A Clear Mirror: The Ultimate Gift to Your Children

By Annie Burnside, M.Ed.
A Clear Mirror—The Ultimate Gift to Your Children

Many of us tend to look immediately and understandably outside ourselves for expert answers when things go awry with our children. We’re always in search of the perfect parenting strategies, behavioral tips and general tools to be the best head honchos we can be.

It has become more apparent to me with each passing year that, in actuality, the greatest gift we could ever offer our children is so simple. (Well, not exactly simple, but simply put.)
Truly, the mother of all gifts, the gem underneath the outer wrappings, is the gift of being a clear mirror for our children, offering them the best possible means to succeed as a whole, self-aware and joyous human being with the capacity to ignite their highest potential. Let me explain ...
Most of us parenting today have a truckload of baggage—not so pretty, but quite useful to uncover—mounds of psychic debris hidden away within our interior. In other words, right underneath the surface of our lovely physical masks and human suits lie some often not-so-lovely lurking beliefs, patterns, perspectives, wounds and general imprints that no longer serve our highest good, much less the highest good of our beloved children. Unknowingly, and therefore, unintentionally, we offer these very heavy and dense “gifts” to our children simply by being in their presence.
As we are all mirrors for one another, literally reflecting back aspects of each other’s inner landscape through our own energy field, imagine all that is occurring energetically in the parent/child relationship due to proximity and intimacy. Without our being fully conscious of what is occurring, the natural mirror that many of us lovingly offer our children is actually a blurry, grey, cracked mirror that cannot possibly reflect back to them the whole, luminous, creative and powerful being they are simply by birthright.
It has been my experience, as well as the experiences of many of my teachers and students, that working from the inside out toward our own magnificent wholeness gifts our children with more than any pedagogical method, behavior modification system, or well-meaning disciplinary action ever could. While some of these tools may be necessary at times, especially when the parent first initiates a self-healing path, all the inner work we do for ourselves we also do for our children, and even beyond that, for the world.
As we move deeper into the 21st century, our perspectives are expanding at lightning speed. Eventually, responsibility for the energy we emanate will become even more evident as we learn how this energy matters more than we ever imagined possible. We will want to be sure that we are dialed into our favorite “radio” station for our children’s benefit—the energy frequency oozing from us that offers the best possible reflection of their true nature right back to them at every turn …
Your own path to awakening—the inner work for creating a clear mirror—just might be the true and lasting gift for your child.


1. Use everyday life—such as friendships, nature, mealtimes, music, movies and much more—as the perfect curriculum and forum to teach your children powerful, universal principles—such as connectedness, self-love, presence and forgiveness.
2. Teach your children to allow multiple perspectives in all life situations and relationships by “flipping” challenges into positive, learning opportunities.
3. Train your children to be more conscious of thoughts, words and deeds so they can assume greater responsibility for shaping their own realities.
4. Encourage compassion, empathy and gratitude in your children on a daily basis by making them the most-used words in your home.
5. Turn the JOY in family life way up by singing, dancing, smiling, humming, laughing and relaxing rigid perspectives as often as possible through openness and gratitude.
6. Model authenticity by speaking and living your truth, thereby giving your children permission to do the same.
7. Show your spirit daily so that your children can witness multiple aspects of you, and in turn, see multiple aspects of themselves.
8. Teach your children that they are intuitive, creative, eternal spiritual beings—much larger than simply their physical form—and filled with infinite possibility and the capacity for direct divine connection.
9. Help your children understand that an appreciation for life in the present moment, coupled with enthusiasm for their future, plants the necessary seeds for manifesting their true heart’s desires.
10. Provide the space and opportunity for your children to focus on their interior worlds as much as their exterior worlds, allowing greater intimacy with the voice of their own souls to feel what resonates as truth for them.

Annie Burnside, M.Ed., is an author, public speaker and teacher specializing in conscious relationships and spiritual development. Her book Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2010) offers everyday methods and universal, life-affirming themes to those families seeking to expand spiritual awareness in the home. Annie resides in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and three children. For more information, visit annieburnside.com.