Conscious parenting is the approach in which parents/caregivers try to be open-minded and present in their children's needs and actions.
The best way to teach children to be aware is to incorporate the practice into their lives, based on three fundamental areas: connection, creativity and communication.
Parents who know how to deal with their emotions are the key to a child's good development: conscious parenting does not mean being a “perfect parent”. It's not easy and it takes practice, but like many aspects of parenting, some days are good and some are worse and you can always try again. You may forget to be mindful, but the second you find yourself distracted, it's an opportunity to make a different choice—the choice to be present.
Conscious Parenting involves a series of skills:
- Listening: This means really listening and observing with full attention. This skill requires a lot of patience and practice. Listening extends to the environment, and not just to others, assimilating everything that surrounds you and your child (sounds, smells).
- Non-judgmental acceptance: getting involved in a situation without judgment for your or your child's feelings. What is simply is. Nonjudgment involves leaving unrealistic expectations for your child.
- Awareness of emotions: Awareness of parent-child interactions extends from parent to child and vice versa. Shaping emotional awareness is key to teaching your child to do the same. There are always emotions that affect situations.
- Self-regulation: This means not letting your emotions trigger immediate reactions, such as screaming or other automatic behavior. In summary: It's thinking before acting to avoid overdoing it.
- Compassion: Again, you may not agree with your child's actions or thoughts, but conscious parenting encourages parents to be compassionate. This involves being empathetic and understanding of the child's position at the time.
And what are the potential benefits of Conscious Parenting?
Improves communication between parents and children
Reduces hyperactivity symptoms
Improves parental satisfaction
Decreases feelings of depression
Decreases stress and anxiety
Promotes greater parental involvement in general.