Conscious Parenting. I’ve been talking quite a bit about it in our recent videos, but you may still be wondering what it is and what the heck I’m talking about!
Well, you’re not alone.
WHAT IS CONSCIOUS PARENTING?
Conscious Parenting is a chic spin on what many consider “Positive Parenting” and can mean a lot of different things to different people.
Whether you are a modern parent who only shops organically, are into the whole boho thing and everything you wear is made from bamboo and hemp, you believe baby-wearing and co- sleeping is the only way to raise a child, you take the minimalistic approach and believe that “less is more”, you believe that children shouldn’t be punished but rather nurtured to know right from wrong, or you are somewhere in between… THIS is Conscious Parenting – and can be all, or none of these …
In short, our world is filled with distractions and those who want to be a more Conscious Parent strive to not only go through the motions but to intentionally make better decisions every day – and in every way! From the foods we buy and the creams we use to the things we say and the way we live, it all affects our children and we want to make sure that what we are doing is best for them now, and into the future!
THE ESSENCE OF CONSCIOUS PARENTING
Conscious Parenting goes well beyond this surface-level stuff, as well.
It’s also about raising emotionally mature and cognizant children, with healthy self-esteems. It’s about instilling values that we may have lacked in our own upbringings. It’s about thinking before we react, and being mindful. It’s about paying attention and noticing how our energy affects our
In essence, being a Conscious Parent turns the focus on us. It’s not about raising the child, but about raising the parent. It’s about turning inward and asking ourselves why, not our children.
- Why did we get angry when our child wouldn’t put his shoes on for school?
- Why did we not let our daughter get down from the table until she finished all her food?
- Why are we overreacting to an inconsequential action?
- Are we afraid of being late?
- Did/do we struggle with our own eating issues?
- Is that how our parents reacted?
As a Conscious Parent, you set an example by your actions and in turn, teach your children how to act. This can include everything from how you speak when you’re upset and how you listen when others talk, to how you mindfully care for the environment, your health, and those around you. It also means that you treat your child more like an adult and someone you respect than your property or someone who you control.
DO I NEED TO ABANDON MY CURRENT PARENTING PRACTICES?
Just because you want to be a Conscious Parent doesn’t mean you need to abandon all of your parenting practices.
Instead, it’s about looking to your child and trying to understand how they think, what they need, and what is going on behind their behavior, both the good and bad. It’s about giving your child the benefit of the doubt and focusing on the relationship versus the behavior.
Remember, a child’s immaturity leads them to perceive and respond to the world around them much differently than you and I. By helping our children get to the root of these big feelings and then finding ways to healthily release them, we are showing them that their thoughts matter and that we are there to support them, no matter what. This, in turns, creates a more reliable and safer environment allowing them to foster their emotions in a productive light and to build trust in us, as parents.
YOU ARE A PRODUCT OF YOUR UPBRINGING
Furthermore, Conscious Parenting looks at the concept of emotional memories serving as reference points in our lives.
We learn to respond and react based upon patterns that were set up in early childhood. From the way our parents spoke to us to the way they treated each other, this forms the basis of our future relationships – including the one we have with ourselves. Memory after memory, a foundation of self-regulation, resiliency, and attachment is built, shaping our perspective, beliefs, self-concept, and outlook.
Whether you like it or not, you are a product of your upbringing and the only way to discontinue this cycle is to consciously make an effort to change it for your children. By taking an introspective approach and working on bettering yourself so you can be a better parent, you can completely change the way your mind and body functions. In fact, everything can be completely altered. Our mood, behaviors, emotional intelligence, the ability to give and receive empathy, cognitive processing, and even our immune function can improve simply by shifting how we experience our primary relationships and close attachments.
Think about it: children notice everything, and if you think you’re a bad mom, that you’re too fat, that your spouse is anything but helpful, your kids will pick up on that and in turn, will display those characteristics back on you as parents. It’s amazing how much we can control our inner processes just by shifting our mindset – which is what Conscious Parenting strives to help us do!
Moreover, Conscious Parenting is not a set of rules for parents to follow but a set of beliefs about what children need to develop and thrive. Conscious parents engage and connect with their children by using emotionally intelligent discipline choices rather than punitive methods. This is because the brain thrives on connection and empathy.
IN CONCLUSION – IT’S ABOUT THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION
Conscious Parenting teaches you to respond rather than reacting to a particular circumstance.
Reacting to your child’s behavior is a standard approach while responding is a matured approach and allows you to better understand what may be going on. Responding helps you understand the reasons for your child’s inappropriate behavior and come up with ways to control it the next time.
One of the best ways to do this is to pause and find an alternative to distract you for a minute, before you react impatiently. This is where introspection comes into play and helps you address the reasoning behind your reaction to the situation. Keep in mind, the focus here is to stay calm and assertive while being kind, irrespective of the situation.
Our jobs as parents are to model the best that we can so that our children can thrive! By working to create children that are mindful of the world around them, we are creating a future that is hopeful and happy. Conscious Parenting is not about the destination, but about the journey and the commitment to do our best through the choices we make today.