Conscious Parenting for Deeper ConnectionsApr 17, 2023
How to Deeply Connect with your Children through Presence
For those of us who are parents, we are all too familiar with the joys and struggles of the journey. It is rewarding and fulfilling but can also be exhausting and overwhelming, especially when there are multiple demands on our time and energy.
Further, we all have our own triggers and unresolved emotions from our past that can also present parenting challenges. For example, if you had a difficult relationship with your own parents, it may be challenging to separate your own experiences from those of your child.
Cultural and societal pressures can also impact our parenting style and approach. For example, you may feel pressure to prioritize academic or financial achievement over the emotional needs of your children.
In the face of all of this, as parents, we may find ourselves in patterns that disconnect us from our children, such as:
- Yelling frequently
- Reacting in anger
- Correcting constantly
- Disengaging behaviors
- Being aloof or distant
Conscious parenting is a different approach that invites us to be fully present and aware of our own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, and thereby to those of our children.
How to Apply Conscious Parenting in Real Life
After studying the 5-step Power Process, I’ve discovered the following three emotional tenets that led me to become a more conscious parent and transformed my relationship with my kids.
Maybe, it’d be a valuable food for thought for you to consider for your own parenting style.
Practice and Model Emotional Awareness
To parent consciously, we must be emotionally aware and able to recognize and regulate our own emotions. After all, our emotional state can have a direct and profound effect on our children.
By practicing the act of pausing when we are triggered, we are able to be aware of and process our emotions in the moment and to respond in a constructive way. This not only prevents and de-escalates conflict, but models healthy emotional regulation to our children.
By pausing, we also build the capacity to put ourselves in our children's shoes and understand their perspectives and needs.
For instance, if your child comes home from school feeling sad and frustrated because they had a disagreement with a friend, you might sit down with them, listen to their perspective, and express understanding for how they are feeling. You could say something like, "It sounds like you're feeling upset and disappointed. I'm sorry that happened, and I can understand why you feel that way."
This shows your child that you are there for them and that their feelings matter. This creates a safe and supportive emotional environment in which our children feel heard and validated, which can help to build a stronger parent-child bond and promote emotional well-being.
Be Present and Stay Engaged
Being in the moment is one of the most powerful states we can embody as parents.
For instance, if you're playing a game with your child, you might put your phone away, turn off the TV, and focus on the game and the interaction with your child. You might ask questions, show enthusiasm, and actively listen to your child's responses. By being fully present in the moment, you show your child that they are important.
The Payoffs of Conscious Parenting Go Beyond Strong Relationships
Practicing conscious parenting is not easy. It requires intentional effort and self-awareness. It can be challenging to maintain this approach consistently in the face of real-life stressors. In this vein, I wanted to share an important lesson I learned in my parenting journey which may be helpful to you on yours:
Have compassion for and patience with yourself as a parent. For example, if you’re just beginning to apply these principles, you may feel regret for all the weeks, months or years you haven’t applied them. This was me at one point!
But it’s never too late. Every interaction, every lived moment is an opportunity to raise consciousness for ourselves and our children. Take it one at a time, and don’t expect perfection.
In time you will see, your efforts will pay off. Not just in strengthening relationships, but in increased emotional intelligence and resilience, improved communication skills, and healthier emotional development. All of this will also help to create a more peaceful environment at home where your children can thrive in every way.
But there is one amazing benefit of conscious parenting that I believe we don’t talk about enough: The parenting journey has the potential - if we so choose it to be - a transformative experience that challenges us to grow and evolve not just as parents, but as individuals.
Fully embracing conscious parenting, we can develop greater emotional intelligence, resilience, patience, compassion, and self-awareness, ultimately leading to our own personal growth and expansion in this life.