Sometimes I think we forget how much our children teach us.
I think about all the things our children have taught me and continue to teach me daily… the beauty in the ordinary, being present in the moment, loving unconditionally, thinking without boundaries, excitement in their imagination, the wonder of trying new things, confidence that they can do anything, a never ending desire for learning, discovering their character… of course this list could go on forever. I feel so grateful as a parent to recognize this.
For the last few years I have immersed myself in every book, audio and article I could get my hands on about being a better parent, raising consciousness in our children, and inspiring mindfulness in every thing they do. I’ve been developing a book “Life is Sweet,” about raising mindful children by helping them develop a more consciously driven life because I believe this is where their full potential can be found — in love, happiness, relationships, confidence, and knowing themselves. As a parent I think it is our goal to empower these things in our children. And in all this research I’ve noticed so much change in myself. So imagine my delight when I found Dr. Shefali Tsabary on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday yesterday. Her book, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children is a completely different insight to parenting, and the extraordinary benefits – to our children and ourselves – about rethinking the parent/child relationship. Her book offers revolutionary ideas on raising happier and more conscious children. She believes that traditional methods of parenting and disciplining are broken, and that if done consciously, the parenting journey “holds the potential to be a spiritually regenerative experience for both parent and child.” Amen.
The following are some excerpts from her book and her interview ‘How to Raise a Conscious Child’, which can be seen here : http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Oprah-and-Dr-Shefali-Tsabary-on-Conscious-Parenting
You are raising a spirit throbbing with it’s own signature
We enter the journey thinking that our children will fulfill this idealized version of ourselves and every time they do that we applaud them but every time they fall short of that we are triggered. But what they are really doing is showing us a mirror to our undeveloped self. We are calling on our children to represent a piece of us that hasn’t even developed yet …a sense of wholeness.
If we don’t pay close attention to them, we rob them of this right to live out their destiny. We end up imposing on them our own vision for them rewriting their spiritual purpose according to our whims.
“When you parent, it’s crucial you realize that you’re not raising a mini-me, but a spirit throbbing with it’s own signature.”
To connect with your children, first you need to connect with yourself
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. “…the time to awaken is now, the parenting paradigm needs to shift… now we need to look at our children as equal if not greater transforming agents.”
How consciousness changes how we parent
While we believe we hold the power to raise our children, the reality is that our children hold the power to raise us into the parents that they need us to become. For this reason, the parent experience isn’t one of parent versus child, but of parent with child. The road to wholeness sits in our children’s lap, and all we need to do is take a seat. As our children show us our way back to our own essence, they become our greatest awakeners.
A conscious parent is not one who seeks to fix her child or seeks to produce or create the perfect child, this is not about perfection. The conscious parent understands that this journey is an undertaking, that this child has been called forth to raise the parent itself. To show the parent where the parent is to grow. This is why we call our children into our lives.
Being a fully present parent, celebrating the importances of our children and celebrating ordinary day-to-day moments
One problem is, we don’t want our children to be ordinary beings, we want them to the greatest manifestations of ourselves. Dr. Tsabary believes that in order to parent consciously, we must redefine success. When parents focus on external things, such as report cards and sports trophies, what they’re really doing is neglecting connection and consciousness, which children really need to be successful.
Little realizing that it’s in the ordinary moments, brushing their teeth, tying their shoes, that call for connection. While many parents are tempted to shower their children with gift, she says what children really want has no price tag. That fully engaged parental presence is truly priceless.
Unconscious mistakes that parents make is that we make purchases rather than create experiences. We project that whatever fills us is going to fill them. Children don’t come into this world wanting things. We feel guilty when we cannot give our children the things they want, the things their friends have …we can empathize with our children for what they are wanting, and instead of entering a place of guilt if we could just enter a place of full on presence and say I will compensate through my presence, that could be the most valuable gift you could give your child. Your child may not realize it then, but you are building his inner sturdy foundation.