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Integral Parenting

Last post 09-25-2021, 12:56 PM by benachad. 2 replies.
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  •  09-23-2021, 9:42 PM 28925

    Integral Parenting

    In considering any new endeavor or approach to addressing an issue it seems very important to me to be clear on what is the intention of the proposed activity. Intention determines directionality and serves as a compass point to keep one on track. Since life is a bit messy at time I think this analogy of a trip, utilizing a compass, may be very helpful ... after all, the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but we don't see many straight lines naturally arising. And on microscopic examination we will find man made straight lines are only relatively so.  Sorry, I got sidetracked, let me return to the importance of intentionality and how it applies to the issue of raising children in an integral fashion.  A brief sketch of its role thus far might be helpful.

    If the intention in raising children is to see that they do not disrupt the current social order then there are well worn tracks laid down to accomplish this ... it is the amber (blue) approach in its many guises born out of the multitude of social constructs in which it was applied. A very good approach as far as it went, but as Orange or the scientific mind began to emerge into human consciousness the ways of amber became problematic. The rigidity of invoking divinity as the source of all laws, morals and ethics that served to move humanity through the treachery of red's each for themselves mentality was now a solid wall that blocked the way ahead. And those that dared climb to the top to look over incited others to tear the wall down. Truth was no longer to be determined by faithful acceptance of tradition but by rigorous and disciplined examination. It is from this world view that the now dominant models for parenting were born.

    The intention of Orange child rearing is to encourage Individual expression while still maintaining social order. Our modern day school systems and democratic institutions are the result. Parenting became a process of “training” the child to obey the rules while simultaneously telling them to think for themselves. The failure of Orange methods is that they do not adequately address the inherent contradiction of a split intention. Nor do they honor the depth or the place of the preceding (amber) level that provided the moral compass that guides us in the determination of the law of the land. Actually, it is indeed the combined failure of both the amber and orange social institutions that have led us into this cull de sac. As pointed out by Ken in Integral Spirituality there is no adequate bridge provided by the church and education is busy declaring their myths as nothing but lies, and offering their “proof” of it. This has produced a culture that suffers from multiple personality disorder and has the depth of a cartoon.  

    Facing this malaise (perhaps arising in response to it) is the green level of consciousness. The fractured social order is seen to be the product of artificial constructions of human intellect. The honorable intention of green in parenting is to restore a sense of unity. The means they use are based on deconstructionist theories.  The hope is that by destroying artificial boundaries through exposing their relative nature humanity will come to rest on its commonality and this would lessen the need for external rules of conduct. The problem is that with all meaning rendered meaningless all that remains as common ground is our DNA and our existential experience as separate beings with separate agenda’s.  The only common concern is self esteem.

    I would like to suggest that the intention of an integral approach to parenting be to encourage the recognition of the fact of human unity and the value of the individual. The integral model provides the framework to demonstrate the universal nature of human development and potential. It is a theory of inclusion that not only accepts but celebrates diversity. It is well suited to instill a both a sense of our rights and responsibilities; the right (the necessity?) of individual expression within the context of one’s greater role as member of the human race.

    I know developing educational resources that are able to speak to amber, orange and green as well as second tier requires dropping much of the integral language. Fortunately it is not the language that is important it is the integrity and inclusiveness of the content.

    I will see what comes up for me on this, but I would love to hear of what others are doing or thinking along these lines.




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  •  09-24-2021, 3:13 PM 28964 in reply to 28925

    Re: Integral Parenting

    Jerry, as a new parent, but more importantly as a leader of an integral organization, I take very seriously the need to develop an Integral Parenting approach.  I plan to push this in a major way in 2021.  Details are still rough, but the short version of what we plan to do:

    1. Develop several Featured Editorials on specific to integral parenting, launching in the Applications Channel, and featuring integral parenting experts (as we discover who they are!)

    2. Encourage active conversation around this topic in the moderated inquiry section of from members

    3. Fund academic development of an Integral Parenting module, book and actual practice kit (I could use one).

    This is an example of why we have setup II in the new format we have, by focusing on a research endowment we can actually put donor funds to effective and targeted use in high-impact areas, and there is no greater impact area than integral parenting in the world today, in my view.

    Robb Smith

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  •  09-25-2021, 12:56 PM 29019 in reply to 28964

    Re: Integral Parenting


    Thanks for your response.

    I totally agree with your observation of the need and impact of fleshing out what integral parenting means. My two lovely grandchildren remind me of this each time I see them or even think of them.

    I stumbled through raising two wonderful children, now young adults nearing 30. By some grace they both demonstrate clear capacity for 2nd tier cognition and appear to be in the transitional stages from green to yellow in identification or prime meaning making. Each with a relatively healthy ego -not overly egocentric and looking to deal with the shadow material.

    I look forward to the manifestation of the plans you note and will keep an eye on this thread for more info and the opportunity to contribute as I am able.


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