What is Consciously Parenting?
Consciously Parenting is about becoming more mindful of your choices in parenting, focusing on connection in the relationship rather than specifically focusing on the behaviors. Through connection, most of our child’s behaviors have a way of working themselves out. Sometimes families need a little more help. Here at The Consciously Parenting Project, we strive to help parents find the information and resources they need to stay connected or to reconnect within the family. Consciously Parenting begins with the couple and the relationship between partners. Ideally, parenting consciously begins prior to conception, but it can really begin anytime from wherever you are.
According to Consciously Parenting, is there one right way to parent?
No. We all have a different story, a different family, a different set of circumstances. If we all did the same thing, life would be pretty boring (and honestly, we’d miss some of the most awesome moments!).
That said, we have 8 guiding principles to help guide our parenting decisions and bring us back to connection in the relationship. We all need some guidance and these principles really do help shine the way.
If we’re focusing on the relationship and not the behaviors, does this mean there are no rules or limits?
No. Just because we are being respectful of our children and our relationship doesn’t mean that our children can do whatever they want whenever they want to do it. They need us to respectfully set limits for and with them. They need us as their support team, but they need for us to let them know when something they’re doing isn’t working for us.
Can you give me an example of respectfully setting a limit?
Here’s an example with my 15 year-old. It’s summer and he was exploring his freedom by staying up late playing games on his computer. It was late- nearly midnight- and nearly everyone in the house was sleeping or about to sleep. He had retired to his room, but had the door open and was talking on a headset to his friends also playing the game. Since his door was open so he would have a better wifi signal, his deep voice was carrying throughout the house and disturbing the others who had to get up and work the next morning.
I could have marched into his room and demanded that he stop. Or that he close his door. Or turned off the Internet since it was late. Instead, I assumed that perhaps he had no idea that his voice was carrying through the house or that others might be having a problem with it. I went in and talked to him about it and informed him of the problem. While he wasn’t overjoyed that I disturbed him, we talked for a few minutes about how to solve this problem. I suggested some ideas and he suggested some ideas. We finally settled on him closing his door so that his voice wouldn’t disturb others who needed to sleep. We came up with a solution that valued our relationship, his needs, and the needs of everyone else in the house. It felt good to all of us. There was no yelling or threatening, but he also didn’t get to do whatever he wanted. This is consciously parenting.
You have my attention. How can I learn more?
You can sign up for our newsletter here and receive an excerpt from Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families. The excerpt will give you some practical tools, including the Brain Stoplight, which was mentioned on myfoxtampabay’s feature story about Consciously Parenting!
Rebecca has written three books about parenting consciously: Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families; Creating Connection: Essential Tools for Growing Families through Conception, Birth, and Beyond; and Nurturing Connection: What Parents Need to Know about Emotional Expression and Bonding. Click here for more information about the book series.
If you have a question or would like additional support, Rebecca offers free 15 minute consultations via phone or Skype. (Email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time. It’s a great opportunity to bring your challenges and get a little support.