The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

Alejandra Valera
Apr 29, 2008

You can speak to your children of life, but your words are not life itself. You can show them what you see, but your showing and their seeing are forever different things.

We recently skimmed through the The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents while visiting a local bookstore and were really touched by many of the passages in the book.

Written by William C. Martin, the book addresses many themes that are front and center in Taoism and shows how they relate to parenting.

A student of the Tao Te Ching for many years, Martin writes that he feels it has affected his journey through parenthood by giving him insights and knowledge between doing and being.

We loved the passage:

"Go for a slow and mindful walk.
Show them every little thing that catches your
eye.
Notice every little thing that catches
theirs.
Don't look for lessons or seek to teach great
things.
Just notice.
The lesson will teach itself."

So many times, we're so busy reading parenting books about how it should be done and how your child should be and if those expectations aren't met, we feel like failures. What we loved about The Parent's Tao Te Ching is the reminder of how simple, basic ways are often the most effective path towards happiness -- both for you and your child.

"We all want out children to be happy. Somehow, some way today show them something that makes you happy, something you truly enjoy./Your own happiness is contagious. They learn the art from you."

We plan on buying The Parent's Tao Te Ching the next time we're at a bookstore -- it seems as beautiful as it is useful. Do any of you own it?

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