What Is Conscious Parenting and How Can I Use It In My Everyday Life?
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What Is Conscious Parenting and How Can I Use It In My Everyday Life? A fresh perspective for parents and teachers dashboards…
Raising kids is hard: there’s no doubt about that. There seem to be a million different ideologies on how kids should be raised. How do you decide which method is right for you and your family?
Conscious parenting is a form of child-rearing that is gaining massive popularity today. The topic of conscious parenting is a regular part of conversations in psychology circles, on social media, and amongst parenting groups.
This article will dive deep into the world of child-rearing and talk all about conscious parenting and how to use it in everyday life.
What is conscious parenting?
Conscious parenting is a form of parenting focused on transforming the way parents interact with their children. Conscious parenting utilizes the process of reflection to consider what is causing the child to act a certain way and how the parent’s behavior may be contributing to the situation. In conscious parenting, parent and child are equals, thus removing the typical parent/child boundary that exists in most parenting styles.
While other popular parenting styles use punishments and anger to influence how kids act, conscious parenting seeks to take a more thoughtful route. Conscious parenting means creating space to listen and hear what a child is trying to say with their words and actions.
Since kids haven’t fully developed emotionally, it can be hard for them to express their thoughts and feelings in proper ways. Instead of punishing kids for lashing out, conscious parents take a step back to consider the whole picture. Since parent and child are peers, the parent will try to resolve the conflict as they would with another adult rather than demanding change from the child.
For example, if a child throws their food off of the table, a conscious parent won’t scold them for misbehaving. Instead, they might ask the child if they are too full to finish the rest of their meal. This allows a chance for the parent to hear what the child is actually trying to say, rather than silencing and punishing them for expressing their needs.
Conscious parenting also requires parents to take an honest look at how their own behavior may be influencing their child. Parents employing this child-rearing style understand that their emotions, behaviors, and choices directly affect their kids. Being able to recognize their own shortcomings allows the parents to adjust their behavior and change the trajectory of their interaction with a child.
What are the benefits of conscious parenting?
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, a renowned biologist who studies how environment and behaviors change the way that genes work, using conscious parenting changes the makeup of cells of a child as they begin to process information in a new, healthier way. This allows for life-long benefits for both child and parent. Here are some of them:
- Improved communication. Because conscious parenting involves remaining calm and taking the time to listen to a child’s needs instead of rushing to conclusions and punishments, the communication between parent and child flourishes. Both parties are able to state their needs and feelings without fear of repercussion. This results in children being increasingly willing to speak their minds respectfully with their parents.
- A healthier view of the conflict. Traditional parenting styles can make children fear conflict with their parents and peers. If they assume they will be yelled at for speaking their mind, they will be prone to stop speaking up. Taking the time to hear what a child needs through their words and actions can teach them to stand up for themselves instead of shutting down to avoid conflict.
- Greater respect for others. Conscious parenting teaches children that each person in an argument deserves to take up space in the conversation. By making children feel as though their parents hear them when they speak their needs, they are also learning how to hear others when their turn to speak their needs comes around. This teaches children compassion for others and helps them understand that other people have needs, too.
- Reduced stress. Decreased stress is beneficial for both parents and children. A study published in Clinical Psychology Review found that practicing mindfulness can decrease stress and lead to improved well-being. Learning the art of self-reflection enables parents and children to reap the benefits of mindfulness.
- Increased emotional intelligence. Practicing mindfulness leads to a change in response to conflict: instead of reacting right away, a mindful person first listens and then responds. This change in behavior is a crucial part of improving emotional intelligence. A person who listens is a person who can make a positive change.
These benefits of conscious parenting create a healthy environment for parents and children to interact and grow. As one area improves, it enables another to do the same, leading to a pattern of continual positive change in parents and children alike. Emulating these positive behaviors is a fantastic way to help your kids grow up to be strong, respectful, and considerate individuals.
How can you incorporate conscious parenting into your everyday life?
One of the difficulties of conscious parenting is the time it takes to master the skill. An important thing to remember about this style, and parenting in general, is that every day is a chance to start over and try again.
On the journey to becoming a conscious parent, you will make mistakes and end up with moments that you regret. There will be times you react quicker than you should and say things you wish you hadn’t. This is all a part of being human; a key aspect of becoming mindful is acknowledging and accepting imperfection.
As long as you are seeking to become better each day, you are well on your way to becoming a conscious parent. Here are some more tips to keep in mind to help you incorporate conscious parenting into your everyday life:
- Remember to give your child space in the conversation. Ending an argument by saying, “Because I’m your parent and I said so,” doesn’t give your child an opportunity to take part in the discussion. Conscious parenting relies on an open line of communication both ways, so try to remember that your child deserves to have time to express their thoughts and needs.
