The Conscious Parent

The conscious parent guides the child from a place of emotional, psychological maturity, in spiritual wellness. This means they have moved from the place of fear-based decision making to a position where the universe as a whole is seen as a fundamentally  safe and cooperative place. (This is not always so easy from the parental perspective!) A parent who is conscious, and who is  aware that like themselves, their child is a physical extension of spirit and as such, each child, regardless of their age, possesses their very own source of inner guidance will likely parent in a much different way than one who identifies with being a limited, finite being, bound by a body. 

The conscious parent leads by example

The conscious parent knows what it means to teach through example. The conscious parent has an ability to be flexible. Rather than responding to children with knee-jerk responses or set, rigid rules, the spiritually conscious parent is willing to address their child’s behaviors and needs with a fresh perspective from moment to moment.

The conscious parent moves beyond the accepted rules and mores that the majority of society holds regarding children and moving into a position where our intuition and own personal reasoning ability becomes our guide. Those who engage with their children as the conscious parent, address the needs of the individual child apart from the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots' held by the masses.

The conscious parent takes into account the fact that each child is a unique spirit and thus, a unique individual.

As a spiritually conscious parent you will honor the spirit within your child, respect your child as the wise and intuitive being they are at their core and you will encourage your child through your own example to access and trust the inner guidance that is always available within them. This means allowing each child to guide his own unique direction with as little outside intervention as possible and to respect each child as our equal.

I can honestly say that my own spiritual convictions and integrity to these beliefs were never so greatly tested as when I became a parent. I’ve learned that for me, being a conscious parent truly means having an ability to ‘go with the flow.’

The conscious parent parents with their soul. There’s little point in me making up strict, blanket rules that apply to both of my children. I’ve come to see that as they are both very unique individuals, what’s good for one is sometimes completely wrong for the other.

The governing, basic rule in our home is an expectation of striving towards respect for self and others. Beyond that, I really do try to allow my children to guide themselves. I do find that this basic tenet of striving for kindness and tolerance, sets the stage for other behaviors and situations that may arise.

Initially I found myself falling into some of the widely accepted parenting practices of others. But, such rules as ‘no swearing and eat everything on your plate,’ were soon abandoned in favor of what we perceived to be more respectful parenting practices. Regarding the issue of swearing, my son asked us one day how mere words could be ‘bad.’ We explained to him that in each language, certain words exist that many people feel offended by and that ‘swears’ were the name for such words. “But they’re just words,” he insisted. This got me to thinking.

By banning our children from using certain words within their vocabulary, what message are we giving them? Seems to me, it’s saying: “I don’t trust you to use your own inner guidance when choosing words, therefore, I’ll make a rule that you cannot use certain words that are deemed as inappropriate without receiving negative consequence from me. This also got me thinking about how unfair this was and that I was definitely treating my children as inferior beings by dictating their vocabulary…..After all, I’ve been known to use a choice word or two when I felt the situation at hand called for it ,why should I deny my children this same freedom?

When I really thought about, the issue of my children swearing or not revolved more around my perceived beliefs about the reaction and feeling of others. If other parents knew that my child swore, they’d likely think I was a bad parent and/or that my child was an unruly, undisciplined kid. Sure, a kid who swears incessantly around others will likely experience a certain amount of negativity, but wouldn’t that experience itself provide so much more in terms of learning for my child than him simply acquiescing to my rules and blindly following them for fear of negative consequence?

In this case, I chose to rise to the level of what it meant to me to be the conscious parent to overcome my fears about what others would think and told my children that they were free to use any words that they felt comfortable using. Along with this, I did explain that swearing around those who felt offended by such words would likely result in a rejection of sorts and that with this is mind, they should choose their words accordingly.

I’ll admit that around the house, my 10 yr. old son often swears like a truck driver. I do not allow swearing AT others in anger as that would breach our basic family rule about respecting others and for the most part, this is honored. My daughter chooses not to swear as the words simply do not appeal to her.

My son seems empowered by the trust and level of responsibility we’ve allowed him in being able to choose his own words. Interesting enough, the times my son has swore while out in public are few and far between, while many of his friends who are banned from swearing at home get into trouble by swearing at school and other places that are deemed by most to be inappropriate for such language. It would seem that my son has discovered that the immediate pleasure he receives from swearing is simply not worth the alienation from others that he will likely experience. Thus, I see the freedom I’ve given my children to choose to swear or not to be an important stepping stone in terms of them being able to decipher when the thoughts and feelings of others should or should not be given importance over their own. Many of us it seems grow well into adult-hood before we begin to address this issue. The way I see it, the earlier the better, where this one is concerned. This is just one example of how I’ve chosen to break away from the beliefs of the masses regarding proper parenting practice. This in no way makes me a perfect parent and I’ll admit that there are still many parenting issues that I still struggle with. This leaves me thinking that this is likely a subject that I’ll be writing about further in future blog posts. For me, as someone who sees the importance of being my version of the conscious parent, it’s definitely a ‘biggie.’

More than anything I believe that being the conscious parent means respecting your child as the unique spirit and person that he is. When you encourage your child to honor her own inner guidance you teach her to think for herself so he/she can go out into the world well equipped to have a life experience that reflects and that appeals to his/her unique self. When you look at the big picture, isn’t that what the whole purpose of parenting is all about?

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