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Moin Zafar: “Learn to let go and trust your child”

To me, a “good parent” is someone who is doing their best at any given time. Let’s be honest, it is a tough task. I like to think of myself as a gentle guide rather than a strict instructor. When you know children learn more from how you behave rather than how you ask them […]

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To me, a “good parent” is someone who is doing their best at any given time. Let’s be honest, it is a tough task. I like to think of myself as a gentle guide rather than a strict instructor. When you know children learn more from how you behave rather than how you ask them to behave, the attention then naturally shifts on your own “good” or “bad” habits. Whenever you’re in a difficult situation, angry or frustrated, ask yourself, “Is the way I am behaving right now, the way I want my children to behave?” Another variation to this is, “Is the way I’m teaching my child the way I would like to be taught?” To me that question is my guiding compass to becoming a good parent.


I had the pleasure to interview Moin Zafar. Moin is the author of the Amazon bestseller, “Grow with your baby.” He believes everyone has the capacity to be extraordinary and that incredible introspection into one’s habits can lead to incredible healing. Moin was born in China, raised in Pakistan, and his transformation into the person that he is today really began in Canada. His journey started when he found out that he was going to be a father while still in University. From then on, Moin started to dedicate time to his own personal transformation. Courage, commitment and purpose became his recipe for taking radical action.


Thank you so much for joining us Moin! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

It is an honor to be here. I was born in China and raised in Lahore, Pakistan until I was 18 years old. I was raised mostly by my kind-hearted mother, who took up the mantle of bringing up four kids. My father also sacrificed a lot in order for me to be here now. It was difficult for me to comprehend as a child why he had to live in a different country away from his family; he was working extremely hard to give his family a quality of life that he never had growing up. Although I really missed him as a kid, as any child would, I admire and respect him. Thank you, Baba. It’s why Fatherhood is so important to me.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

At 18 years old, I arrived in Canada. Apart from the culture shock, and the occasional homesickness, I felt challenged to pick one line of interest. I used to ask myself: One Major and one career? Is that all that I am? So, it started with me asking questions. The questions weren’t directed at anyone else but me. I was being introspective. How do I add meaning into this mechanical process of growing up, and become who I am meant to become? And then…who am I meant to become? Is having a family a reality that I want to accept? More importantly, having a family and then commuting away from them daily so that I can “be” with them, is that a reality I want to accept? This line of thinking led me to various pivots in my life. I changed my major two years into my undergraduate program, I decided to evolve the unplanned pregnancy into a marriage, and be the father I had promised myself to be. I quit my soul-sucking job after my graduation to spend time with my daughter and figure out a more balanced way of living. To put it very simply, whenever I want to get to any “specific point”, I ask myself a relevant question.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

Every day is different. I have work days, and I have family days. I start each day with a 20-minute meditation. This includes a gratitude and forgiveness practice followed by a visualization of what my ideal future and ideal work day looks like. I learned this from Vishen Lakhiani who is the CEO of Mindvalley. He calls this method the “six phase meditation”. The meditation is usually followed by some form of exercise. On my work days I schedule interviews, record and edit my podcast episodes, create content for social media marketing, attend relevant events to expand my network, look for speaking opportunities and collaborate with people. On my family days, I spend most of my time with my wise 3-year-old daughter, Amanisha.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

Here’s the truth: If you are not raising your children, then your environment will raise them. According to the research of Dr Bruce Lipton, children from the ages of 0–7 are in a theta brainwave state. Theta is imagination, theta is also hypnosis. This means that, without any filters children are recording every single thing that is going on in their environment, the good and the bad. Everything is absorbed. If you are not there to show the values you want to install in your children, then the next closest thing will be the media today (including YouTube, radio, TV), which may instill values you don’t want. Can you trust that?

