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 Parenting: Pain (Sometimes), Possibility (Always) 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Conscious Relationship Coach by . View all columns in series

Here's a remarkable fact of life, confirmed by a great deal of research in the real lives of families:

Your children go through specific developmental stages--prenatal, birth, bonding/nursing, exploring, toilet-training, sexual development and more. Being with them as they go through those stages pushes to the surface any unresolved issues from those stages in you. For example, when your child is going through the toilet-training stage, with its "NO I WON'T" and resistance to authority, you get a chance to confront your own unresolved issues about authority--whether you like it or not.

The upside of this fact of life: You get a second chance to clear up your own unresolved issues free-of-charge, by simply becoming aware of what "buttons" your child's behavior pushes in you. As you become aware of your own issues, your buttons no longer get pushed, allowing you to parent your child clearly and effectively.

The downside: It can drive you nuts unless you know which buttons get pushed and what they mean.

For example, when your child is conceived, this event pushes buttons that bring your own conception-dramas to light.

Not only do you have significant issues to confront about your child--suddenly you need to confront issues about your own conception. If you don't confront these issues consciously, the unresolved questions about your own conception will spill over onto your child.

Here are several issues specific to your feelings about your newly-conceived child:
Do I actually want to have a child?
Do I love and welcome this new being that has just come into existence?
Am I willing to take responsibility for the wellbeing of this new being, both now and for the foreseeable future?

Here are several issues about you that are triggered by the existence of your newly-conceived child:
Was I wanted when I was conceived?
Was I loved and welcomed?
Did anyone take responsibility for my wellbeing?

These issues are important to explore at any time of life, whether or not you're a parent. However, when you become a parent it becomes essential to explore your own developmental stages, because the stakes are high: Unresolved issues from your own development spill over unconsciously onto your children, passing on troublesome programming to another generation.

More on conception and the other development stages can be found in our new cyber-course at

Find out about the Attracting Genuine Love course.

© 2001-2002 The Hendricks Institute. All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at

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 About The Author
Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., is the author and co-author of twenty-five books in conscious relationship, conscious business and bodymind transformation. Included are such enduring bestsellers as CONSCIOUS LOVING, THE......moreGay&Kathlyn Hendricks
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