Parenting and The Enki Approach
Four-year-old Kaeli was sitting at the breakfast
table, fully dressed in her endless pink, ready for preschool.
She was an extremely careful and aware little girl, always neat
and precise in her action. This particular morning, as she took
her orange juice cup in her hand and raised it, her finger brushed
by the butter plate and a little butter got onto her bent index
finger. With her usual precision, she moved the glass towards
her mouth, saw the butter on her finger, and continued turning
her hand to lick the butter off. The juice, obeying the laws of
physics, tumbled down her pink dress. Tears followed the river
Riley had always been an exceptionally cheerful,
jolly, round little boy - "Smiley Riley" to those who knew him.
One day when he was eight years old I noticed that he was concentrating
very hard on what he was drawing. He seemed to be putting an unusual
amount of time and focus into a very detailed picture. When he
was done he brought it over to show me (see below). The top fifth
of the page was a paradisiacal scene, complete with palm trees.
There was a clear line dividing this from the lower part of the
drawing. A waterfall from the heaven above tumbled down to the
bottom. In it were a few people falling. Below the few palm trees
and all the people were knocked over, bleeding and dead. All had
battle gear or had been hit by coconuts falling from the "palms
of paradise". As he showed it to me Riley said, "They all fell
into battle. Everyone is dying."
For me as a mother what made both of these stir a
sense of awe and appreciation, rather than one of frustration over
the dirty dress or fear of the violence or depression depicted in
the picture? The answer is simple: I had an understanding of human
development that allowed me to see the phenomenal workings of the
human mind and heart in each of my children - I had the incomparably
awe filled opportunity to actually witness another's growth. Watching
my children I found myself completely full and intrigued, enraptured.
I thought about my luck in having a profession, both as parent and
teacher, which allows me glimpses into the incredible process of
Over the years I have found that the knowledge and
understanding of human development, including my own as both child
and adult, has made it possible to not only to enjoy my children
more deeply, to ride the times of worry and fretting more easily,
but it has also helped me guide them more constructively. My knowledge
of human growth has made the hard and lonely decisions all parents
face again and again, a little easier to bear, as I understood them
in light of a lifetime of development.
Over the years many parents have taken the
Foundation Course of the
Enki Teacher Training Program and studied our materials for
just this reason. Time and again we hear from participants that
this study has helped them to understand their children and themselves
far more deeply and with more appreciation. Our approach to understanding
children begins with an experiential understanding of ourselves.
Through new exercises and the arts, in the summer intensive we all
get to re-experience the actual processes of growing and learning.
The study, which follows these experiences, brings understanding
both of our children's process and of the aspects of earlier development
we have not fully completed ourselves. In the process we not only
become more knowledgeable parents, but more compassionate and full
of humor (the one absolute requirement in the parental arsenal!).
We hope you will be able to join us in the Foundation
Course, study our materials, and participate in our Monthly
Question and Answer discussion.