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

My desire to be with my daughter comes from my own childhood. My father worked in another country! As I was growing up, I decided that no matter what, I am going to spend quality time with my child. I knew from personal experience, how upsetting, confusing and painful it can be to not have that. I thank my father for teaching me this lesson. If I was not spending this quality time with my daughter, I would never have had the inspiration to write my first book! Now, I’m not saying everyone who spends time with their child is going to be an author, but children have so much to teach us, it’s amazing. I learn from her as much as she learns from me. Plus, the connection and bonding you create is something that is going to last a lifetime.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

I think the quantity of quality time matters. If you’re not spending enough quality time with your child, you do not know what they like or want. You only know what you want for them. I know from personal experience that it can be a cause of conflict and frustration. Reading a bedtime story to my daughter is one of the favorite parts of my day, because we’re both fully engaged and learning together. We also really enjoy cooking meals together (that doesn’t always go well) and playing together. Anything that gets both of us really engaged and brings us to the present moment is good quality time.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

  1. Take some time out for yourself. If you’re not happy then your child is not happy. You can’t be a good parent if you’re stressed out most of the time.
  2. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for support. There is no shame in that
  3. I recommend dividing “on duty” days between the parents, which creates a better balance. We have created a system where, when I’m working, Amanisha spends time with her mom and vice versa. Find out what works best for you!
  4. Learn to let go and trust your child. For example, when we’re eating food together, I focus on my own plate rather than watch/supervise what my daughter is doing. I feed myself first, otherwise I get “hangry”, and I’m not a good parent when I’m hangry. When I’m full and satisfied I turn my attention to Amanisha.
  5. Stop multitasking. It does not work. The research is done, and the verdict is out. You can’t focus on multiple things at the same time. You overexert yourself when you do that, you end up being less efficient, and you are more stressed. One thing at a time. If there is something on your mind write it down quickly and come back to it when you’re done with the first thing. Do you text and drive at the same time? How focused are you on the road when you’re writing a text?

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

To me, a “good parent” is someone who is doing their best at any given time. Let’s be honest, it is a tough task. I like to think of myself as a gentle guide rather than a strict instructor. When you know children learn more from how you behave rather than how you ask them to behave, the attention then naturally shifts on your own “good” or “bad” habits. Whenever you’re in a difficult situation, angry or frustrated, ask yourself, “Is the way I am behaving right now, the way I want my children to behave?” Another variation to this is, “Is the way I’m teaching my child the way I would like to be taught?” To me that question is my guiding compass to becoming a good parent.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

That’s easy. You dream big yourself. Children learn more from what you do not what you say to them. Feed their curiosity. Recently my daughter (who just turned 3 and calls me by my name) asked me, “Moin, where does the Sun go at night?” That led to a conversation about space after which she said, “I want to be an astronaut.”

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

This is a great question! To me the answer is absolutely varied from individual to individual, because the definition of success can be customized to your own needs. Sure, it can have similar components (finances, social impact, relationships, etc.), but the degree to which each component matters is a choice. I consider mastery of my own craft, the quality of my relationships, having a positive social impact, and a good income to be vital components of my success, in that specific order.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

My “favorite” changes all the time. My philosophy is, “A better you, makes a better parent” What I’m tuned into these days is: (1) The Aubrey Marcus podcast, because it covers such a wide range of topics relating to different aspects of your life, including parenting! And the conversations are honest & authentic (2) The Awake with Jake Show, because it guides you to be aware of your own patterns of behaviors and work on what you desire to improve or change. For books I highly recommend, (1) The Biology of Belief by DR Bruce Lipton. This book helps to understand the different stages of growth children go through as they get older and how you as a parent can make the most positive impact. Currently, I am reading (2) Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D. This is a book about improving your intimate relationships and understanding the opposite sex better. (3) Limitless by Jim Kwik — Think of this as an upgrade on how to learn and remember information.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“When you compare yourself to others, you miss the miracle of who you are” — Mastin Kipp

We live in a competitive world where we are taught to always focus on the “competition”. This teaching by Mastin Kipp, helped me bring the focus back on my own personal development and generate an abundance mindset. Simply, I stopped seeing the competition as an enemy or someone who is taking things away from me. Instead, I see them as potential partners or people with whom I can collaborate.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I am guided to share another quote here…

“The idea that you need to set realistic goals is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever encountered. And it holds so many people back.” — Vishen Lakhiani

Set the intention and go to work on your dreams. Don’t let others limit you. Be limitless. The movement I’d like to inspire is the movement for people to be themselves fearlessly.

How can we find you?

My book: “Grow with your baby

My LinkedIn

My Facebook

My Instagram

My Twitter

My Podcast

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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