So how were your parents at the whole parenting gig? 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 fact is, most parents never got the tools to be effective parents. Many bring their unlived dreams, their hangups and the ineffective parenting styles they learned from their parents to the role.
Few follow the rules they set for their children. They don’t show them the same level of respect they show adults. They’re dishonest with their partners but expect their kids to be honest with them. They don’t manage their own emotions very well but expect their children to. Some try to get their kids to behave better by making them feel bad. For many parents, it’s a case of do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do. But as experts tell us, children model our behavior, not our words.
So what chance do you have of being a better parent if this was your parenting model? The good news is that we’re questioning some of the ways we used to do things, including how we parent, and new ideas like conscious parenting are out there for us to learn from.
What is conscious parenting
Conscious parenting is based on unconditional love, guidance over traditional discipline, and respectful communication that creates healthy self-esteem. It stresses the importance of parents working out their “stuff” so they don’t project them onto their children.
Although I’m not a parent myself, I know what ineffective parenting looks like. The traditional Jamaican parenting I had was very disempowering. It was Speak when you’re spoken to. Proper language at the dinner table. Sit straight. Walk erect. For someone as curious and non-traditional as me, that sure wasn’t the best parenting style.
But I’m not alone. That’s how many (maybe most) black parents used to parent. Thankfully, we’re getting new ideas on parenting from people like Dr. Shefali, author of The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children. She had my attention when in an interview I heard her say this:
…by trying to control our kids, we may miss who they are meant to be.
Every parent I know love and care deeply for their kids. They would rather raise confident well-adjusted children than mess us this important job. With the right tools and education, studies show, we can become better parents. With conscious parenting, parents have a framework to follow and with meditation, they have a tool that they can practice daily to help them become better parents.
How meditation makes you a better parent
It retrains our brain and makes us more self-aware.
Mama Kat(rine) is proof that meditation makes you a better parent. On her YouTube channel, you can see firsthand what a calming presence she is for her son. 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 and to be a more engaged parent. It is one of the best tools out there to help parents raise more focused, productive, successful teenagers and adults.
That’s right, children raised by parents who meditate and practice conscious parenting act out less in their teenage years! Who knew?
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. Using systems, routines, and some psychological trickery, she can help almost anyone hack their mind and life for greater productivity. Email email@example.com to find out if she's available for one-on-one work.