Lama Zopa Rinpoche, in this interesting transcript, explains how and why having a long term parenting strategy can help make their child’s life meaningful. An excerpt:

Parents need to learn how to take care of their children properly. Whether you are a mother or father, or even if you are not a parent but are involved in taking care of children, your attitude should be the very same: you should consider those children to be your main object of practice or meditation. Since you spend so many years of your life with them, it is important to make them the focus of your Dharma practice. But, by saying this, I am not suggesting that everyone have children! My point is that if you are planning to have children, you should be really careful and, before having children, learn how to make their lives as beneficial as possible. Of course, there is still no guarantee that everything will work out; your children will have their own karma. But, because children spend so much time with their parents, you can potentially have an enormous influence on them. Therefore, parents have a huge responsibility. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about this and so don’t plan what they are going to do with that new life after giving birth to it. Instead they tend to think that having children will be pure bliss, without a single problem, like a wonderful dream come true.

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