Zen Mommy Minute: Duality

Zen Mommy Minute question of the week: Do you want a good, dutiful, well-behaved, grateful, respectful child? This video might have you think twice about this as a parenting “goal”… or at least I hope it will.

Duality. What are we teaching our children when the end goal of our parenting approach is to have a “good” child? Does it lead to excessive rigidity? Does it help our children learn to accept and manage the many emotions they feel? And finally, does it help our children come to know and love themselves? Please send me your thoughts. To read more on this, check out one of my favorite parenting reads, Alice Miller’s “For Your Own Good”.

due logo This Zen Mommy Minute is published in partnership with Due Maternity, a great place for maternity clothes.  Zen Mommy is wearing a stylish plum top by Due. xoxo

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy

In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and expecting twins in Jan of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of  Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers ongoing tips on parenting and is the co-creator of the Yogi Parenting approach to positive parenting.


  1. Suzanne (Zen Mommy) we’re on the same music page re. guiding our children to learn to accept and love themselves and everything else falls into place. For example, working with a challenging child for me is embodying Gandhi’s wise words “Be the change you wish to see.” From a zen perspective, getting centered with a clear mind, peaceful heart helps us weather any storm. Our children benefit most when we reach for those enlightened living tools that help us find gentle clarity to reflect and as you said” guide by the side.”

  2. “Be the change you wish to see.” a guiding light for all of us… thank you for the comment “ZenMommie/Michiko”. i am sure your great-grandfather is very proud – where ever he is… of the work you do with children and their families. Blessings.

  3. Zen Mommy, I couldn’t agree more. The habit of rearing children to be meek, little well-behaved, overly rule-governed automatons needs to be thrown out with all the rest of the square rules of parenting handed down to us from generations who obviously failed in raising healthy, happy, satisfied adults.

    This is the same kind of stupidity that John Taylor Gatto is pointing to with American public schools. Education for the ease and benefit of the educator. Let us make good workers! Let me make children that don’t embarrass me!

    Basta! Children raised to pay attention only to the rules of the system rather than their own senses and instincts. This is the way to a child’s kill humanity and create a biological robot. We need to understand how humans get encoded in order to encode for humanity, self-awareness, purpose and passion. Every NO causes trauma to the system. It closes of a pathway for fascination and inspiration. It cauterizes creativity.

    Of course I’m not suggesting that we never say no to our kids. But taking the no standpoint as the main bias for all parenting. “Follow the rules or else!” leads to the a critical handicapping of each child’s unique awareness.

    Stepping off my rant-soapbox now.

    Thanks for the poignant message.