and your cherishing.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
Don’t make parenting harder than it needs to be. It only requires focus.
Worry is not focus.
Attempting to control is not focus.
Distracting yourself is not focus.
Relaxed, non-fretful, attention to what is in front of you right now, is focus.
If you take the bait the battle rages.
Instead step back, breathe deeply, relax, and stay at your center.
Battles require two parties.
One fighting alone soon tires.
A problem is not an interruption to a serene and happy life.
A problem is an ordinary part of such a life.
You do not have to make your children into wonderful people.
You only have to remind them that they are wonderful people.
But the Tao teaches that games are for fun, that business is for the common good, that no one wins at war, and that love endures for all.
Every moment is a death of all that has gone before, and a birth of all that is to come.