So how were your parents at parenting? Awesome? The worst? Something in between? Now, what I’m going to say is not an excuse to blame your parents for whatever may not be working in your life, but the truth is, most parents never got the tools to be effective parents. They never learned how to help their children develop and thrive. Most bring a lot of their unlived dreams, old ineffective communication styles and hangups to the role. And others are doing their best, but in the end, just winging it.
Of course, I didn’t know any of this until I saw Dr. Shefali on the Oprah Show and was introduced to conscious parenting. It’s parenting that engages with emotionally intelligent discipline choices over punitive methods and stresses the importance of parents working out their “stuff” so they don’t project them onto their children. Since that show, I’ve been telling friends with kids, “You’ve got to read this book called ‘The Conscious Parent!”‘
How we’re parented sets the foundation for who we become. So although I’m not a parent myself, I know firsthand the effects of ineffective parenting and since becoming a meditationer, I’ve come to appreciate and see how parenting with mindfulness is better for both parent and child.
I’m not complaining about my childhood when I say this, but a lot of the traditional Jamaican parenting I had was not the best thing for me: Speak when you’re spoken to. Proper language at the dinner table. Sit straight. Walk erect… It wasn’t the best style for someone as curious and non-traditional as me. Bless their hearts, they didn’t know this, but my curiosity was and is a good thing. It’s a huge part of who I am, and they almost succeeded in stamping it out of me.
So of course, what stood out most from that Oprah interview with Dr. Shefali was when she said offered this (or something to the effect):
…by trying to control our kids, we may miss who they are meant to be.
I love the dialogue that Dr. Shefali has helped to start and I’m so happy to see more and more people embrace the concept of conscious parenting. In a few years, we’ll see an increase in the number of people who can say unequivocally, I had awesome parents!
Mama Kat(rine) is one of them.
On her YouTube channel, you can see firsthand what a calming presence she brings to the role of mother. Behavioral scientists have confirmed that this calm is especially soothing for babies and beneficial to young children’s development.
Meditation helps Mama Kat be a peaceful respectful presence for her baby, to be a more engaged parent, and helps her to prioritize self-care because we know these tools help parents raise a more focused, productive and successful teenager and adult.