Children, perhaps even more than one’s spouse, are incentives that force us to learn to relate responsibly to others – to relate, that is, in a giving way, eschewing the thought (so instinctive to the ego), “What’s in it for me?”
–Swami Kriyananda, Self-Expansion Through Marriage
Paramhansa Yogananda said that if parents conceive a child with love and uplifted awareness, they can actually call to and attract the very type of soul they’d like to invite into their family.
Once the soul is drawn to the couple, Yogananda advises the parents to let go of any sense of possessiveness. He encourages parents to see their children as visiting souls, on loan from God.
The parents’ job, in partnership with God, is that of stewardship rather than ownership of the children, and of helping to guide them toward physical, emotional and spiritual maturity.
The yogic teachings emphasize that children arrive into this world complete with their own qualities and karmic lessons to learn.
The parents are encouraged, therefore, to approach raising children in the spirit of helping them to learn their lessons and develop positive qualities. They are cautioned against imposing their own material desires and worldly expectations on the child.
And finally, we teach our children to accept all beings as part of a larger family, so that they can develop to their full potential as human beings.
To learn more about how Ananda raises children, read Education for Life by Swami Kriyananda and Finding God in the Heart of Your Family by Mary Kretzmann.