What is Conscious Parenting?
Conscious parenting is about being conscious and self aware when interacting and engaging with your children.
Conscious parenting is about deeply connecting with the child in front of you and not the child you fantasize about having. Often this requires a parent to let go of their own ego, desires, high expectations and heavy burdens to release the child to be exactly who they want to be – to be their authentic selves.
The term “Conscious Parenting” became more well known when Dr Shefali Tsabary ( world-renowned clinical psychologist) appeared on the Oprah show to discuss her book “The Conscious Parent.”
Conscious parenting requires you to look beneath the behaviour that a child is displaying, instead striving to meet a child’s needs for connection, helping them with self regulation and being their emotional coach.
What Conscious Parenting Isn’t
Conscious parenting isn’t a method or a parenting strategy, more so it is a way of being and requires a parent to deeply look at themselves and their own upbringing. Shining light on the parenting patterns they are repeating and passing down whilst acknowledging that many of their own needs were not met in childhood.
Parents unconsciously try to live through their own children expecting their children to adopt the same belief system, values and goals in life. When parents do this they do not allow their child to have their own beliefs, needs or wants which leads a child to feel burdened from a young age whilst trying to live up to their parents ideals and high standards.
Key components of
- Conscious parenting requires a parent to be in relationship with the child seeing a child separate from themselves. Not as a “mini me” or a child to live their own desires through.
- A conscious parent is attuned to the feelings of a child. Understanding that there are big feelings going on behind outward behaviour.
- A conscious parent strives to ‘respond’ to a child’s needs opposed to reacting.
- A conscious parent takes care of their own needs and can self regulate their emotions in a healthy manner so they can then hold space for their child’s big feelings.
- A conscious parent is not a permissive parent. A conscious parent has boundaries set peacefully with love and respect for the child.
- A conscious parent recognises what stage of development their child is in and sets age appropriate rules, boundaries and expectations.
- A conscious parent is present and engaged with a child, not just physically but also emotionally.
- A conscious parent does not judge a child’s feelings, instead allowing space for their feelings to pass through and validating a child’s experience.
- A conscious parent is aware of their own emotional state when in conflict with their child.
Benefits of Conscious Parenting
When a child is raised by a conscious parent they are raised with unconditional love, acceptance and respect.
A child who is raised consciously feels seen, heard, validated and understood which in turn helps a child become more emotionally resilient, being better at handling life’s stressors as they are more aware of their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
As conscious parenting is a mindful approach to parenting children experience less stress, a strengthened bond to the parent and a safe, secure environment to thrive, grow and learn.
Conscious parenting requires a lot of self reflection and awareness. Adults who work on being conscious parents understand that their triggers are related less to their child’s behaviour and more to their own unmet emotional needs in childhood.
“This process is worth it. I thought of it as an investment in myself and my family’s future, and my goal was simply to be a better parent, and I just didn’t have the skills, and this process provides that. The time investment is worth it, because you really get to work on the process, you get to explore your inner workings, you learn new skills. I would say if you feel called to do this process, there is a reason for that and I do not think you will regret it.” – Izzy. Washington.