I recently read a profound book on parenting: The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. I’m going to ask you to step outside the traditional box of parental thinking and re-frame everything you thought you knew about the word “conscious”. At it’s core “consciousness” is about connection. To be conscious means to engage in an active process of conscious evolvement. This, by definition, means resisting an over-attachment to the ‘doing’ aspects of life and shifting your energies to engage in the ‘being’ aspects of life. Conscious parenting isn’t for everyone, and never will be. It calls us to engage in an emotional archeological dig to discover how the wounds of our past affect our parenting. When we investigate our own reactions and impulses we find ourselves parenting from a non-reactive place. Deep stuff. It takes consciousness and intention to avoid parenting on auto-pilot, repeating the not-so-healthy approaches your parents may have used like guilt, shaming, threatening, or withdrawal.
Being CONNECTED AND ATTUNED to our kids is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. NOT FIXING their problems, but listening as they share their anger or sadness. NOT DISMISSING their concerns, but acknowledging them without folding in our own anxiety. NOT SHAMING them for feeling what they feel, but being present with them as they slog through their upset. And then– and ONLY then– asking, “Can I help? Would you like to hear my thoughts? I’m here–I will help you get through this storm.”
“Instead of being merely the receiver of the parents’ psychological and spiritual legacy, children function as ushers of the parents’ development. Parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain and emotional shallowness. To handle the behavior that results, traditional books on parenting abound with clever techniques for control and quick fixes for dysfunction. In Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s conscious approach to parenting, however, children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self. Those willing to look in the mirror have an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness. Once they find their way back to their essence, parents enter into communion with their children, shifting away from the traditional parent-to-child “know it all” approach and more towards a mutual parent-with-child relationship. The pillars of the parental ego crumble as the parents awaken to the ability of their children to transport them into a state of presence. – Barnes & Noble
I invite you to watch this video of the author Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., she a clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, New York. She is the author of the multi-award-winning, The Conscious Parent. Heralded as a game-changer in the parenting genre, this book turns the traditional parenting paradigms on its head and revolutionizes how we raise our families. She has been exposed to Eastern mindfulness at an early age and integrates its teachings with Western psychology. This blend of East and West allows her to reach a global audience. Her ability to appeal to both a psychologically astute and consciousness-driven audience establishes her as one of a kind in the parenting field. She lectures extensively on mindful living and conscious parenting around the world and is in private practice. She resides with her husband and daughter in New York.”