Recently, a movie was released that delved into a complicated father-son relationship. The film portrayed something called ‘toxic parenting’ wherein the father was never available for his son owing to work commitments, would yell at the child for small mistakes, and project his own dreams and ambitions onto his son.  In turn, the child grows up into a rebellious, aggressive man who has anger issues and relationship problems. 

While this was just a one-off movie not based on real life, a relatively new concept called ‘conscious parenting’ or ‘mindful parenting’ has been garnering attention for its positive impact on a child’s overall development. Let's learn about this new parenting concept here in this blog, in detail. Read on...

What is Conscious Parenting?


Conscious parenting is taking the child’s needs, wants, and feelings into consideration. It is not about simply feeling in control of the child. Being aware of who you are as a parent is conscious parenting. Conscious parenting stems from the concept of mindfulness, which emphasizes staying in the moment, not thinking about the past or the future, and being aware of the present.  Mindful or conscious parenting is beneficial for the parent-child relationship during the child’s transition from childhood to adolescence. 

What are the Benefits of Conscious Parenting?

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Conscious parenting promotes better mental health of parents, helps develop positive parent-child relationships, encourages healthy parenting styles, and helps in the child’s positive development. You will notice that as a conscious or mindful parent, you will abandon unrealistic expectations from your child and bond with them deeply. 

So, having said all this, do you think you are a conscious parent? If not, here are five ways to become one:

1. Listen to your child


Listening to your child with full attention is a great way of understanding your child’s behavior and perceiving their verbal communication accurately. You must pay attention to your kid’s speech content, voice tone, facial expression, and body language. Ask them questions, explain to them why things are the way they 
are and build a ‘mutually -reciprocating’ relationship with them. 

2. Stop trying to control your kid


Expecting the child to behave as per your mood and expectations is not healthy parenting. Avoid indulging in power struggles with your kids and forcing them to accept that you are right. Instead, try connecting with them, understand their challenges, and empathize with their feelings. 

3. Accept your child as they are


It is important to be non-judgmental towards your child. Embrace your child’s flaws and give them a sense of security in your relationship. This will help you to maintain a healthy balance between child-oriented, parent-oriented, and relationship-oriented goals. Be more appreciative of your child’s qualities and have less unrealistic expectations from them. 

4. Take care of yourself


This may catch you by surprise but prioritizing yourself and taking care of yourself helps you become a good parent. There have been studies that show that poor physical, emotional, or mental health leads to negative parenting and destructive child behavior. As a parent, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and fulfill your role with joy and positivity. So, catch up with your friends, go for that movie you wanted to watch, and indulge in self-care. The happier you will be as a person, the better you will be as a parent. Have compassion for yourself and your little one. It results in lesser self-blame and positive affection in the relationship you have with your child.

5. Stay emotionally aware


Conscious parenting is also about being aware of emotions within yourself and your child. Emotional awareness is the foundation of conscious parenting. It enables you to choose a reasonable coping style, emotional expression, and parenting strategy. Once you can identify both your own and your child’s emotions, you will be able to make conscious choices about how to respond, rather than giving an over-reactive emotional response. You will be able to endure strong emotions by not giving in to them; rather you will be fully present with your child.

Conclusion


While at times, you may feel as a parent you have a lot on your plate, adopting a mindful approach to parenting can save you from a lot of unnecessary stress. This approach will help you empower your children to develop within healthy boundaries and become independent thinkers. After all, as parents we have to realize that our child is an independent person with a mind of their own, they are not us. 

To learn more about conscious parenting and its techniques, talk to a Child Psychologist at Ask a Doctor 24x7 online or contact your healthcare provider. 

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Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes. 

About the Author

Neha Garg

Neha Garg is a clinical dietician and health writer with an outstanding academic and clinical background. A post-graduate from the prestigious Lady Irwin College, she was also a Delhi University topper. With a work experience spanning more than a decade, she has worked for renowned healthcare organizations such as Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and HealthifyMe. An avid reader and health enthusiast, she also develops customized diet plans along with personal diet consultations. Presently, she is working with EbixCash as a senior medical writer.


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