The Conscious Parent: Applied

Last night, K ended up at a friend's unsupervised house 3 miles away, when she was supposed to be at another friend's house half a mile away. (not that anything bad happened, but that is beside the point)
Right after I sent her this message, I started to pray.
I prayed for guidance and wisdom in responding to my rather spirited 16 year old.
I also prayed for her safety since after that text exchange, we also spoke on the phone when,
I yelled, make this your PR....start running to make her 11 PM curfew...which I knew was impossible.
I figured the time lapse for me and the vigorous physical activity for her would be good for us.
(plus TBH, I was too angry to drive)
While waiting for her to get home,  I decided to read  The Conscious Parent, while unconsciously eating this. (This was an entire pie just 6 hours prior.)

She arrived home 26 minutes past her 11 PM curfew, clearly not her PR, but I digress...
By that time, I had digested a major portion of the pecan pie and some very powerful advice from my book.
This book is so good that I have taken the time to copy the paragraphs that really helped me.
The bold text is what I particularly applied and tried to focus on last night.

From the book, The Conscious Parent by Shafali Tsabary, Phd

(From Page 209)
Before we can help our children uncover what led to the mistake, they need to be allowed to put a little distance between themselves and their mistakes.  The conscious approach is to wait until all emotional reactivity has died down and everyone is in their right mind, then sit with our children compassionately, process their mistake with them entirely free of judgement, and then show them how they can extract a lesson for the future.
To help our children understand the why is the most effective way we can teach forgiveness, because knowing the why empowers us to make changes.  Unfortunately, when addressing our children's negative behavior, we often don't take the time or exercise the patience required to get at the why, but instead deal with the what.  Yet only through an understanding of the why can we help our children create the pathway to change.  Once our children understand the why, everything else is gravy. Perhaps the cause of the mistake was shortsightedness or pressure they experienced from their peers.  Maybe it was a simple lack of information or just poor judgement.  We don't have to belabor the point, but simply note it and move on.
When we don't take our children's mistakes personally, we communicate the vital lesson that there is really nothing to forgive because mistakes are a natural part of learning how to be our authentic self.  To not take mistakes personally is to recognize that behind every mistake is a good intention, though sometimes this intention doesn't readily present itself.  As parents, we need to search beneath the superficial mistake and uncover the original good intention of our children.  This encourages them to have faith in their innate goodness.  When we focus on a bad outcome instead of a good intention, our children lose their enthusiasm for trying.

(From page 211)
The premise behind conscious parenting is that our children are inherently well-meaning and want to do the right thing.  However in the course of a day, it's inevitable a child will make a few mistakes either through omission or commission.  If they are afraid of punishment, as already noted, they may then try to cover up their mistakes by lying.  The approach I am suggesting not only teaches a child not to fear mistakes, but also highlights that there are simply too many precious lessons to learn about ourselves from our mistakes to cover them up-lessons that enrich our life in ways we couldn't have imagined had we not made such mistakes.
By encouraging your children to let their mistakes go, you help them separate the wheat from the chaff, then throw the chaff to the winds.  The true test of whether you have let go comes the next time you are asked to trust them with the keys to the same car they crashed last week.  If you crashed your friend's car, would you want them to never hand you their car keys again?
When your children show you their most vulnerable aspects, and you show up ready to meet who they are, you indicate to them that they are worthy of being respected and received.  If you betray them with your own self absorption with the way you imagine they "ought" to be,  you convey to them that they are unworthy and that the world is an unforgiving place.  They then become fearful of stepping out in life.
By exercising the courage to own their errors, children learn to respect their fallibility and limitations, while demonstrating faith in their ability to move on. This strengthens their belief in their competence.
With the reassurance they are still loved, they accept that each of us is a work in progress.

(From page 217)
To allow our children to behave as if they were wild, without regard for how this affects those around them, is to raise little monsters.  Teaching our children how to appropriately contain their authenticity and manage their emotions is essential.  For this reason, to be unyielding when required, goes hand-in-hand with yielding when appropriate.  Setting boundaries, saying "no," and being firm are as much a part of good parenting as are accepting and embracing our children.

From page 218:
The heart of conscious parenting is the ability to be present in any situation that arises. Are you able to respond from a place of awareness rather than attachment
Do you discipline from a place of authenticity or from your ego?
To parent consciously means  you respond to your children's needs, not cater to them.


In response to my unconscious pie consumption last night, I worked out this morning.
Not my PR either but clearly I am not posting last night's parenting saga nor this morning's work out, from my ego.