The approach to parenting has changed dramatically in the last ten years. We are not trying to keep our offspring in check with shame and threats, but we are trying to be respectful and listen to the needs of the child. This approach is called mindful parenting, and it has many pluses.
Conscious parenting as a trend appeared in the West, but many modern parents have come to it quite intuitively, often in contrast to the memories of his own childhood. Awareness in this case means that the decision to have a child is absolutely weighted, reasoned and taken when it has the material basis and moral readiness to take responsibility for a new life.
The well-known proverb about the bunny and the lawn does not work here – only the strategy. In addition, “conscious” mom and dad usually agree in advance how they will raise the child, and act as a united front, rather than in the roles of good and evil cops.
When talking about their approach to raising a child, parents often mention deep bonding, one of the basic concepts of conscious parenting. It builds between the adult and the baby from birth, provides an understanding of the child’s true needs and aspirations, and allows the child to develop at his or her own direction and pace. Proponents of this approach consider the phrase “A conscious parent is a happy child” to be their motto.
Children are often raised with the concept of mindful parenting from infancy. But it is not too late to follow this path, even if the child is already grown up. To do so, it is enough to adjust your parenting methods according to the basic principles of mindful parenting.
Before you start raising a child, you need to sort out the settings in your head. Which of them are correct and adequate, and which were simply transferred from your own childhood and have never undergone critical reassessment? Would you like to repeat the family model in which you grew up, or do you want a more caring and supportive atmosphere for your child?
Answers to these questions will help articles and books on family psychology – at the very least, it doesn’t hurt to read about functional and dysfunctional families – or a psychologist if your childhood couldn’t be called happy.
2. Respect your child
Talking to your child as an adult, not taking your emotions out on them, not lying, really listening to them, understanding what things are important to them and treating them with care – that’s respect.
This can also include respect for his personal boundaries and acceptance of peculiarities. Respecting this principle is necessary even when your child is misbehaving and things seem to be getting out of hand. But if in your childhood for disobedience or a fight could only get a smack, but now you still have the strength to gently stop the child, talk to him his emotions and explain how to cope with them – you already won.
3. Set the example.
The correct way to bring up a harmonious and happy child – to become such a person. Behave as you require it from the child, and even in small things: you can not expect the child, that he would prefer to read and play, if he’s not used to seeing you with a book every night. The same goes for benevolence to others, willingness to help, honesty – in short, all the good things we want to see in their children.
4. Love unconditionally.
Acceptance and unconditional love that wasn’t there as a child is something that many current 35-45 year olds lack. Many partnership problems can grow out of feelings of not being loved, such as the constant desire to oblige and be comfortable even to the detriment of your own interests. To make sure your child is never faced with this, tell them you love them more often – not for grades, good behavior, or a tidy room, but for nothing.
5. Work on the relationship.
The mother-child couple is not in a vacuum – there are other family members around you, whose relationships just as much need attention and adjustment. Enjoy your loved ones with small signs of attention, talk through conflicts and grievances instead of pretending that nothing is going on, be able to be strong or ask to be “held” when bad, make mistakes and forgive mistakes – this is what family relationships are made of, and a child needs to understand how it happens.
When you decide to play the role of parenting by all the rules, there’s a risk of getting carried away and overdoing it. Conscious parenthood involves acting as naturally as possible and including your child in the normal life of the family, rather than building a special capsule around your child, inside which life goes according to its own laws. It may not work out of the idea of becoming a real conscious mom if you put the emphasis on:
Excessive display of emotion. This usually leads to unstable behavior: today you are happy, relaxed and floating in the clouds, and tomorrow – tense, anxious and demanding victories and excellent grades from the child. And the child, looking at all this, does not understand how to behave, and it becomes nervous and withdrawn.
Strict restrictions. No sleepovers with friends, the tablet is only an hour a day, cartoons before bedtime only on weekends, and all the rest of the time you spend in constant contact, to maintain and strengthen the connection. This is where the spring effect can work with your child – the more you squeeze it, the more violently it will straighten out when the pressure becomes unbearable.
Active intervention. Drama club, photography club, two sports clubs and chess club, and all this is not for him, but for you to realize their own projections and ambitions. This directly contradicts the message of developing a child’s natural talents, on which conscious parenting is based.
No matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who looks like a movie star on the red carpet an hour after their sixth birth and manages to simultaneously build a career, travel with children and write books. Even putting aside any doubts about the plausibility of such a glossy picture, this recipe for happiness is still not universal, and perhaps you and your child would be much better suited for a weekend cuddled up on the couch watching Harry Potter.