Conscious Parenting is becoming the new trend in parenting, especially in the past year. Find out what is conscious parenting and if it can change your life too!
Growing up I had visions of being the perfect mom. You know I would be a no yelling parent and choose a great parenting style that everyone would be in awe about… Fast forward 16 years and I have not been the perfect parent.
I have yelled, I have lost my patience on more than one occasion, I have said no when I should have said yes because I was just too tired to take them somewhere or play with them.
Tell me you have been here too?
In the last year or so I have taken a good, long look at my parenting style. I knew there were things I needed to change. The problem was, I was unsure what those changes needed to be. That is until I discovered conscious parenting.
What is Conscious Parenting?
Conscious parenting is a fairly new parenting style that most people had not heard about until recently, so what is conscious parenting?
Conscious parenting is a parenting style that involves using mindfulness to drive parent actions. This method of parenting helps parents to be aware of their own thoughts and emotions and to put the focus back on their actions, and not on their child’s behavior.
Key Points of Conscious Parenting
Conscious parenting requires parents to let go of the need for their kids to be happy all the time. It means recognizing the importance of allowing them to struggle and experience negative emotions. This will help them grow through struggles when teaching them to self-regulate when they are able to experience negative emotions.
This style of parenting uses boundaries to help with child development and safety. These are always set ahead of time so kids can be more aware.
Rather than using punishments, this parenting style uses positive reinforcement to encourage certain behaviors that fall within the boundaries set.
When implementing conscious parenting it is so important to remember the age of your kids. This helps set proper boundaries as well as help you understand why your child reacts to those boundaries.
Conscious parenting puts the focus on parental self-regulation. It does not focus on a child’s “bad” behavior.
Lastly, through conscious parenting parents and kids teach each other through a two-way relationship.
Pros of Conscious Parenting
There are several pros of conscious parenting.
- Self-reflection, meditation, and mindfulness are key elements of conscious parenting, those who practice this method may experience lower levels of stress on a day-to-day basis.
- There is greater respect between parent and child because this parenting method emphasizes the importance of seeing the child as a person with their own thoughts and opinions.
- Children whose parents practice this method of parenting are likely to self regulate quicker than friends. In addition, children who are raised this way show better levels of self-regulation and lower levels of aggression.
Cons of Conscious Parenting
Although there are several pros of conscious parenting it also comes with some negative effects as well.
- This method of parenting does not allow for a “quick fix” for behavioral problems. It requires you to be a more patient parent which at times can be hard.
- As a parent, you have to be self-disciplined to be able to effectively practice this style of parenting all the time. A lot of parental self-discipline is needed in order to effectively put this parenting method into practice.
- As a parent, we must learn to let go of some control over our kids. For most parents this is a struggle, I know for me it is.
It is hard to watch our kids struggle and fail! But with conscious parenting letting them fail and struggle is a huge part of the learning process. Through this parenting method, growth happens as they learn through struggles.
How to Practice Conscious Parenting
One way that we can put this parenting style into practice is by controlling the environment whenever possible. This is a time for you to stop tantrums before they happen. What you choose to control will depend on the individual kid.
For example, if you have a kid who struggles with putting on their shoes when it is time to go somewhere, consider laying their shoes by the front door ahead of time and offer to help them put on their shoes. You may just find a tantrum can be avoided.
The most important part of conscious parenting is learning to regulate your emotions. Kids are not always capable of regulating their emotions, but YOU can.
Identify the emotion that you are feeling and ask yourself WHY you are feeling that way. Remember that your emotions are coming from your thoughts, not the actions of your kid.
Conscious parenting provides the chance to connect with your kids. When tantrums happen, try to see things from your kid’s perspective. Ask yourself what is happening in their life that could cause this reaction.
Disciplining using Conscious Parenting
When disciplining using conscious parenting, it is best to make sure limits are set ahead of time. We want to set realistic limits for our kids, so we need to understand their motives and their feelings. Once we do this, we can establish limits and praise our kids when they follow this!
Remember the tantrum and the shoes? . If you’re like me, you have a kid who frequently has a tantrum when it is time to put on their shoes or even get dressed.
When it is time to leave, simply say “It is time to go. Go get your shoes on.” If your kid obeys, praise them – “You’re doing it!”
But what do you do if your kid does not obey?
Remember to stay calm. Pushing limits is something that kids (especially young kids and toddlers) are supposed to do.
If your child refuses to put on their shoes, consider helping the child – “Let me help you put your shoes on.”
Next, express empathy for why your kid may not want to put on their shoes – “I know you were having fun playing. It’s hard to leave when you were having so much fun.”
If they do not let you put on their shoes, try giving them 2 options to choose from – “Do you want to put on your shoes first or do you want to put on your sweater and then your shoes?”
Giving your kids safe choices (meaning choices that you, as the parent, find acceptable for the situation) allows them to feel in control of the situation which will greatly reduce the number of tantrums.
Conscious parenting is not the easiest parenting style for most parents. I know for me it is a struggle to keep myself in check when I want to take over and I am losing patience by the second.
It is so hard to implement it in our home. It definitely requires high levels of patience and self-discipline.
One of the biggest benefits that I love is that the more you use conscious parenting it actually will strengthen your parent-child relationship which makes all the hard work and patience required well worth it!
What do you love about conscious parenting? Share in the comments!