What is conscious parenting and why should you practice it?
Conscious Parenting has very little to do with the kids but more to do with parents & their relationship with themselves.
Have you heard of conscious parenting? It’s the new-age parenting style currently circling the mommy/parenting groups.
P.S Conscious Parenting style isn’t for the faint of heart! Read all about the challenges, the do’s, the don’ts, the pro tips, etc, etc, below.
When we start thinking about babies, we also start thinking about the kind of parents we want to be. All parents want to do the best they can when it comes to their children but the myriad of conflicting opinions of how to parent and what makes a good parent is all too overwhelming.
And it is no breaking news that parenting is one of the most demanding and one of the most rewarding experiences (rather adventures shall I say?). Much like a roller coaster ride, one moment you are in the seventh heaven, and the very next minute you are pulling your hair out wondering ‘what the hell was I thinking?’, also quite similar to my threenager’s reactions, you never know when he is all hyper, excited, and happy, and when he will open the flood gates and bring the roof down, and within seconds he is back to his cheerful self again.
Yep, as he goes through a full range of emotions he also subjects us to a whole range of emotions too.
But as adults, we need to know better and do better, but alas, that’s not always the case.
And that’s just one piece of the parenting puzzle.
As parents of a 3-year-old boy, my husband and I are constantly trying to better approach this whole parenting thing, and honestly, it’s forever a work in progress. As much as the principles of conscious parenting make sense to us and is in alignment with how we want to parent our son, more often than not we fail, but we try to keep at it and try to better ourselves, both as individuals and as parents.
So one of our parenting goals this year is to practice conscious parenting on a much deeper level than we previously have.
What is conscious parenting?
Conscious parenting is a concept that encompasses being mindful and conscious of all of our interactions with our children. Starting with taking a pause and truly questioning oneself, ‘where is this coming from?’, and that one question itself brings about tremendous amounts of self-awareness.
Conscious parenting is predominantly about parents letting go – from ‘I know what is best’ to ‘I have more experience’ to ‘I know how life should be done’ to everything else that we believe is true, which stems from years of our own conditioning and baggage that we have carried.
It requires us parents to look inwards and heal our inner child rather than trying to ‘fix’ our kids.
When we truly understand our own ego, desires, and attachments, and work towards letting it all go, aka trash our own checklists, it allows us to free ourselves from forcing our own conditioning, beliefs, fears, and shortcomings onto our kids, thus making room to reset expectations and encourage our children to grow and develop into their own true beings and create their own true identity.
By seeing our children as they are, we will be able to connect with who they truly are (rather than who we want them to be) and thus develop a stronger bond with them.
I strongly believe that kids are our biggest teachers in life, they always hold a big fat life-size mirror, it’s like, in.your.face, as long as we dare to look at it and then willing to do the hard work that follows.
So yea, conscious parenting is more about improving ourselves and less about our kids, their behaviors, and their accomplishments.
And truth be told, becoming a conscious parent is extremely challenging and requires a great deal of effort and change on our part as a parent. And being a #desiparent, it is doubly hard, if you know you know.
This mindful and conscious approach is about connecting with our children on a deeper level thus forming a stronger bond. And that requires us to improve ourselves as an individual first. Further allowing us to change the way we view our child’s behavior and in turn how we respond to their needs.
I went through Dr.Shefali Tsabary’s Conscious Parenting course quite a while back and below is a summary of her book from Amazon that I’d like to share with you —
“Parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain and emotional shallowness to their children. In Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s conscious approach to parenting, however, children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self. Those willing to look in the mirror have an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness. Once they find their way back to their essence, parents enter into communion with their children, shifting away from the traditional parent-to-child “know it all” approach and more towards a mutual parent-with-child relationship. The pillars of the parental ego crumble as the parents awaken to the ability of their children to transport them into a state of presence.”
Dr. Shefali talks about healing our inner child’s wounds, and returning to a space of deep love and self-awareness so we can show up as the parent our actual child truly needs. She emphasizes, when that doesn’t happen we end up tattooing all of our own shortcomings and self-destructive patterns onto our child.
She says, instead of worrying over discipline, parenting tactics, or which school or class to send your child to… The absolute best thing you can do for your child is to first nurture your own inner child.
