5 Ways to Be a Conscious Parent
When you look around, in your home or around you, what do you see? I know that I see a lot of anxious kids. I see parents who are worried, really busy and stressed out.
What if I told you that there is another way to do this parenting thing?
Perhaps you've heard of Conscious Parenting? Dr. Shefali Tsabary is probably the most well-known speaker and teacher about conscious parenting, having authored The Conscious Parent book.
She didn't invent it, but she and Oprah certainly did elevate it into mainstream awareness. I remember when I first saw Dr. Shefali on Oprah's Super Soul Sundays show in 2016, I cried. I felt so seen and understood because I was parenting so similar to how she described and felt like I was always going against the grain. Finally, I had someone speaking about what I believed deep in my core. I finally had someone who could inspire me to do more and expand into an even more conscious parent.
Here are 5 Conscious Parenting Principles:
- The parent recognizes that their child is his/her own (worthy, amazing, beautiful) person. A person with his/her own dreams, perceptions, temperaments, journey, challenges, gifts, opinions, etc. A conscious parent does their very best to allow them to become their true and most authentic selves (rather than shaping them into someone the parent believes to be best). A conscious parent trusts in a child’s inherent wisdom (which means we must learn to listen to and trust OUR inner wisdom). The focus is more on creating an environment for them to unfold into who are are here to be rather than molding them into who we think they should be.
- The parent accepts the “as-is” of life. Instead of seeking to change our kids or other things in our environment to make us feel comfortable, we become mindful of our own reactions and judgments. A conscious parent uses these triggers, judgments, criticisms, and fears as opportunities to turn inward and examine their limiting beliefs, perceptions, “shoulds”, and fears and learns to heal themselves and become conscious of their own agenda. Deep self-awareness is a cornerstone to conscious parenting.
- The parent prioritizes the relationship first. Ensuring that their children feel seen, heard, and understood. We all learn and grow in relationships and a conscious parent learns how to regulate their emotions so as to be able to relate to their children with respect, empathy, and maturity. A conscious parent is mindful that the choices that he/she makes are in support of maintaining a close connection. And ultimately connection is the foundation for cooperation.
- The parent sets limits from a place of self-awareness and always in the best interest of the child’s and of the parent’s highest self. Most parents use rewards, punishments, and other forms of discipline to control their kids’ behaviors. A conscious parent always seeks to understand the needs and feelings behind behaviors first. And if boundaries and limits need to be set, they are done with compassion, clarity, and calmness. A conscious parent is aware of the tendency to set boundaries that serve our ego and help us to feel less anxious – and they resist the temptation to parent from that place.
At the very core, parenting is an opportunity for the conscious parent to turn inward, to grow ourselves up, to become our truest expression of ourselves, to be the people we want our children to be so our kids have role models, to trust ourselves and to become mindful and compassionate in our relationships. Conscious parenting is the pathway to creating the relationship we all want with our kids and for our kids to grow into their most awesome selves.
I know some of this sounds counter-intuitive, pushes up against all you have been taught about parenting, right? Perhaps you worry it wouldn’t work.
But I ask you – is what you’re doing right now working for you? Is everyone thriving in your family? If not, I would HIGHLY encourage you to grab one of the books I listed below!
I now have young adult sons and both of them are thriving. I attribute it to parenting this way.
Are you a Conscious Parent? Please share below how it’s impacted your family!
Here are some of my favorite books and authors that emphasize Conscious Parenting:
- Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, by Laura Davis
- Fingerpainting In Psych Class- Revised: Artfully Applying Science to Better Work with Children and Teens, by Jay Morgan
- Parenting from the Inside Out, by Dan Siegel
- The Conscious Parent, by Dr. Shefali Tsabary
- The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents, by William Martin
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