Do you look at other families and think they must have the formula to being the “perfect parent”? Are you constantly in doubt on whether you’re doing the ‘right’ thing while bringing up your kids? Perhaps looking at Conscious Parenting could be for you – but what is a conscious parent, and how does it work?
On a Sunday afternoon at a sushi restaurant, two families of four seat next to each other. In both cases, kids are aged between 3 and 7 years old. The first table is quiet, kids are calm and seated appropriately while parents eat peacefully their lunch. The second table is messier and louder with the kids standing up or playing under the table, talking loudly, being impatient. The parents in the second table try hard to eat their sushi while at the same time entertaining theirs kids by drawing or playing fun games with little cars, Tic-Tac-Toe game…
I bet you would rather be the parents in the first table. And maybe you wonder what is the secret to have a nice, quiet and enjoyable lunch with their kids.
Now let’s look a bit closer at what happened at “the quiet table”: from the moment the family sat down, both kids and the father had been playing on their respective phone. The secret to have a peaceful family meal is not to “be” present. All the members of the family are physically together but they don’t talk, don’t exchange, in essence don’t connect.
Now do you still want to be this “quiet” family? Being a parent in the “louder” family sure seems laborious and exhausting. And it seems that parents’ needs are less of a priority. But actually, parents at the second table have made a conscious decision of prioritising their long-term needs and goals (being truly connected to their kids) over short term ones (in this instance enjoying a meal without trouble).
What does it mean to be a conscious parent then?
It means you understand that authentic connection with your children is what matters most;
you understand what is needed at the moment while being mindful of what is important in the long run;
– you see the big picture, and not only the urgency and the convenience of the moment;
– you are willing to learn about and respect the psychological and physical needs of children;
– you understand your influence and role in positive and challenging times;
– you understand that not knowing – yet – what is best for your children is not the same as not caring;
– you understand that you aren’t perfect, but can improve over time;
– you develop more confidence in yourself and in what you do;
– you feel empowered to guide your children;
– you find your own family raising style;
– you understand that what works for others does not necessarily work for you;
– you feel less judged by others, and judge less;
– you develop a mindset that helps you comprehend the parenting puzzle;
In short, you become the parent you want to be.
Being a conscious parent is not always comfortable, but both the journey and the destination are worth the effort.