When a child is born, her brain has been given a starter set of instructions as to how to lay its basic structure out and begin the important process of wiring to create the basis for the child she is and the adult she is to become. This is her genetics at play; passed down through generations from the ancestral lines of each of her parents.

From now on, however, much of the foundation building, further connecting up and strengthening of brain pathways is stimulated, influenced and supported by the quality and quantity of experiences she has during early, middle and late childhood and adolescence. The structure, effectiveness and efficiency of our brain’s wiring generates how we will think, feel and behave throughout our lives.

Childhood, in its entirety, therefore, is the ultimate opportunity to generate an evolutionary leap for human kind. The building blocks are poised and ready, but what can we build with them…?

Each generation of parents has their beliefs about children and ways of parenting that are good enough (perhaps even rather applause-worthy), for the time. My Grandma was brought up under the “spare the rod, spoil the child” banner and emotional distance and strict punishment were the order of the day. By the time Grandma became a mum she had decided to tone down the emotional coldness and punishment was a smack with a wooden spoon. My Mum was of the hippy era and she felt that a smack needed to be felt on both sides so she only used her hands to hit us. Then, for my part, I chose to use verbal and body language to get my guidance of behaviour messages across. There are still more shifts that can occur to increase the effectiveness of this guidance. I totally expect my children, as they grow to adulthood, to consider what I have done to be somewhat archaic and clumsy and come up with superior methods. Indeed I hope that they do, for the benefit of humanity.

Every step forward in allowing and supporting a child to fully express who they really are and to hold all of life in high regard is a step that is worth working for; and working hard for.

So what if we could speed up this incremental process? What if we, as today’s parents, could make such a huge leap forward in the journey of parenting in the West that this iteration of intergenerational change were enormous, magnificent and utterly transformational; standing our children in far healthier and stronger stead than previous generations? Providing them with a greater chance of healing this planet and its inhabitants than has ever been possible before…

Without the stress of emotional fears and inadequacies, and with great appreciation of the social support available all around them, our children could go on to utilise so much more of the world’s learning abundance; be more; do more; heal more; and enjoy their life more.

What a gift to the planet. What an antidote to so many of the world’s current issues.

But is this possible?



Through Conscious Parenting.

What’s that?

Making conscious choices as to how we intend to treat our children, moment to moment and throughout their childhood. Increasing our awareness of the hugely available science to assist us in unravelling the confusions amidst the profusion of parenting methods. Awareness also of who our children truly are, seeing them as a truly great human being (though perhaps one that needs our help to calm them and stand for them right at this moment in time). Taking responsibility for the impacts of our choices, not just the impacts on ourselves and our children, but on our communities and society and the world as a whole. Choosing love as the basis for all interactions with ourselves, others and the world. And by making the conscious decisions, over and over again, to prioritise this time in our lives as the window of opportunity for the future that it is, and thereby generating the energy and perseverance necessary to carry out this most important of roles.

Every child is a new beginning for the planet, a new opportunity for greatness. It is up to us whether we choose a lifetime of conformity and playing small or an explosion of awareness, love, responsibility and the energy to make the most effective difference this world in which we all live has ever seen.

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Sarah Amy Glensor Best moved away from a corporate career a decade ago to become a stay at home Mum. Since then she has been learning alongside her three daughters at Playcentre; become a kaiako/educator for Brainwave Trust Aotearoa; written numerous articles and opinion pieces; published her first book “Changing the World is Child’s Play” and started an education business focussed on children, parenting and play – Children Change. Sarah lives in Wellington with her family.

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