Has it ever occurred to you as a parent that the reason we have children or decided to commit to this relationship of becoming a parent is not to teach them how to live in this world but actually to learn a little more from them too? Have you ever asked yourself what is it that your child has come to teach you in this world? Isn’t it funny how before we become parents, there is no degree or course or school we officially attend to prepare ourselves as parents? No one tells us that you must sit a set of exams before you can deliver the child right? For this reason, I invite you to consider shifting your consciousness to believing that your child isn’t here to entirely learn from you but there is a dual transformation occurring and we as parents are also growing with them and find out more about ourselves through them.
Stereotypically the parenting styles from the 70s and 80s or even the 90s have always encouraged us to be egoistic in our patterned thoughts when it comes to thinking what’s “best” for our child. We have traditionally projected our ideas and expectations on them, and I agree to a large extent we must exercise control in their early years and shape them to what we consider best for them. However, put your hands up those mums who have sat down after a long day and felt like you probably screwed up a little today, felt ashamed of what will others think or the best one I’ve seen and heard time and time again is “I’m a terrible mum”. Do you know the fact that you call yourself terrible means you are attempting to put into practice a set of norms that perhaps seem textbook perfect for a child but are they perfect for YOUR child?
Consider it in the following way: when your child does not respond to your proposed rules and ways, perhaps this is a subconscious rejection on your part as well. It may be an awakening to question your desires and what is it that you want? Conscious parenting is exactly that. Your child has been put into your life as the best form of self-empowerment for you. We must soften the grip on our ego and hug your child's essence ferociously, all while tapping into our own, that’s probably oozing to erupt from the layers of seasoned values our parents brought us up with. It’s not incorrect to ignore these values as they form our core, but now it’s going beyond that, and facing the raw reality and messages that our children are delivering to us.
Remember you cannot raise a child that’s perfect because even you are not perfect yourself. If you seek perfection, you will mostly “fit in” perfectly in society. However, if you allow your child to experiment with his differences and in turn connect with your dormant interior child, this will most definitely make your child “stand out” from others, because you have unleashed the uniqueness in him.
The only way to accept your child’s uniqueness without judgement is by turning off the machine in your head that tells you he “should be” like this. It can only be achieved when you accept your child is not a “mini-me” but a bespoke spirit in the making. I like to see my kids as my mirror where I can detect my underdeveloped areas of personal growth. Your bond with them is the only relationship that will trigger in you the most emotional reactivity, and therefore the power of this emotion must be exercised as an opportunity for our spiritual development and not as a threat towards stagnation.
Conscious parenting is really about listening to your child, honouring what they have to offer and going a step further and partnering with their teachings towards us.