Conscious parenting: 5 ways to parent positively

Parenting!

It’s no walk in the park. And as parents, we’re always seeking new ways to improve our parenting styles.

Maybe you’re going through a challenging time right now, and this is why you’re here. You’re struggling to become the parent you wish to be. You’ve read all the books and listened to all the podcasts on the topic. But still, you’re not getting the results you want. 

You’re in need of a mindset shift, and a new perspective on the tough but beautiful job called  parenting.

In this article, I’d like to introduce you to something called conscious parenting. You may have heard of it. It’s a method of parenting that is becoming increasingly popular due to its effectiveness in helping parents create a healthy relationship with their children. 

What is conscious parenting? 

In a nutshell, to parent consciously is to create a healthy relationship with your children. It involves being mindful about your behaviour and interactions with them. 

Conscious parenting entails ‘unlearning’ some of what you’ve been taught about traditional parenting, and trying a new approach.

This new approach, which largely involves you changing and developing yourself as a person, will help you create healthier ways of relating with your children.

So with that being said, what are some of the things you can do to become a conscious parent? Changing from reactive to consciously responsive parenting can be overwhelming. So to simplify things for you, I have five easy tips you can start applying now to help you become a more conscious parent. 

Become self-aware

Many of us are products of the upbringing we’ve had, and the environments we grew up in. Becoming more self-aware of your habits, behaviour and attitude is central to becoming a conscious parent. 

Start abandoning some beliefs about yourself, especially negative ones. Identify some of the behavioural patterns you have, that can be damaging to both you and your children. 

Enhancing self-awareness can be challenging. Confronting truths about yourself may open up some wounds. But ultimately, the healing and changing that’ll come about being honest with yourself is worth it.

You might be wondering, what are some things I can do to become more self-aware, that will make me a conscious parent? Here are some tips:

  • Journal.  Journaling is an excellent way of getting to know yourself. Being open and honest about your thoughts, beliefs and feelings.
  • Read self-help books. They’re full of benefit and wisdom.
  • Mediate. Being quiet with yourself and your thoughts for a few minutes each day can enhance self-awareness. 
  • Talk to someone. Talking to people who know you well can be helpful. It can make you recognize things about yourself you hadn’t otherwise noticed.

Control your reactions.

Picture this scene.

You’ve just spent the last two hours cleaning your house. You’ve dusted, tidied the mess and mopped the floors. You warn your children several times that when they come home from playing outside, they must remove their shoes.

Except they don’t.

Instead, they come home with their muddy shoes and dirty the floors you just mopped and polished.

We’ve all been there.

Your natural reaction is to scream. Shout. Raise your voice and tell them off. A conscious parent stops themselves from doing this.

Instead of being reactive, you align with your intention to be more conscious in your parenting approach. 

This will take some practice, trial and error. Especially if your first instincts are always to become angry. But after a while, you’ll notice that reacting calmly will come more easily to you.

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Be mindful of your language

Being mindful of the language we use around our children is also important to conscious parenting. 

Language has a huge impact on children’s self esteem. And it’s important that we’re conscious about the kinds of words we use, as they can have a lasting effects. 

Language can determine if your relationship will be healthy with your child. How they feel, and if they consider themselves safe around you. How comfortable they are in your presence, and if they believe you love them. 

A conscious parent asks themselves these questions:

  • Is my language supportive?
  • Are my words gentle? 
  • What is my tone of voice when I communicate with my children?
  • Do I put them down?
  • Do I insult them? 
  • Does my language project an energy of love?
  • Do I project my own frustrations onto them when I speak to them?
  • Do I show understanding through my words?

Listen to your children

Treating your children as individuals, and listening to what they have to say is also a core tenant of parenting consciously. 

When you listen to your children, you make them feel important. You teach them that you value their opinion even if they are young. And most importantly, you show them that you respect them. This is something a conscious parent values.

A conscious parent listens to what his or her child has to say without judgement. They allow space for communication, to better understand their child. They understand that as humans, they too are prone to making mistakes. 

Change and develop yourself

This tip ties in a little with the first tip on enhancing self-awareness. The most important task you need to do on your journey to becoming a more conscious parent isn’t changing your children. It’s changing yourself. 

It’s developing good habits and characteristics your children will then learn from. 

Dr Shefali, who is an expert on conscious parenting, writes in her book The Conscious Parent: “While you may believe your most important challenge is to raise your children well, there’s an even more essential task you need to attend to, which is the foundation of effective parenting. This task is to raise yourself into the most awakened and present individual you can be.”

Our children are products of our parenting. The kind of person we are towards them can and will shape them. So we should always try to become the best versions of ourselves. Don’t let this scare you. It’s a process and it takes patience. Allow room for failure and mistakes, but always try to do better. 

This is what parenting consciously is all about, always striving to be and do better.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Five tips you can start practising today to parent more consciously. Since applying them all at once can be challenging, I suggest you start with one and build up from there. 

