Becoming a Conscious Parent takes intelligence and heart, lots of heart. It is a daily challenge to provide the best guidance for your child, as there is no one real method that works for all children. Children are unique just like their parents are each their own person. Guiding your child to grow in to a healthy, happy adult takes courage, consideration and love.
Any female can give birth to a child, yet how many are actually parents? How many people consciously work hard at parenting?
Parenting happens even when it is not your biological child. A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. As a caregiver, one provides direct care of others. For children this means providing for them in as many ways possible, food, shelter, clothes, education, emotional support and love, guiding them towards becoming a full adult as much as possible.
When a child is born, the mother will expel the placenta right after and it is no manual for raising a child, like the owners manual you get with a new car. Babies do not come with instructions!
There is this wonderful baby in your arms and now, as mother or father, you are ON! 24/7!
It is not easy. Old parenting styles do not always work.
Wake Up Call
Like when my son was about 2 years old, he wanted his fathers attention who had just sat down in his favorite chair, home from work, exhausted, hot and sweaty. Dad turned on the TV with a blank look on his face. He needed just to sit and rest before anything else.
In the kitchen chopping carrots, I watched our son try to pry his dad’s eyes towards him. “Dad, dad, dad, dad”… he kept calling. Dad was zombified.
“Dad, dad, dad”… my son walked over to his dad’s guitar and banged on the strings while looking at his dad. Bam… bam … bam…on the strings. Dad made some sound under his breath that sounded like a growl.
Son banged more on the strings, bam…bam… bam …. Now dad was vocal and angry like a bear who was disturbed!
Seeing that this was not going to go well, I rushed over to our son. Then I did what my mother had done to me, I lightly slapped the top of his hand and said “no”. My son looked at me straight in to my eyes and slapped the top of my hand.
Oh My! I was teaching my son to hit people! He had no expression other than just observing me. He was not upset and if I slapped his hand again, he would slap mine.
In that split second, I realized I had to throw out all my previous ideas of raising a child and all my parent’s patterns as well; for they were slappers, spankers and mean talkers, who bullied their four children in to submission. I felt naked, lost, suddenly knowing I had no idea what to do. I would have to use my heart and head to creatively make the best out of this tiny human in front of me. I had to consciously be aware of all my actions, words and patterns in order to raise this boy in to a good human. I had to be the good I wanted him to be!
After this instant shock, I looked in to my sons eyes, and told him, “Daddy is very tired right now and cannot talk, so lets go over here to the clay so you can play. I need to make dinner, are you hungry?” He nodded and began to smush the clay while he looked at his dad who was, nearly asleep. After dinner, he and dad played like two kids do.
Parenting with Mind and Heart
Newton’s third law of motion comes in to play for everything a parent does; “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. And what complicates parenting more is also explained by Newton’s third law of motion; “This means that forces always act in pairs. Action and reaction forces are equal and opposite, but they are not balanced forces because they act on different objects so they don’t cancel out.”
Taking this a step further, everything we do as parents has consequences.
Does every action has a consequence? If there is a reason and attached consequence with every action then every consequence has a reason too. The consequence that is derived from any action also have a clear reason behind it. Even that reason is hidden in, action that is deriving consequence.
Parenting consciously means we must imagine the consequences of our actions upon our child BEFORE we act, in order to motivate the reaction in a learn-able and helpful way.
Simply stated, Parents are Tour Guides! We guide the child towards understanding our world by showing this and that, inviting them to explore and examine using their own senses and whit, hopefully creating an interesting experience they build upon so that when adulthood hit them, they are ready! Think about it, any tours you have been on; the guide enthusiastically point out things of interest, where step and not to step, give boundaries and tutorials about the terrain, help us to adapt to the situation and they do all this with an attitude of joy and positivity!
Parenting Tools & Ideas
This page is dedicated to pointing out methods and assisting the parent, but the path is yours to walk, or not. As conscious parents we must cater to the audience, who is our child, our children, and their unique qualities and abilities as well as considering the culture you bring them up in and the social order they may need to live within. Some of it is very easy; some of it will wreck your brains or your last nerve!
As a parent, you must always be smart in your choices, loving in your handing, patient in watching them learn, and know that you are the closest person in their lives. They depend upon you while yearning to grow.
They learn to trust and love the way that you do everything, and that they want to be you; their love for their parents is deep and wide. Give them reasons to love you, and not hate you.
Mean and bully parenting does not work and we can see that now in the violent world we live in. Most violence is learned behavior; much of it encountered as a child who was treated in such a way that it becomes them.
All learning is done within a person, through their own mental, emotional, physical and spiritual methods. Parents offer up many parcels of knowledge but it is up the the child to learn. Teaching is really not about lecturing or talking all the time, it is about providing opportunities for the child to explore with your help. When they are young, repetition helps them to learn.
A parents best tool from birth on is understanding child developmental stages. Research has shown that some child abuse stems from the fact that the parents have no idea of what stage their child is in and usually expects so much more out of their child. From birth on, they develop quite fast and change as they grow, yet they still have many areas that are not mature enough to know what the parent might be wanting of them. Learn the stages and it will give you relief knowing where their growth is. It also can help you prepare for the next milestone.
Creativity is a huge factor in parenting; for if one way does not help, other way can. Finding something to work is part of our job as tour guides. Below are options, ideas, and other web sites to provide help in some small way. Some links are articles here, other links takes to to whole websites with information. “It takes a village to raise a child”… whether the child is raised alone or with many, that village is also shared information on the best practices for a happy, healthy child.
Large Organizations on Child Development
NAEYC ~ The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The association comprises nearly 60,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 50 Affiliates, all committed to delivering on the promise of high-quality early learning. Together, we work to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.
ECD ~ The Office of Early Childhood Development (ECD) will act as a catalyst to create collective impact and support early learning and care of our nation’s children and their families.
Child Care Aware ~ At Child Care Aware®, we work with over 400 Child Care Resource and Referral agencies all across the country. We partner with these local agencies to help you get the local child care information that you need no matter where you live or work.
UNICEF ~ UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF, a project of the United Nations, has spent over 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families.
NACD ~ NACD’s toolbox contains over 3,000 different methods and techniques; we investigate, integrate, and develop new tools daily. We believe that your child’s education and development should be overseen by you, the parent. At NACD we are parents. We know how to look at a child from a parent’s perspective. Our job is to assist you in achieving your goals by creating very targeted individual programs and then providing the means for daily communication so that we all stay on target.
Child Behavior Resources
Child Behavior Problems ~ by Empowering Parents
Library of Articles ~ The Center for Parenting Education lists of articles for many areas of growth
Best Discipline Practices ~ Healthy Children
Discipline for Developmental Age ~ Kids Health
Positive Parenting ~ Aha! Parenting