What is conscious parenting? Let’s start with what is familiar to many people: Unconscious parenting. Being unconscious as a parent means that you focus entirely on what your kid does or doesn’t do without pausing to interrogate your own shortcomings. The premise of unconscious parenting is to make a child feel guilty, ashamed, and sorry for any undesired outcomes in their lives. Parents here are at liberty to manipulate their kids into feeling guilty, to punish “undesired behavior”, and even to railroad kids to conform to their (parents) expectations.
What is conscious parenting?
Instead of focusing on the child, conscious parenting shifts most focus to the parent. Parents here check their own insecurities, stresses, unmet needs, and shortcomings before placing any blame on their kids. They appreciate the fact that sometimes unhealed wounds from their past could be triggered by their child’s behavior, which can then force their hand to react inappropriately.
They understand that sometimes kids act out because their needs have been ignored, so they focus on getting to the root of a child’s behavior first as opposed to coming out guns blazing. They ask questions and are open to questioning from their kids; willing to be open to awareness. They first rid themselves of past baggage in order to create space for their children to be true to their authentic selves. They give children the space they need to struggle and fail until they get it right.
Conscious parenting cultivates respect, clarity, and trust between a parent and their child. It injects consistency and consciousness into parent-children communication, which as a result makes children feel heard, seen, and safe. It creates clear limits and boundaries within which kids can express their disagreement with the decisions their parents make without being disrespectful, and within which parents can guide their children without being patronizing. Let’s expound more on these benefits:
7 Benefits of Conscious Parenting
#1 Helps kids find themselves
Conscious parents are mindful of their children’s feelings. Your child will pick up on your mindfulness along the way and will as a result become more open with you. They won’t feel judged at home, so they will not shy away from being who they truly are; from finding themselves and their purpose in life.
#2 It raises a child’s EQ
People with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) are able to easily interrogate their emotions for optimal utilization of positive emotions and better management of negative emotions. Understanding personal emotions also helps people to communicate effectively, show empathy and be all-around nice people.
Conscious parenting is centered on building emotional resilience in kids. When you give a child enough room to show their negative emotions and to enjoy their positive emotions, you successfully build their EQ. And because kids don’t really understand their own emotions, conscious parenting acknowledges that it is a parent’s duty to help kids with their emotions from an early age. Parents become all-around nice people too
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Being a conscious parent gets you more in tune with your emotions. You stop acting like the “boss” at home and instead agree to be vulnerable to your family. You accept that you don’t have everything in life figured out and open yourself up for parental audit from your children. You stop reacting to what you think is wrong and instead start responding to your kids’ behavior. That’s a huge step towards becoming a more empathetic and all-around nice person.
#3 It teaches kids the positivity in conflict
Conflict is often misunderstood to be confrontational. But conflict should be a positive thing. It is supposed to be a healthy process of different but good ideas competing in order to birth a better, more inclusive idea. Conscious parenting appreciates that fact. Instead of snapping back at a child for “being rude”, a conscious parent seeks to know why the child feels so strongly about the issue at hand. When hurt by the child’s “rudeness”, the conscious parent requests timeout in order to breathe and think about their feelings. They encourage the kid to take a break too and interrogate their feelings. In the end, the child understands that conflict is a natural and healthy process that doesn’t have to be confrontational.
#4 It makes kids want to listen in order to understand, not to impress the parent
Sometimes children listen to their parents just not to get in trouble. That is especially the case when parents are manipulative and condescending. But when your child notices you are more interested in understanding their position as opposed to railroading them towards an “appropriate” outcome, they feel the need to listen. When you are responsive and calm to whatever the child does, they get curious to understand your position a little deeper. They follow your ways out of respect and admiration as opposed to fearing your overreaction if they don’t agree with your position.
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#5 Parents get closer with their kids
Conscious parents are compassionate and patient. They build mutually-respectful relationships with their kids. Take technology, for example. Instead of banning tech devices in the home, conscious parents become good role models for their digital children. They play games together, set limits around technology together, and abide by the ground rules together. The parent takes time to explain to their kids about internet safety and the dark side of technology (cyberbullying, phishing scams, stalking, identity theft, etc.). The parent buys VPN to protect the whole family. That’s, of course, after checking out good reviews of different VPNs on the internet. The parent makes well-informed decisions in regards to their child’s safety online, without hurting the child’s tech curiosity.
#6 It boosts relationship skills in kids
Conscious parenting promotes deep conversations between parents and kids. Adults are well equipped with high-quantity and high-quality language and conversation skills, but their children aren’t as versed. They can only grow these skills if they engage regularly and respectfully with adults (their parents) right from early childhood. Deep, meaningful conversations boost kids’ cognition and their overall development. Such kids show fewer signs of aggression even later in their adulthood, so they easily form friendships.
| >>> Read more: How to teach my kid to take an initiative?
Final word about conscious parenting
Conscious parenting is never easy. It will take you lots of time and effort to gather the internal control needed to self-reflect before reacting to your child’s behavior. It won’t happen overnight and it probably will be messy in the beginning. The most important thing is not to lose focus on the real prize no matter how hard it gets.
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