What is Conscious Parenting?

Conscious parenting teaches “the art of living” by tending to more than a child’s basic needs (food, clothing, shelter). Conscious parents also offer unconditional love, acceptance, and attention.

As a conscious parent, you allow your child to have different thought processes and feelings from yourself. You understand that your children may have different perspectives of situations in which they find themselves. Through that understanding, you eliminate the judgment that a child’s behavior is “good” or “bad.” The child is taught appropriate behaviors, and boundaries are enforced by empathizing with their emotions and providing feedback to the child on what is or is not acceptable in a given moment.

For instance, if a child expresses anger by throwing a toy, The parent may acknowledge that the child is angry, and then he or she is redirected to a healthy way to express the emotion.

This concept is very different from the authoritarian concept of following rules, the now-outdated fear-based method of punishing “bad” behavior. A child raised in this way may learn compliance, but will not understand the reasons behind the rules and requests, whereas children raised in a more empathetic household will learn how to think and make decisions for themselves. These children more easily grow into their life purpose, with a clear vision of who they are at the core. They are raised with a greater awareness of “being” rather than “doing.”

As Dr. Shefali Tsabary explains, being conscious as a parent means that you also recognize when you have slipped out of awareness of your child’s present-moment needs because you have been triggered by your own fears, needs or desires. It means you understand that, because you are human, you will periodically be triggered, act less than lovingly, and feel negative emotions, but you can recognize when this happens and do something about it.

When you are a conscious parent, you have learned to better parent yourself as well as your child, being aware of your own needs in the moment, honoring the expression of the child within. As Dr. Tsabary says, “When parents enter into their own transformations, they are empowered and then better able to enter into the best possible relationship with their children and be fully in the moment with them.” And that is the basis of all conscious parenting: empowerment.

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