Being a parent can be the most rewarding experience in our lives. It can also be most challenging, lonely and misunderstood role we undertake. Unlike other “jobs,” becoming a parent does not come with a “how to manual.” Parents are expected to know what it takes to raise their children. The unfortunate outcomes of this unreasonable expectation are two fold; children’s emotional, psychological and spiritual needs are not successfully met, thereby, limiting the expression of their full potential in adulthood; producing adults who are unable to enjoy full and true intimacy with themselves and their loved ones.
While the significant role parenting plays in the ultimate development of an individual is widely known, there is still a void in educating parents and facilitating their ability to optimize their success.
Until the middle of the twentieth century, parents’ primary focus has been on physically nourishing their children, keeping them safe and healthy, and making sure they receive proper education. There was little or no understanding and appreciation for their children’s emotional, psychological and spiritual needs and development, and their significant role in shaping the overall health of the human being. The extraordinary achievements made in medical, industrial, technological, and educational fields resulted in Western industrialized societies’ increased ability to meet its members’ essential survival needs. As these needs became easier to fulfill, greater attention was given to understanding the emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of the individual. Research in neurology, physics, biochemistry, and psychology have generated ongoing dialogue, theory, data, practice, and further research in the relentless pursuit of how we operate. Consequently, we now have a better understanding of what motivates our feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Although most researchers, scientists and students of the human behavio agree that our knowledge is still in its infantile stage, nonetheless, we currently possess critical information that can increase our appreciation, and therefore, our ability to better meet our children’s need as well as our personal and collective needs.