To some, it could mean being aware of your natural and holistic wellness choices for your family…to some, it could mean doing your best to eat organic and non-processed foods… to others, it’s about living a non-toxic lifestyle and being eco-friendly…to some, it could mean creating a parent/child bond that instills partnership in “power with” instead of “power over”…to several, it is striving to model a healthy and loving relationship between the parents…while others believe it to be about co-sleeping, baby-wearing and breastfeeding…to some, it is nurturing a more simplistic lifestyle with less media and less “stuff” and more nature and child-led play…for others, it’s about seeking support when you’re not getting your own needs met or perhaps finding a community that resonates with your parenting philosophies…and for many, perhaps it’s about actually taking that first step in making the choice to become a conscious parent!
To FLV, it can be all of the above. Yet it is wherever you are at on your parenting path and knowing that it is okay – that we’re all striving to model the best that we can so that our children can thrive! Conscious Parenting is not about the destination, it is about the journey and the commitment to continuously desire growing on that journey.
Sadly other parenting methods usually depend on a rewards and punishment system which may seem at the moment that it is effective as a “quick fix” but that is exactly what it is. Like using a spare tire for your flat, it is truly just a “quick fix” – a temporary compliance which can create disconnection and long-term harm to not only the parent/child bond but for the child’s development, as well.
Unfortunately in our modern society, most families don’t get the opportunity to have many members of a village for support. Raising a child can have its challenges – add other siblings or family members to take care of (not to mention getting our own needs met) and it can get a little overwhelming!
So what does FLV do to encourage and support families on this journey?
FLV prefers navigating with tools and resources through several of our programs that help educate us and our children towards becoming promoters for our planet, advocates in holistic wellness, and believers in a more gently guided approach that not only creates connection, it allows children to fully access their compassionate intelligence along with the innate ability to unconditionally love and be loved – which if you think about it, that is really all that anyone ever wants to feel, is to be loved and accepted by others. So why not BE the shift in role modeling that guides our children with experiencing conscious living where they can pay it forward for generations to come?
Let’s take it even further and hear from FLV’s community about their own personal definitions of what Conscious Parenting means to them.
1. “Our family strongly believes that creating conscious connection is vital within the family dynamic and do our best to focus on the relationship vs. the behavior. So instead of focusing on our son’s behavior and how to “control” his feelings, we do our best to get to the root of his big feelings and partner in finding ways to release them. We encourage our son to “let it out” and express his feelings in a healthy space to heal and self-soothe.
My husband, our nanny and I practice what would be considered non-traditional parenting where we use an approach that is gently guided and can still set limits in a loving and empathetic environment without fear-based methods and/or using praise, rewards or punishments. We’re not perfect nor do we want to be (because if we were, there would be no room to grow). And when we do slip back into old habits of recycled past upbringing tactics, being conscious to that and reconnecting with our son is key.
Through continuous education and a desire to find another way to parent, we created a lifestyle that embraces connection, eco-friendliness, whole body/mind/spirit holistic wellness, as well as an unschooling/homeschooling approach to living. Knowing that the “real world” is not ‘out there somewhere’ but everywhere, especially what we role model at home. And most importantly, mindful parenting is reminding ourselves, as the parents, about self-care and self-love – that when we take care of our own needs and our son sees this, he too can discover ways to be conscious and centered that creates connection with himself and others.” ~ The Veloso-Pueblos Tribe
2.“The term conscious parenting can have different meanings for all of us. For me, it means parenting and making parenting-related choices with intention. Making decisions after first educating myself. Pausing before I react so that I can react in the best way for my child and myself. Not relying on the way that “it’s always been done” and trying to parent the way that my parents or grandparents did.
My relationship with my son is gently-guided without rewards/punishment, guilt, or force. We talk about our feelings and I explain the reasons why we do some things a certain way. We lie on the floor if we have to or shout at the top of our lungs if we feel like it. We create a safe space where we can both express and work through our feelings. We are closer, communicate with ease, and have less frustration as a result.
We also emphasize the importance of living naturally and in harmony with the earth. Limiting toxins, eating organic and wholesome foods, reusing and not wasting, and reducing our impact on the environment.” ~ Lauren Tucker
3.“For me, ‘conscious parenting’ came from the choice I made to bring another human onto this Earth and how I prepared myself for that huge shift with Yoga, meditation, food choices, healing old emotional wounds, and developing a meaningful and respectful partnership with someone I trust to co-parent with me in a committed, honest, creative, and compassionate way.
Some of the ways that we have manifested these choices in our reality is giving birth to our son at home, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, keeping him with us and spending the majority of our time together as a family, as well as the great value we place on our extended family, or village, to support and learn from one another. For our family, conscious parenting is less about practicing a specific method or set of rules and more about listening and responding to our child as an individual with real feelings, needs, and opinions worthy of attention and respect.” ~ Crystal & Cory Park
• means being aware, in the present moment, and focused on our children.
• means being one with your child, and staying connected to them before they cry instead of several minutes after.
• is noticing not only what children are feeling and doing, but what you are doing, how you are feeling and responding.
• is a child-centered, nurturing approach and is lovingly anchored in the here and now.
• takes into consideration the environment, honors and respects the planet, other people, cultures and animals.
• is modeling exemplary behavior for our children, creating the path to become conscious kids, adults and conscious future parents.” ~ The Leas
5. “In our family, being a conscious parent means respecting each other. We talk to each other. We try to guide our children to understand and notice how their behaviors affect people and their surroundings and how these behaviors affect themselves. We do this by asking, “How did that make you feel?” or “How do you think ‘Sally’ felt when you said ‘I like your smile’?
Being a conscious parent means being patient and taking the time to stop what we are doing in our busy schedule and listen by looking and nodding and smiling.
It is very important in our family to be gentle with each other. We try to model love, kindness and patience and when we fall short we are kind to ourselves and know that we, as parents, are ‘allowed’ to say sorry to our children. Our children are learning from us, but we are continuously learning from our children, as well.
Honesty is very important in our home. Sean and I believe modeling honesty teaches honesty. This doesn’t mean that our kids will never lie, but it’s how we deal with it that counts. We do not punish. We talk, we listen, we give each other space if we need it, we model.
Lastly, we TRUST. Trust is so important. It truly shows our children that we respect them. Trusting them to make the best decisions for themselves. Allowing them to learn from their own triumphs and mistakes and as a result allowing them to gain confidence in themselves. Letting them know that they can come to us for guidance or just to share, any time they want.
We are a large family with many different needs, so it can be challenging sometimes to stay aware of our goals to being more conscious parents. This is why my husband and I, as the guides and adults in this family, take the time to talk to each other about how we have dealt with situations throughout our days. We help each other by gently reminding each other when we need reminding. Consciously parenting is continuously learning, growing and expanding. It’s a fantastic journey.” ~ The Von Wikes