Conscious what, conscious who?
I’ve been throwing around quotes on many of my social media platforms (My Motherhood Magic) without true intent to give my followers the meaning behind what it is to be a “conscious parent”.
For me, being conscious is being awakened. It’s about taking away traditional ways of raising children, and really focusing in on the “whole child”, all while being more reflective when raising children, than punitive.
The whole child is what I like to use to describe everything your child encompasses. That’s each child’s unique emotional, spiritual, educational, environmental experiences that make them who they are.
There are many times I’ve spoken to caregivers who raise children who they believe are one dimensional. I have learned through my profession and role as a mother that children have many layers to them, as we do adults. So taking in their unique prospective is essential for understanding what it is to be conscious.
“Once you accept your children’s basic nature, you can contour your style to meet their temperament. To do so means letting go of your fantasies of yourself as a certain kind of parent and instead evolving into the parent you need to be for the particular child in front of you.” – Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent
Conscious parents often focus in on the emotional connection between the parent/child versus the more authoritative (who is boss) approach between parent/child.
This does not mean you throw away specific practices that have worked for you or practices that have been passed down that also work well for your family. This method of child rearing focuses on mind shifting to begin to solve what’s really going on behind your child’s behavior.
We like to think that our children are just like us, and although that can be true in some areas, children have their own state of being. Raising them consciously is understanding they have a different perception than you.
“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 whom each of your children is. Children aren’t ours to possess or own in any way. When we know this in the depths of our soul, we tailor our raising of them to their needs, rather than molding them to fit ours.” — Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent
Conscious parenting assures that your child feels secure in the world. By altering how we
experience our primary relationships (parent/child) we can begin to shape perspectives, beliefs, self-esteem, and outlook. This cultivates the environment your child needs to be the best mentally, physically, and emotionally.
3 Conscious Tips:
1. Check your language – is it cruel, does it show impatience, or is it non-effective?
2. Check your expectations – is your child developmentally ready to handle what is being
asked? Could you meet your needs without asking your child for help?
3. Check you self-regulation – is your temperament calm, or are you parenting from a place of frustration? Did you set your limits with kindness, and is this approach best to prevent your child from being upset?
“Parents, choose your words wisely, carefully, and thoughtfully. In the same way that violence begets violence and anger begets anger, kindness and peace begets peace. Sow words of peace, words that build, words that show respect ad belief and support.” – LR Knost
This can be challenging, but always try to bring the focus back to building a strong bond between you and your children. When solving conflict, it does not have to be about making your child feel bad, or to inflict pain.
Most often conflict is able to be resolved through empathy and understanding. Once you begin to make that a consistent message with your children it will make effective changes in your household. Now I don’t want you to use this reading as a way to say you cannot set boundaries or to allow inappropriate behavior.
This ideal will be a baseline on how you would do such. For example, I had a hard time getting my oldest daughter Kennedy to understand that every time we go to a store she is not warranted gifts just because. It would always be this argument or tantrum why she couldn’t get something.
I begin to look at her need (she wants rewards or to feel valued), my want (I want her to earn it, work for it), and a solution (we sat down and discussed openly her frustrations and mine),
Together we came up with a chore chart for her to earn money, as well as start a savings account to assure she “gets the things she has earned” and I “feel better that it just wasn’t given to her”.
For my 2-year old this looks very different. So for her when she cries, or can’t communicate her needs, as her parent I take the time to make sure she has had rest, food, and attention, but also make sure I stay calm and approach her in a manner that is supportive and loving.
Our influence as parents is much stronger and long lasting when it is loving and intentional rather than fear based and short term.
“People always say, “Choose your battles”, in parenting. Let’s choose peace, instead. After all, our children aren’t our enemies, and childhood shouldn’t be a battleground.” – LR Knost
So I will leave you with these 13 principles of Conscious Parenting by a speaker and author, Alfie Kohn.
You are enough, and we together can raise consciously aware children, who will lead this nation far more than we have ever imagined.
13 Conscious Parenting Principles:
1. Be reflective
2. Reconsider your request
3. Stay focused on your long terms goals
4. Put your relationship first
5. Change how you see not just how you act
7. Be authentic
8. Talk less, ask more
9. Be mindful of your child’s age
10. Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts
11. Don’t stick to “no” unnecessarily
12. Don’t be rigid
13. Don’t be in a hurry
Healthy parents, raise healthy children!
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