Conscious parenting has become a growing buzz word in the child-rearing community. It was introduced to the world by Dr. Shefali Tsabary in her book The Conscious Parent. Dr. Tsabary's research is based on Eckhart Tolle's teaching of mindfulness, applied to the parent-child relationship.
To clear up any confusion as to what conscious parenting is, we have compiled a list of 10 facts.
10 Do Not Force Your Aspirations On Your Child
Your goals in life are yours alone. We may have hopes and dreams for the people we wish that our children could be, but we are not to insert our wants on them.
Your child is a new being with his or her desires. Our job as the parent is to provide guidance and nothing else. We can help them to discover their skills and capabilities. Then we need to step aside and let them be the person they are meant to be without interference.
Every child has potential and talent. You need to tap into that potential. Identify your child's talents and be there to assist them with mastering their natural gifts. Allow them to cultivate a wide variety of interests, have on-going conversations and get involved with their activities. We are to be a support system for our children and not infect them with our dreams for them.
9 Create an environment that is stable and loving
Let your child know that he or she is loved and cared for in various forms. When your child has their own space in the home it gives a sense of trust and independence. Telling your child that they are important and that they are loved.
Spending quality time doing activities that are requested by them. Making sure that your home feels safe enough for our children to express themselves without fear of retribution.
8 Behave The Way You Want Your Child To Be
Children are little reflectors; they learn by watching what we do and repeating our actions back to us. We need to be consistent and stable.
The home needs to be free from negative emotions. Telling your child to be good is not sufficient. They learn through all their senses and our daily behavior seeps directly into their subconscious. Our consistently constructive actions are the only thing that will be a positive motivator for our children.
7 Forgive The Actions Of Your Child
Humans are fallible adults and children alike. Children make the most mistakes as they are young and may not know better. Punishing a child for making a mistake shows them that being perfect is the only way to be.
Forgive their actions and get them to understand at the moment the reason why the action is not to be repeated. Make mistakes teachable moments.
6 Equally, Share Household Responsibilities
When selecting chores, make your children a part of the process. They should be able to say what they would like to do. Once they have completed their tasks, be mindful of it. Be sure to show gratitude for the gesture.
Building a sense of responsibility from an early age is one form of conscious parenting. The aim is to be mindful of your daily actions when it comes to helping our children become more independent.
5 Focus On Your Emotional State
Yes, oddly enough being a conscious parent has a lot to do with the growth of the parent in tandem with the child.
If your child makes a mess and refuses to clean it up, you may get angry at that moment. A natural response would be to shout at the child. This happens and the negative emotion you feel towards the action has more to do with you and not the child.
The conscious parent is to feel out the reason for the angry in regards to the mess made. Then find a solution to have it cleaned up without negatively affecting the child or escalating the conditions further.
4 Develop Routine Activities
Knowing what to do, when to do it, where and how to make this world a little bit more secure for us and our children. Establishing consistent activities from an early age helps with creating structure in their life.
In addition to the daily routines would be creating activities that you do with your child weekly and monthly. This allows the family to look forward to the time when you can make lasting memories together.
3 Listen To What Your Child Has To Say
Often we think that not speaking when our child is explaining something is the definition of listening to them. According to Dr. Tsabary's it may not be. Listening to our children is an active event. We have to confirm understanding and go deeper by asking additional questions.
Understanding their point of view on issues is key to developing the sort of relationship you would want to have as a conscious parent. Your child will feel respected and secure knowing that his or her opinion is valuable.
2 Resolve Outstanding Issues Within Yourself
You are a fountain of emotions, both positive and negative. These emotions are passed down from your parents to you, then from you to your child.
Children can do things that trigger memories from our past. Our response to these emotions can be confusing to a child. Paying attention to our unresolved issues can be a gift to our children.
Talk about your insecurities with a mental professional. The issues from our childhood should not be introduced to our children.
1 Show Empathy In Conversations With Your Child
This is where listening comes in handy. When having a conversation with your child, wait and process the information through your empathetic filters before responding. Do this no matter how ridiculous you think an idea proposed by them could be.
Be as rational as possible with your response. Take the extra time to discuss what it is they are wanting to do. Even if ultimately your answer is a negative one, present alternatives. This will allow your child to trust your opinions more readily.
The hard thing to do is to listen with empathy and have a conversation with a child who may not understand their own feelings. Conscious parenting requires much patience. It asks of us to lead by example, relax our expectations and to look at ourselves when our children are acting in ways that we do not approve of.
When your child speaks out of turn, hits another child, or behaves in a way that is not conducive to the norms of the society, we tend to punish. The impulse is quick and easy as this was instilled in most of us growing up. In the time when authoritative parenting was the preferred method.
Dr. Shefali Tsabary in her book "The Conscious Parent" is presenting a solution to the question “how do I create a peaceful, loving and free environment both for myself and my child.”
Be more intentional, listen with empathy, and work on our personal development. Most importantly, expect nothing from our children as they are on their journey in this life.