And I wholeheartedly agree with the above!
How can you put Conscious Parenting into Practice?
Now that we have looked at what conscious parenting means, it’s time to jump in and learn how to get started on this journey.
1. Working on our own issues
By and large, being a conscious parent requires a great commitment to working on ourselves and healing our inner child first. We need to look thoroughly at our conditioning, our beliefs, our negative thought patterns, and our triggers so we have a full understanding. Doing so will increase our self-awareness and mindfulness. Healing takes time but can be truly powerful.
2. Managing our emotions
Like we talked about above, managing our own emotions is also a huge piece of the puzzle with conscious parenting. When our child disobeys us we need to put our disappointment and anger aside and instead stay calm and assertive. And hopefully, with enough practice, there won’t be room for disappointment and anger to begin with (if you know what I mean).
3. Creating reasonable expectations
As conscious parents, we don’t want to put pressure on our children to reach unrealistic expectations. But instead, focus on giving our children room to grow naturally and giving them targets to achieve that are fair and appropriate based on their interests, age, and ability.
4. Co-creating the relationship
We want to focus on building up our child’s confidence, so we need to ensure that we don’t criticize our children’s actions or opinions. Instead, we need to focus on being present in the conversation to listen closely to what our child is saying and offer supportive feedback.
5. Taking a step back & getting on the back burner
When we are parents, it’s hard to not interfere in our children’s lives. Constantly interfering will actually push them away, instead, we need to give them appropriate amounts of space to make their own decisions. The freedom to do so will strengthen the relationship.
6. Speaking to our children respectfully
The way we speak to our children is truly powerful. The words we use, the tone of our voice, and the volume we speak in will determine whether our child feels safe and respected or threatened and degraded. Taking note of how we truly communicate with our child and adjusting that as needed.
7. Focusing on relaxation
As I said above, conscious parenting is not for the faint of hearts, neither does it come with a rulebook nor does the transformation happen overnight, and it requires a boatload of patience. So during this phase, meditation can really help us to connect with our inner self to relax our senses. When we are at ease mentally, we will also have the ability to be more patient and tolerant.
I also want to share the below excerpt from the course I did, the Conscious Parenting Mindvalley program in which Dr. Shefali Tsabary offers a step-by-step roadmap for evolving your relationship between you, your child, and your inner child. Rise above your parenting challenges, as you honor your child (and yourself) in the most authentic way.
During the course of the program we learn how to focus inwards – and then harness our own self-evolution to address our parenting challenges with compassion and empathy, at every stage of our child’s growth.
Throughout the program, Dr.Shefali outlines the five unique transformational shifts that take us from where we are, to where we can best nurture our child and ourselves as a Conscious Parent
- From Projection: Superimposing our own thoughts and beliefs on to your child To Pause: Allowing your child to express who they truly are.
- From Expectation: Placing undue pressure, both consciously and unconsciously, on your child. To Empathetic Engagement: Seeing the world from your child’s eyes in the present moment.
- From Judgment: Labelling your child’s behavior as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. To Compassion Accepting: your child for who they are as an ever-evolving being.
- From Reaction: Letting yourself to reach and get triggered by your emotions. To Feelings: Allowing yourself to observe and fully experience your emotions.
- From Correction: Controlling and coercing your child’s behaviors. To Connection: Nurturing the deep, meaningful bonds you and your children crave.
Plz, note: This is NOT a sponsored post, my husband and I love love love Mindvalley, we have both completed quite a few courses on there and we both continue to enroll in courses on an ongoing basis.
Alright, now that you got a feel for what conscious parenting is and how to go about practicing it, are you ready for a deep dive into conscious parenting?
Once you have had a chance to process and digest all this information, in part 2 of this post, I share the challenges (and believe you me there is a LONG list) that come along with Conscious Parenting, the Do’s and Don’ts of conscious parenting, and some practical tips to help you as things start to feel harder on this conscious parenting journey.
So see you in part 2 of conscious parenting…
In the meantime, if you need help with healing your inner child then book a complimentary breakthrough coaching call with me today!
“When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a “mini-me,” but a spirit throbbing with its own signature. For this reason, it’s important to separate who you are from who each of your children is.”