- Look beyond the current issue so that you can see the whole picture. If your child is throwing a fit, try to consider what might have led up to this issue. Does your child have needs that you can meet? Are they hungry, cold, or tired?
- Be open and honest with your child. When you make mistakes, like getting angry with your child instead of taking a moment to process the situation, apologize to your child and ask if you can start over. This is a wonderful opportunity to show your child a mature way to handle mistakes and to strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Remember Your Child is Not You Nor Should They Be
It can be difficult for parents to remember that it is okay for kids to be kids, and no matter what you want them to be or what you want them to become, ultimately, it is their decision.
It is vital that parents separate themselves, their past, and their idea of success from their children’s. It is perfectly fine to want the best for your kids, but it should come in the way of support, understanding, and a little guidance, not goals, ambitions, and expectations.
A lot of people will try to live vicariously through their kids, whether this behavior is conscious or subconscious. When you act as a conscious parent, you accept who your children are and who they want to be, whether or not you approve.
Take Care Of Yourself So You Can Have Room to Respond To Your Child in a Healthy Manner
A conscious parent will take time to be mentally and physically sound. When you are in control of yourself, you will have the capacity to handle the big feelings and emotions that come with childhood and maturing.
Keep a Judgment Free Home.
When you practice conscious parenting, it means you have made the decision to be accepting and never judge your child or their actions, choices, or decisions.
If your child becomes overwhelmed, emotional, or upset, give them space and time to cool down, then revisit the topic when you are both in a clear headspace and in control of your feelings.
Do not bring up your child’s reaction or behaviors regarding the past problem and judge them for it. Find a constructive way to handle the situations without evoking the same response.
5 Conscious Parenting Tips To Help You Succeed
In order to be successful at conscious parenting, you need to have the tools and mindset to keep yourself and your emotions in control. Here is a list of a few great tips and tricks you can refer to when engaging in conscious parenting.
1. Keep a Routine
Routines are beneficial to children, no matter what type of parenting you choose to use, how busy your home life is, or whether you are dealing with emotional,or physical, or mental challenges with your children.
Ask any child therapist or pediatrician, schedules, and strict routine work. There are a lot of studies that back this, and it can be a crucial tool for conscious parenting.
One thing that differs from keeping a routine when conscious parenting to a lot of other parenting styles is that you have to implement these routines positively, without strict or rigid rules and demands.
Allow your child to partake in making the daily schedules and give them a chance to give their input and ideas on how the day should look.
2. Give Your Child Responsibilities
Conscious parenting doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be rules and chores. Assign your children daily tasks to complete. Chances are high, you will get some resistance, especially from your older kids, and that is okay; let them be part of the process, let them choose what chores they can do, and don’t make them feel forced to pick one task. This is a critical part of parenting for everyone; this is how kids learn responsibility, how to take care of themselves, and how to act when they are on their own. You have to show your children you trust them and believe they can accomplish the tasks at hand, providing them with support and acknowledgment. When a child feels respected, you will be surprised at how easy it can be to get them to do their chores.
3. Take Your Time
Conscious parenting is about slowing things down and taking time to not only raise your kids but to walk through life with them. It’s not designed to let kids make all of their own choices but to guide them into making the right choices for themselves.
Raising kids in a go-go-go world can be extremely difficult because you are on edge and always busy; this makes it easy to start throwing commands at children and creating tension.Once you find a way to slow things down a bit, you can work with your child and not against them; doing so will make the entire house a much calmer and happier environment.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness every single day will help keep you in a good mental place that will be extremely beneficial when you are engaging with your children.
Utilizing mindfulness techniques such as mantras in the morning, a quick meditation session during your lunch breaks, or laying silent in your bed for 10 minutes before you get up and ready for your day, can truly change perspectives and attitudes. Practicing mindfulness is not only a great tool for adults who are also practicing conscious parenting but can be a great tool to teach children at an early age. This can help kids deal with difficult emotions such as anger, stress, anxiety, fear, etc.
Examples of mindfulness mantras you can try include:
- I must take care of myself in order to take the best care of my child
- I respect my child’s independence and desires to become their own person
- My child deserves respect
- My child is always allowed to express their feelings and emotions freely
- My child will not comply with common stereotypes
Conscious parenting, like all parenting styles, is not always easy to carry out. If you decide that conscious parenting is the right choice for your family, remember to stay patient with your children and with yourself. In time, both you and your child will come to see the benefits of this mindful parenting style.
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Get the inside scoop on conscious parenting and how you can apply it to your life in this informative article.