A few years before my daughter was born I made a commitment to change the parenting style that had been handed down to me from my past. I reflected on my experience as a child and realized how much I wanted things to be different for my kid.
I could feel the damage that was done to my self-image and self-esteem from the traditional parenting style that I grew up with. I was determined not to continue the cycle of pain and suffering that had been passed along through the generations.
Time For a Change
Knowing that I wanted to be a father I took it upon myself to change. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Conscious Parenting back then (over 20 years ago!!). I didn’t have a book or a website to learn from (the Internet didn’t exist!). So I had to think and feel deeply about what made sense to me.
I came up with a basic set of ideas that I then worked at putting into practice when my daughter was born.
The basis of the philosophy is; Communication, Collaboration, Cooperation and Reasoning with a Foundation of Love.
Kids Are More Than a Collection of Behaviours
The basis of this new way was realizing that the most important thing about a child is not how they behave. Kids are more than a collection of behaviours. They have hearts, minds, feelings, opinions, creativity and love. This might seem obvious to you, but it was a revelation to me!
The old ideas of parenting are based on control and behaviour modification,
not on relationship, reasoning and collaboration. Not on raising thinking, loving, powerful, feeling and analytical human beings.
Think of Their Future
When I think of our young people I do not see my responsibility to modify how they behave in the present moment. I see my primary responsibility as thinking deeply about their future. My responsibility is to teach knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes that will help them to live a happy and successful life.
Of course I believe that most parents would say the same thing. If they were asked if they cared about their children’s future I am quite sure most people would say that they do. They want their children to be happy and successful later in life.
What Creates Happiness and Success?
I have found that what most people do not do though is analyze exactly what it means to be happy and successful. What are the attitudes, skills, knowledge and abilities required to achieve happiness and success? And then to allow that analysis to guide and alter their parenting philosophy, approach and day to day interaction with their children. In fact I bet even saying that one should have a philosophy of parenting would seem very odd to a lot of people. Parenting is something you just do.
Let’s Evolve Our Parenting
The fact is though if we do not go through this process or at least a similar process, then we are simply repeating the patterns and cycles of the previous generations. No evolution comes from this, no significant growth or change is possible unless we intervene consciously.
And personally I do not want to simply repeat what my parents did. I want to give my children something better than I received.
Even if you think your parents were wonderful, and did a really amazing job in raising you, wouldn’t you still want to do better? I mean these are your kids! Why be satisfied with the standards of the past? Why not shoot for something better?
Why I Am a Conscious Parenting Educator
The work I do as a Conscious Parenting Educator comes from my deep desire to help other families enjoy the benefits we have received from this way of parenting.
Fostering relationships with our kids so that we have a harmonious home where there are no arguments, rebellion, fights, disobedience or yelling. (Would you believe that I haven’t ever fought with my daughter?)
Instead we create an environment where there is mutual respect, learning, caring and fun with an independent, confident child who is also your friend.
So this is where I am coming from in my efforts to share the idea of conscious parenting. Parenting with a focus on relationship, collaboration, cooperation, communication and reasoning. It is these skills and ways of relating to each other that will produce a deeper and more lasting effect than any control or behaviour modification method can do.