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Conscious Parenting

Being a good parent is not easy. Being a perfect parent is impossible. Nothing tests the patience and resilience of a person more than having the child you love be oppositional and frustrating. Few things are as challenging as having your child threaten to thwart all your dreams of being a good parent by failing to thrive. Much has been written on the subject of parenting. I recommend Wendy Mogul’s The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and Daniel Siegel’s book Parenting From the Inside Out just to name two. What I want to address here is the issue of Conscious Parenting.

To be a “conscious” parent means to be aware of the long family narrative that you bring to your task of being a “good enough” parent. This narrative includes your early life “impressions” (see Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now), beliefs, values, conflicts and experiences which inevitably shape your responses to your child. Much of your narrative can be helpful to you in shaping your parenting role but those aspects of your narrative which you are less conscious of such as the need to constantly prove that you are a worthy person, feelings of inadequacy, unfulfilled competitive drives and unfulfilled creative striving, can and likely will interfere with your parenting efforts in such a way that creates problems for you and your child. How can a child safely thrive when a parent is desperately needing the child to affirm the worth of the parent? What a burden. Being conscious of ones own issues enables you, the parent, to parent in the best interest of your child.