If you’d like some one to one guidance on parenting more consciously, I advise you to check out this coaching program http://lifecoachingwithnarriman.co.za/single-parenting/   designed specifically for individuals looking to improve their parenting approach.

As I said above, we’re all seeking new and better ways to parent consciously and raise our children well. Reading this blog post is just a start, take the next steps and start evolving yourself into the best mother you can be. Make it count.

 

Make the most of a new start – 5 tips to kick off 2020!

Here’s a not so fun fact about life: It doesn’t come with a “start over” button. 

Now, before you let this realisation sink in and make you miserable, let me ease your worries. 

This fact doesn’t mean you can’t have fresh starts in life. You may not be able to start at zero and erase your mistakes, but you don’t need to be stuck with your reality as it is now. 

There is room for growth and development as long as you’re willing to make simple changes. 

Also, contrary to what some people think, you can make a fresh start even if you have no money. When we think of starting over, we picture making a drastic change. Selling our houses and booking a one-way flight to Bali. 

Most of us can’t do this. 

Instead, we can make little differences to our everyday routines to help us start afresh. 

To help you out, I have five simple pieces of advice that you can start doing today. These tips will help you make the most out of a fresh start.

Write a list of goals

There are two types of people on earth. Those who like writing goals, and those who don’t. Those who do usually achieve their objectives and research proves this.

So the first step to making a fresh start is to set goals for yourself. Here are some questions to consider as you’re writing your goals:

  • How do you want your life to look like?
  • How do you want to feel?
  • What are you doing that makes you excited to wake up in the morning?
  • Does your job make you feel fulfilled? What job is it?
  • How much time do you have for yourself?
  • What kinds of people are in your life?
  • What is making you happy?
  • Are you in control of your life?

Once you’ve decided on answers to these questions, you can use the acronym SMART to help you reach them.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. You can use it as a guideline to achieve your objectives and help you on your first step to making a fresh start.

Create a mindset shift

“A fresh start is not a new place it’s a new mindset”

I cannot stress the importance of changing your mindset enough. If you want a fresh start in your life, but you’re repeating the same patterns of negative thinking, it’ll be challenging for you to make a difference. 

Change starts on the inside first and then on the outside. So you might be wondering, what are ways you can create a shift in mindset?

Here are some ideas you can try out:

  • Recite positive affirmations daily.
  • Start gratitude journaling.
  • Silence the negative voice in your mind.
  • For every negative thought you have, switch it to a positive one.
  • Make the intention to stop complaining.
  • Start focusing on everything you have as opposed to everything you don’t.

Build good habits

There is a fresh start quote on building habits which I love. It goes, “the secret of change is to focus all of your attention not on fighting the old but on building the new”. The stoic philosopher Socrates said this. 

This quote highlights an important principle. Sometimes, the best way to let go of a bad habit is to focus on replacing it with a good one. Instead of using all your energy to cut out the negative habit. Why? Because it’s harder to cut out a habit ingrained in us than it is to start a new one. 

So what kinds of habits could you start doing that would help you make the most out of a fresh start? Here are some ideas:

  • Reading personal development books.
  • Journaling for clarity.
  • Exercising. 
  • Doing breathing exercises to release stress.
  • Meditation.
  • Recite positive affirmations.

Let go of toxicity

This word toxicity is broad. It can apply to many things such as toxic people, relationships environment and so on.

One of the best ways to make the most out of a fresh start is let go of the toxicity in our lives. How do you know what is toxic? It doesn’t make you feel good at all. It damages your mental health and affects your well being.

For some of us, letting go of toxicity can be disconnecting from social media. For others, it’s breaking certain relationships. The list is different and unique to all of us.

Whatever it is you can identify is toxic in your life, get rid of it today. It might be difficult but think of the benefits in the long term. You’ll thank yourself later.

And remember, there will be no fresh start if you’re clinging onto toxic things of the past. 

Be patient with yourself

Many of us, on our journey towards personal development, are impatient with ourselves. We set high standards and feel disappointed when we don’t meet them. 

Patience is an important quality to have in whatever we do in life, including making the most of a fresh start. 

You might be excited about the changes you’re about to make and have a long list of goals. That’s great. But remember that things won’t get different overnight, so be patient with your growth.

Make room for mistakes, and always remember that it’s through failure that we learn life-changing lessons.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Five easy tips you can start doing today if you’re longing for a fresh start. 

 

There are many other ways you can make the most out of this special time. But sometimes, doing this alone can seem a little daunting and some guidance is useful. This is why I offer coaching services to women like you looking to evolve into the wonderful person you can become this year. 

 

If you’re looking for guidance on how you can create internal changes to radically alter your reality, I’d like to guide you towards my coaching programs: http://lifecoachingwithnarriman.co.za/love-and-relationships/

There is no better time to start with change than now. So make it count.