One to One Coaching

I offer free 30 minute telephone/Skype consultations for people wanting to find out more about coaching on the 'baby decision'. Email me at and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit for more information about my coaching services.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Are parents morally responsible for their children?

Fascinating article 'Are parents morally responsible for their children? appeared recently on the Salon website.  It looks at cases of how parents of murder's have responded - often making apologies and taking on some responsibility for the actions of their child.  Yet, as the author points out, we can there are many things that are outside of our control and she makes an analogy to sporting injuries and other accidents.

 'Isn’t it the same when a host of chance events come together to make one imperfectly-parented child a killer and another imperfectly-parented child a well-adjusted adult? When deciding whether to have children, many people think about what mark their child might leave on the world. But they might not consider that they will have limited control over their children’s behavior, yet could very well share the guilt for anything those children do wrong. If we decide to have a child knowing that we are certain to be imperfect parents, we are a little like a person who decides to drive a speedboat without the kill cord in place. We rely on good luck to save us from terrible blame.'

I think this is a very helpful view.  I find many of the women (and sometimes men) who come to see me getting worried about 'the unknown', and what they cannot control (i.e. how their child will be, how they will relate to them, etc. etc.).  And letting go of the idea that we can possibly control everything - every way our child will turn out is very reassuring. I think the poem below says it all!

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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