Parents’ Day falls on July 26. It is celebrated to promote responsible parenting and to recognise positive parental role models. This day also observes the special bond of love and care between parents and their children. Bill Clinton, in 1994, signed a law and a resolution was adopted by the US Congress to establish fourth Sunday of every July as Parents’ Day. This day is similar to Mother’s day and Father’s day. Parents’ Day is established for recognising, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in upbringing of children. Conscious parenting is about being mindful in your thoughts, speech and action as a parent.
When you try to be a helicopter parent and try to make your children adhere to mould them the way you want and subscribe to the teachings that have been passed on to you since ancestral times, it does not work well with your children. Conscious parenting involves an open mind and trying to find a way with whatever is happening in your child’s life without trying to use your age old knowledge and experiences and trying to draw any parallels or comparison, be it toddlers, teens, young adults or grown ups. Conscious parenting is when you try to listen intently instead of just hearing them, without pushing your opinion on your child. Children have a mind of their own and they have their own feelings.
Parents should allow children to learn from their experiences and teach them that freedom comes with responsibility. Children should be allowed to learn and unlearn. Conscious parenting involves learning and unlearning and coexisting peacefully with your child. Kavita Panyam, a Psychologist, Marriage Counsellor, Conscious Parenting Counsellor and a Wellness Coach discusses the significance of conscious parenting and how it helps in building confidence and trust with your children.
Conscious parenting, a way of life
Conscious parenting should not be looked upon as a job or a responsibility or anything that makes a parent proud. Children are not your achievements. Every family has its own values and belief systems. You don’t have to compare or take notes from other parents as to how to parent your child. The old parenting style of being authoritative and controlling does not work. Parents need to mould their child in such a way that the child can learn and unlearn with ease and without being met by resistance. This will create a mutual respect between you and your child.
A fine blend of permissiveness and discipline constitutes conscious parenting. If your teenage child, tells you that he likes a girl, it should not be met with raised eyebrows. The discussion needs to happen in a normal tone. Children do not need lecturing or being told off or compared with your parents, grandparents etc. They do not feel safe and they will stop confiding, if they are repeatedly shunned. If parents find it difficult to practice conscious parenting, then they should approach a therapist or a psychologist.
Listen to your child rather than just hearing them
When your child needs you, listen to your child in rapt attention, without interrupting them. If they are facing problems, Break the issues into components like the emotional aspect, practical aspect and the workable aspect. When you divide the problem into different areas, you and your child are in a better position to take immediate action. When you have a right approach towards your child and the problem, you build trust and gain their confidence and love.
Do not compare your child with other family members
If your ancestors had bad relationships with the opposite sex and three generations down the line, if your child is experiencing the same and you notice a pattern, do not respond in stereotypes like the same happened to you, with your parents, your grandparents etc.or reprimand your child for making mistakes in their relationships. If you try to shun your child, indulge in story telling or draw parallels, your child will not listen to you. Conscious parenting should reflect wisdom along with knowledge and has to be built in a workable way.
The expert’s experience with a client
The expert has a client who is in standard ten. Her parents want her to get into Information Technology course. However, the teenager is interested in joining an acting school. After one-on-one counselling with the child and the parent, Panyam called both of them together. The child said that she wanted to enroll in an acting school and become a model and subsequently an actor. The parents were shocked and said the remaining talk needs be discussed privately at home. Panyam asked them to allow the child to open up. The parents said that they want the child to complete her studies in IT and then pursue acting, so that if it does not work out, she has an option to fall back on. Through counselling sessions with Panyam, the child had already evaluated her skills and preferences and during the chat with her parents and with Panyam, she promptly replied that she had already thought of complete her education, start her own business and then venture into acting. The parents were convinced with their child’s decision and coexist peacefully. Panyam stated that parents need to be open up and learn from their children too.