Conscious parenting is not a subject that can be taught in a classroom. It does not have a fixed set of rules. It refers to the conscious effort made by the parent to understand the needs of a child by responding in a calm and lovable manner. Read on to know more about this kind of parenting.
What is conscious parenting?
Conscious parenting, or ‘peaceful’ parenting, aims at strengthening the bond between parents and children. It promotes healthy self-esteem and instills respect within and outside the family. Love, guidance, and empathy form the core of this type of parenting. Initially, it takes a lot of effort and patience to practice it but eventually it makes parenting easy especially when you have to handle teenage kids.
[ Read: Authoritative vs Authoritarian Parenting ]
Traditional Vs. Conscious Parenting:
Conscious parenting modifies several practices followed in traditional parenting. Traditional parenting is an ‘unconscious’ form of parenting because the same pattern is blindly implemented by generation after generation. It is more of an authoritarian form where physical punishment is the only way to discipline a child.
Traditional parenting may be convenient to a parent, but it does not benefit a child as it only instills fear and punitive discipline. Traditional parenting firmly believes in the proverb “spare the rod, spoil the child”. So if a child is mischievous, then you have to stop such behavior without understanding the actual reason behind it.
Punishments and scolding are common ways by which parents suppress behavior that they consider “unacceptable. By doing this you may be able to discipline your child but you do not work on your relationship between your child and you.
On the other hand, if a parent treats a mischievous child with empathy and instead of yelling and punishing offers to listen to the child and explains the repercussions of their behavior the child will not only understand better but shall also refrain from repeating the action in future.
Principles of Conscious Parenting:
There are no hard and fast rules in conscious parenting but here are some core principles that will help you practice this style of parenting.
1. Be Responsive, Not Reactive:
Whenever you are confronted with a situation, take at least three seconds to think about it before reacting. See if your reaction is appropriate for the situation or is an action you have witnessed and disliked as a child. Once you have your answer, chose the best possible option for the situation.
2. Stay Focused:
At times, you may feel an overwhelming urge to whack your kid, especially when you are disobeyed. But be patient and remain focused on the long-term goal. Your goal is to build a relationship on trust, love, and understanding. Losing your temper easily will ruin all your efforts at being a conscious parent.
3. Change Your Perception:
When you change the way you see things, it becomes easy to act according to the need of the situation. By empathizing with your child you become more understanding and do not feel the need to punish your child physically.
4. Talk Less, Listen More:
To build a healthy relationship with your child, it is best that you advise less and listen more to what your child has to say. You can ask your child questions and listen to the answers carefully. This way your child will feel that you both are on the same page.
5. Don’t Be Hasty:
You need great amount of patience when dealing with children. You cannot make hasty decisions for them. You must make time for them, listen to them, and then arrive at a conclusion. Your patience will strengthen the feeling of trust and reliability.
6. Consider Your Child’s Age:
No matter how old your child gets, you must always remember the generation gap to understand the reasons behind the actions of your child. Even if you share a good rapport with your child you must not forget the fact that you are a parent and your actions have a direct effect on your child.
How To Practice Conscious Parenting?
1. Create A Connection:
You can start by working on creating an emotional connection with your child. You can do this by being present for your child whenever the need be. Your child has to feel a sense of attachment and belonging to you.
2. Share Responsibilities:
Assigning simple household chores not only makes your child feel responsible but also a part of the family. Always remember to thank your child for completing a task and appreciate good work. Additionally, arranging family trips and outings also increases the bond between the two of you.
3. Exercise Empathy:
Always try to put yourself in your child’s shoes and understand his point of view. Your child begins trusting you and looks up to you for advice.
4. Create A Routine:
Having set a routine for daily activities, your child will know what is to be done and what is expected of him.
[ Read: Permissive Parenting ]
Relationships are always growing and changing. It is important that you take the time to look back at events and evaluate your actions. You can recollect the things your parents did for you that you appreciated the most and try to do the same for your kids.
6. Work On Own Issues:
There will be times when a certain action of your child may hit a sensitive memory that you haven’t made peace with. As a parent, it is important that you solve your issues before they affect you and your family. You can do so by seeking professional help or by talking it out with a friend. Do not let your insecurities impact your parenthood.
7. Boost Your Child’s Abilities:
Every child has an area of expertise and interest. You must understand the skills of your children and help develop them. You need not enroll your children in innumerable classes and programs. Instead, encourage them to cultivate an interest, talk to them, and if possible try to get involved with their activities to let them know that they have your support in it.
8. Stay Healthy:
As a parent, you would want to see their child healthy and happy. For that, you should have a healthy life yourself. Set an example before your kids to help them understand the importance of leading a healthy life. You are very important for your children and you have to work on mind and body to be there for them.
Tips For Conscious Parenting:
Conscious parenting is not easy. Here are some tips to help you in your efforts at being a conscious parent.
1. Trust Your Intuition:
Animals generally feel instinctively protective of their children. Every human parent instinctively tries to provide with and do the best for their children. Since parenting cannot be taught in a classroom, you have to rely on your instincts to decide what is best for your child.
2. Meditate And Relax:
Meditation helps you connect with your inner self and relaxes your senses. When your mind is at ease, you become patient and tolerant, and these qualities help you deal with naughty kids.
[ Read: Tips To Become A Peaceful Parent ]
3. Take A Step Back:
There is a difference between involvement and interference. As a parent, you must be aware of what your child is doing and where he spends his time. However, do not interfere in every aspect of your children’s life and make decisions on his behalf. Give him the space to grow.
4. Be Serious:
Never mock your kids’ actions or opinions. It affects their confidence, and they may not share their views with you next time. Instead, listen carefully to what they have to say and give your inputs accordingly.
5. Forgive And Forget:
A parent has to be a child’s role model. However, every parent is human and is susceptible to mistakes. But do not feel bogged down by a few things that go wrong. Own up and apologize. Children are very forgiving and shall not hold it against you.
How do you feel being a conscious parent? Does the inner peace flow in, and make the bond between you and yor child stronger? Tell us below!
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