In 2016 I watched a clinical psychologist talk to Oprah Winfrey about parenting. Fourteen days later I booked a ticket to New York to attend her yearly conference EVOLVE.
The concept on conscious parenting caught my attention because it was different, it made sense, it was deep….
“A conscious parent is not one who seeks to fix her child or seek to produce or create the ‘perfect’ child. This is not about perfection. A conscious parent understands that is journey has been undertaken, that this child has been called forth to ‘raise the parent’ itself. To show the parent where the parent has yet to grow. This is why we call our children into our lives.” — Dr. Shefali Tsabary
Dr. Shefali is a world-renowned clinical psychologist who specialises in the integration of Eastern philosophy and Western psychology. Her message has the potential to change the life of families for generations to come.
Her book ‘The Awakened Family’ will give you daily skills and tools to revolutionise your parenting. This book holds the potential to liberate both your child and yourself from the clutches of anxiety leading you toward a transformed sense of peace and joy.
In 2017 I attended EVOLVE again, this time in Sunny Los Angeles and I am currently undertaken a one year course with Dr Shefali herself.
Why? Because I intend to evolve into the best version of me so I can shine my light bright to my family, friends, clients…the World.
The Essence of Conscious Parenting
Most parenting books and resources focus specifically on a child’s behaviours. If child does A (yells at you), give consequence B (time-out) and A (child yelling) will stop. So how well has this method worked out for you? We can use this example in all relationships, not just that with our children.
So let me give it to you. The 5 main principles you must know about conscious parenting.
Get ready to EVOLVE.
- The parent recognises that their child is his/her own (worthy, amazing, beautiful) 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 parent accepts the “as-is” of life. Instead of seeking to change the child or other things in the environment to make ourselves 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. Many of us fear the “as-is” and therefore live a live of illusion. Deep self-awareness is a cornerstone to conscious parenting.
- The conscious parent priorities the relationship first – ensuring that their children feel seen, heard, and understood. But this is nly possible when the parent embodies these qualities for themselves. How can you give what you can’t give to yourself? 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 made are in support of maintaining a close connection. And ultimately connection is the foundation for cooperation. This goes for any relationship.
- 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’ behaviours. A conscious parent always seeks to understand the needs and feelings behind behaviours first. And if boundaries and limits need to be set, they are done with compassion, clarity, and calmness. Not the old school military approach. 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 person 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 create the relationship we all want with our kids and for our kids to grow into their most authentic and wholesome selves.
Nurture and Connect to Your Inner Child
HEAL YOUR WOUNDS AND, IN TURN, PROJECT OUTWARDLY TO YOUR CHILDREN WHOLENESS AND ABUNDANCE
The principle of conscious parenting isn’t only for the parent-child relationship. It’s translatable to ALL relationships. So how healthy are your relationships? Are they fulfilling or toxic?
Anything that triggers you is a deep wound that needs healing…
Looking ourselves in the mirror and healing our wounds is something most of us are afraid of. It’a takes courage to look within and kiss our wounds goodbye. It takes time, commitment and it’s a never ending journey. It takes being honest with ourselves. None of us are perfect and that’s beautiful.