The first time I heard about Conscious Parenting was when Dr. Shefali Tsabary appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show about two years ago. Her message completely made sense to me. So what was my next step? I asked my husband to watch the episode. We were both having aha’s left and right! It was the first time that we both became interested in a parenting philosophy, usually it is just me (sorry honey). I took on the role of information gatherer.
I got a hold of every piece of material that I could. I read her books “Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn’t Work and What Will” and “The Conscious Parent”. I started following her on twitter. I also watched her Life Class episode on the OWN Channel. Then we went to her first ever Conference “Evolve” last November in Long Beach, CA and then in April we went to Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions 2 at UCLA where Dr. Tsabary was a featured speaker. I think you get the point that I am trying to make: I really connect with Dr. Tsabary’s message of conscious parenting. But why?
Bottom line. I am a person who thinks that everything is spiritual. I literally believe that everything we do, every moment, every interaction with every person is an opportunity for spiritual practice. So when I heard Dr. Tsabary literally explain how parenting is a spiritual practice, that message totally made sense to me. She has given me the language to see these little humans as souls also trying to evolve on this earth and the ability to see myself as their spiritual teacher and at the same time as their student.
At this point the only compass that I pay attention to in my parenting is the compass of what feels good to me and when I actually parent consciously it feels really good to me. I believe that if it feels good to me that it actually means that it is right with my soul which means that I am in the flow connected to my higher self which some of us call God. So what is this conscious parenting thing? I don’t know that I am the best equipped to give you a simple definition of it (I will leave that to Dr. Tsabary) but what I can do is describe to you how it works for me but keep in mind that in practice conscious parenting will look different for each of us.
When I parent consciously I am able to slow down my parenting. I am literally aware of my thoughts and before I actually react to what my child is doing I ask myself “why am I reacting this way? Why does this bother me?” Am I reacting/bothered out of fear? If I am then I check myself and calm down before I put that onto my child. If it is love, then I make the interaction about communicating that love to Paulito or Vicky or both. And I do not know if you have realized this but it is really hard to communicate love when yelling so that has really helped me to curb my yelling.
I am not always conscious. I have my conscious moments and then my not so conscious moments. I have days when I have not slept well so I am tired and I have a hard time being conscious when I am tired. It is also hard for me to be conscious when I am hungry. I have a really hard time being conscious after a stressful day at work. While I am at it let me also add to the list how hard it is for me to be conscious at the end of my day when all I want my kids to do is go to sleep so that I can get some me time and then rest. Let me stop there; I think you get the point.
I also want to say that this change did not happen over night for me. It was actually very challenging for me because it is not in my nature to parent in this way. What was natural for me was to yell, to threaten, to punish, to spank. Conscious Parenting is a daily practice for me that I will share more about in the blog as the weeks go on.
In the meantime, if anything that I have said about conscious parenting peaks your curiosity, Dr. Shefali Tsabary will be on Super Soul Sunday this coming Sunday, August 7th discussing her new book: “The Awakened Family.” Set your DVR! If you do not have the OWN channel, do not worry. Our family does not have cable so my husband and I always watch via the internet at supersoul.tv. FYI, the Super Soul Sunday episodes will only be available for a limited amount of time (one week) so if you really want to watch the episode via the web make time to watch it before it is gone!
I am also including links to all of her books below. If you like this post and think it would be helpful to other parents hit a share button below to post on Facebook and/or Twitter.
The Conscious Parent
Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn’t Work and What Will
The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting