3 Tips for Conscious Parenting
Parenting. Wow, what a ride. What a great mirror, what a challenge. Let me start this off by saying I am no master, not a teacher, not an expert on this subject. I’m a fairly new mama doing my best to create a relationship with my child that is meaningful, connected and respectful. I’m learning everyday and doing my best to stay open to new ways of seeing things. I have however had the great pleasure of being raised in a Waldorf home based kindergarten by a beautiful woman (inside and out) who is a teacher, an expert and I think a master in the field of conscious parenting and education. What I’m sharing today is what has honestly been working for me as a mother and what I’ve seen work for over 26 years with children in my mothers care. I hope you enjoy and please, please, please, comment and share what works of you! By sharing we help each other and create a circle of community that can support and help change the world.
VALIDATION. This is the absolute best thing I have put to use with parenting my 2 year old. I’ve been doing it since the day he was born. It’s very simple and very powerful. Here is a situation: Henry is crying because I took away his hammer, he was hammering the glass widows and I knew it wasn’t safe. He is very upset! He doesn’t realize what he was doing was dangerous. Here is a response: I say no Henry, give me the hammer that’s not safe, you’ll hurt yourself. Henry cries even more, even kicks… I say Henry, mommy doesn’t want you to hurt yourself, stop kicking mommy… He doesn’t get it. He’s little, he only knows what he feels to be true. Mommy is interrupting his important work of hammering! Here is another way: Oh, Henry, mama sees that hammering is very important to you, you just love doing this so much. Lets bring the hammer over here, mommy needs some help fixing this (giving him a piece of wood in a safe area).
What happened here was a simple validation of what Henry is doing and a redirection. This has been monumental for me as a parent. There is no struggle, there is just flow. There are times when there is no available redirection, in these cases I simply hold Henry when he is upset and validate what he is feeling. Example: Oh honey, you’re so upset, you really wanted to work with that hammer and you wish mama wouldn’t have taken it. It means so much to you. Mommy hears you sweetie… Again, leaning into his emotion and letting him feel it!
I DONT PUSH. I come from a waldorf background so I’m not really into pushing academics on children. It’s not just the Waldorf back gound though, it’s also in many studies on children and thriving. Children’s natural curiosity will bring them to learning in an appropriate and natural time. I have had the blessing of watching this with Henry first hand. I’ve watched my child soar and it’s not from me teaching him numbers and words, its from him having the opportunity to deeply connect to the experiences he is having. Children need experiences, they need to ground to the earth, to live in the dream world and to connect to their deepest self. By letting them live for as long as possible in this state it creates a natural excitement and drive to learn and ultimately thrive, all in the right time.
RELAX + LOVE. I often remind myself that this stage only last so long. I say this because there are hard times for us parents. Children who want to stay up, who want us to be around every second, who want to sleep on us all night, who won’t eat, who throw fits…. these things can over stress us if we allow. In these hard moments, I remind myself that all I can do is be here now, I can relax and I can love. I meet Henry with an open heart, I do the above and I forgive myself when I’m not able to be 100% present. Our children learn from us, they will do as we do, not as we say. By being present, forgive and being in a state of love they learn true connection from us.
These are the things that are helping me as a mother most right now! I would LOVE to hear what you are doing that works. Please share. We’re all in this together.
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