Dr. Shefali offers a new paradigm of parenting in The Conscious Parent. If you are ready to step aside from power struggles and the antiquated days of a hierarchical parent-child relationship, this book is for you. If you are ready to experience your children as special agents on your spiritual journey, this book is your gospel.
Becoming a conscious parent is all about the becoming. It is the transformation from our unconscious habits and patterns, inherited by our families of origin and embedded from our cultural norms. Becoming is an act of awareness, an intention, and a conscious choice to mindful living and raising our children.
The greatest concept of the book is that through transforming ourselves, we empower our children. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the real focus of conscious parenting is on the parents, not the children. When parents are able to accept their emotions and live authentically, it is natural for the children to do the same. Conscious parenting is raising ourselves so we are better able to help raise our children.
The intention of conscious parenting is to accept full responsibility for ourselves and eliminate the need to control the outcome of our children. It is a conscious choice to replace shame and blame with understanding. Through understanding, we free ourselves and our children to live authentically.
Through a combination of personal experiences, client stories, and clinical research, Dr. Shefali shares the human component and natural tendencies of parenting. The book is easy to read and relate to. The Consciousness Compass is a series of questions to guide us along the path of consciousness. This excerpt is a summary of the book and the shift in consciousness.
- It is we who teach our children how to be greedy by giving them diamonds instead of sticks and stones
- It is we who teach our children how to fear adventure by rewarding their successes and reprimanding their failures
- It is we who teach our children how to lie to us by getting angry with them when they tell us the truth
- It is we who teach our children how to be mean and violent to others by disregarding their emotions and denying them unconditional acceptance
- It is we who teach our children to lose their motivation and zeal by pressuring them to excel and “be something”
- It is we who teach our children to dishonor us by pushing them to be who they are not
- It is we who teach our children to be bullies by dominating their spirit and silencing their voice
- It is we who teach our children to be confused and overwhelmed by giving them all things external, but few tools to look internally
- It is we who teach our children to be inattentive and distracted by inundating their lives with busy activities, leaving no space for stillness
- It is we who teach our children to live their life looking outward by spending our time and energy on our own looks and acquisitions
- It is we who teach our children to disrespect us by not stopping them the first time they are disrespectful and every time after
- It is we who teach our children to be defiant by not knowing how to lay down the rules and mean business when we do
- It is we who teach our children to know shame by shaming their spirits and judging them constantly
- It is we who teach our children to become anxious by denying the celebration of our own present as we constantly focus on tomorrow
- It is we who teach our children not to like themselves by constantly categorizing their emotions as those we approve of and those we don’t
- It is we who teach our children not to trust the world by betraying them every time we don’t see who they are in their essence
- It is we who teach our children how to love or not love by the extent to which we love or don’t love ourselves.
We are on this journey together, as parents and in relation to our children. Mindful living and conscious parenting is a means to transform ourselves and empower our children. This book is a great parenting tool to raise our awareness above that which keeps us from loving unconditionally and living whole-heartedly.