“As parents, we will always doubt ourselves. But we can use our doubt to become better parents.”
I remember being pregnant with my eldest — the feeling of being terrified of childbirth piling on to the anxiety of becoming a first-time mother. I talked to other parents hoping to get answers, some inspiration or even just a hint of reassurance and all I got was the same answer: some variation of “Don’t worry about it, you’ll know exactly what to do when the time comes.” or “It will come naturally.” Twenty years and six kids later, I still have a lot of unanswered questions, with the constant question being “Am I doing right by my kids?”
Conscious Parenting: Acceptance, not Approval
The truth is, knowing how to raise children is not something that happens automatically. I can tell you for a fact that it does not come naturally. I learned through it all, and it was when I read up on conscious parenting that I experienced how rewarding being a mother could be. To put it plainly, a conscious parent is one who understands that their children are instrumental to their growth as individuals, just as they are to their children’s. It’s the parent’s job to attune to their needs, engage with them on a personal level and connect with them as individuals.
Being mindful of your child’s individuality
The most common mistake we commit as parents is perhaps thinking that our children are extensions of us; that they exist to give us second chances or to fulfill our dreams. Our children have individual souls, independent from ours, and just like us, they need to be given a chance to be whoever they need to be, for their highest good.
Conscious parenting is constant work. We have to heighten our awareness by trying to see things from their perspective. It means trusting our children to make their own decisions, even if it means letting them make their own mistakes so they can learn. It means that we can’t run on auto-pilot when dealing with our teenagers because one size does not fit all and there’s no troubleshooting manual for when things go awry. But most of all, conscious parenting means parenting by example. Children know when their parents talk about things that they don’t practice or believe. Actions speak louder than words.
Listening to your Inner Child
If you’ve embarked on a healing journey and are working on better spiritual health like I have, parenting becomes a celebration of our own growth and new insights. It is a breakthrough! I realized that aside from nurturing my own children, I also had to love and care for my “inner child” first. I understood that my inner child was programmed with the old belief systems that I am trying so hard to undo, and once that clicked, I felt lighter and life suddenly seems less demanding. About a year ago, I started studying Kabbalah and as I’ve mentioned to so many people, it has helped me change the way I perceive reality. Equipped with so much certainty that we all deserve the good things in life, I manifest less fear and insecurity, and instead radiate more light and positivity.
Children feed off of our energy, and working on ourselves to reach the depths of our souls and finding our true purpose will enable us to raise mindful, fulfilled, and resilient children. Trust me when I say that kids don’t expect their parents to be perfect. They know we make mistakes, but how we transform those mistakes into opportunities for growth is what matters. We will always be a work in progress.
A Whole New Perspective as a Conscious Parent
Being conscious about how we parent opens our eyes to a whole new perspective — one that makes us understand that our children were not born to do things to our liking nor are they meant to be controlled or molded into who we expect them to be. In fact, it’s actually quite the opposite because it’s our responsibility to teach our children the fundamentals: acceptance, love and kindness. Through this they will find their life purpose and learn to embrace their true authentic selves, which is honestly everything we could ever hope for.