“There are no perfect parents and no perfect children; however, there are many perfect moments along the way.”
The primary responsibility of a parent is to ensure the well-being of their children. Although, each parent goes about this in their own way. While some swear by being a disciplinarian, while some prefer being permissive. The last few years have witnessed the growth of a new style of parenting – conscious parenting.
What Is Conscious Parenting?
Simply put, conscious parenting is a style of parenting that usually focuses more on the parent and asks them to be more mindful and conscious while interacting with their children. This parenting style encourages the parent to look inwards at themselves and view children as independent beings.
Principles Of Conscious Parenting
Traditional parenting often entails asking children to do or not do something because their parents said so. Conscious parenting takes this concept by its horns. Here are a few basic elements of conscious parenting:
- Listen more, talk less
Lend an ear to your child and hear what they have to say. This way they feel heard and valued and look up to you for advice.
- Respectful & open communication
Talk to your child like you would talk to an adult. Children often determine their self-worth based on how their parents treat them.
While treating your child like an adult, one must not forget that the child is young and is bound to make mistakes. Instead of punishing them, help them understand their mistakes.
- Be proactive, not reactive
Instead of waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it with severe consequences, one should establish boundaries ahead of time.
- Be empathetic
Before responding to your child, pause to ensure that you think about the situation from their perspective and don’t let any other non-related emotions influence you.
How Does It Work?
While conscious parenting seems like an easy-to-understand concept, many find themselves perplexed when it comes to implementing this style of parenting in their daily lives. Here’s a real-life example of what conscious parenting looks like in real life:
Imagine your 4-year-old decided to go all Picasso on the living room walls with their crayons. You just walked in on them as they were putting some finishing touches to their scribbles…
Your first reaction might be to scold/shout at your child and punish them. However, before reacting, take a second to breathe and ground yourself.Reflect
Once you have managed to get over your instinctive reaction, it is time to think about possible emotions or triggers that might have been stirred by this incident. Are you thinking about what guests might say when they see a scribbled wall or are you worried about the cost to restore the wall – don’t let these thoughts cloud your judgement.Set boundaries
Was the ‘no drawing on walls’ a pre-established boundary? If not, now is a good time to do so. If it was pre-established, mention the boundary’s violation to your child and ask them for their reasons.Accept
What is done, is done. Focus on if it can be made better and how. If the colours can be wiped off the wall, enlist the help of your child to do it. However, ensure that this activity isn’t a punishment.
No parent is perfect, but one can always strive to become a better parent than they are today. At its very core, conscious parenting is about experiencing parenthood as a two-way relationship - one where you not only teach and guide your child but also learn from them and grow with them.