Parenting is one of the hardest job on this planet, yet so rewarding and worthwhile. We as parents, grow on this roller coaster ride with everyday challenges, developing & progressing, learning from our mistakes and trying our best to be better each time.Parenting is about being mindful and conscious in all your interactions with your child. It is about connecting with your children at a deeper level and nurturing their essence.
Conscious parenting requires a change in the way you view your child’s behavior and respond consciously to his/her needs. Simply put, it means, seeing your children as they are, or seeing the ‘spirit or the essence of their being’. When we practice being a conscious parent and enter into a deepest state of
presence, then we entered into the present moment, then we can understand who is our child in the present moment, listen to them with different years, with a different understanding, different insight and attuned to them in a completely different way. Kids like to get their way. But there’s something every child wants even more: Someone who loves them, no matter what. Someone who doesn’t yell when they make mistakes. Who is calm and patient, even when they’re mad or whining. Someone who controls their own emotions so they can listen and empathize, even when they’re wrong, even when they were so upset they were rude. Someone who holds a vision of them as their best self, even when they can’t find that self. Imagine growing up with that parent. That’s what every child wants. Of course nobody can be that parent 24/7 and we don’t get it right one hundred percent of the time, and that’s okay as long as we do not stay in the wrong. Instead of focusing on the error of our ways; instead of focusing on the things we get wrong day to day, we need to remember the bigger picture.
We keep resolving to “do better.” But being hard on yourself doesn’t make you a better parent. Even resolving to be more patient doesn’t necessarily help. What we all need is more support, the kind of support that helps us stay calm and regulate our own emotions. It is important to learn from our mistakes and then to move forward. Assess what went wrong, and plan for the future. Your kids will see it. Depending on their age they may not understand what they are witnessing but they will learn from your action, so take steps forward, even if they are small. The goal obviously is to be the kind of parent who raises great human beings. But the kicker is, we are actually raising human beings!
How can you become ‘A work in progress’ parent?
1. Create a loving and peaceful environment
Your child absorbs everything equally, good or bad. Hence, create an environment that is positive, encouraging, and safe for them to explore and learn. Any negative element in the environment can affect them, leading to inhibitions or phobias.
2. Be present to your own emotions
It is easy to get upset and angry when your child disobeys you. But the focus here is to stay calm and assertive while being kind irrespective of the situation. Introspect on your reaction to the situation. Responding helps you understand the reasons for your child’s inappropriate behavior and come up with ways to control it the next time.
3. Be empathetic & love your child unconditionally
Before you respond to your child, take a pause, and reflect on how you would act if you were in your child’s place in a particular situation. That can help them gain a perspective and respond accordingly. When you are empathetic, your child begins trusting you and looks up to you for advice. Love provides them a safety net, makes them feel confident, and secure.
4. Behave the way you want your child to be
Children learn from what you do rather than what you say. So, before you tell them something, show it to them through your behavior. Be consistent in your words and actions. If they don’t match, it will confuse your child. For instance, you don’t want your child to shout, so you tell him, “don’t shout” at the top of your voice. He might ask you, “Then why are you shouting mom?”
5. Be courteous in your communication
Talk to your child like you are talking to an adult – respect them and be courteous. As a parent, you are the first teacher to your child, hence teach them how to communicate as well as respond. Your child takes in all the emotional learning from you and uses it later in their interactions.
6. Be a good listener
Listen to what your children have got to say. Ask your children questions and listen to their answers to understand their perspective. That way they feel being heard and valued.
7. Boost your child’s abilities
Every child has a potential and talent. You need to tap into that potential. Identify the skills in your children and help them master them. Motivate them to cultivate varied interests, talk to them, and involve yourself in their activities to let them know that they have your support.
8. Practice mindfulness and be calm
Meditation helps you connect with your inner self and relaxes your senses. When your mind is at ease, you become patient and tolerant, and these qualities help you deal with children.
9. Spend time with yourself
In the daily hectic schedule and challenges of very day life we tend to be hard on ourselves, not taking time off to take a break and relax. Taking a break, relaxing, listening to music, watching a movie or doing anything you love, helps you to energize & refresh your mind & body.
10. Resolve your issues
At times, your child’s actions may hit a sensitive memory that you haven’t made peace with. It is essential for you to resolve your issues before they affect you and your children. You can do so by talking it out with your partner or through connecting with your inner self. Your insecurities must not impact your parenthood.