The Awakened Family (Dr Shefali) Book Review

Every time I read a new book, its like forming a relationship and connection with an old friend.  I internalise the words and make it part of my life. I share the highs and lows of the content and ride the rollercoaster of emotions all with the end goal of changing, improving and growing as a person. No book has ever shaken me to the core to the extent of The Awakened Family by Dr Shefali. I am a huge fan and have read her earlier book, The Conscious Parent. There was something about the messages in this book that touched me in a place that I had long disconnected from and as a result old wounds opened and healing began.

According to a book review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat :

“Tsabary sets out on an ambitious mission here: to present a new model of parenthood where fathers, mothers, and children are “mutual partners on a path of growth founded on increasing consciousness.” She points out the damage that can be done to family relationships by the roars of the ego, thoughtless reactivity, and the predatory powers of fear.

The author shows how we can reframe parenting skills by moving from expectations to engagement, from mindless reaction to mindful presence, from chaos to stillness, from role to no-role, from emotions to feelings, and from judgment to empathy.

The Awakened Family by Shefali Tsabary is a real lifesaver for those seeking to make parenthood into a genuine spiritual adventure with their children as partners.”

Publishers weekly said this in their review :

“Parent, heal thyself” is the bold challenge in Tsabary’s sequel to her bestselling The Conscious Parent. Tsabary teaches that even the most well-intentioned parental aspirations and expectations can stifle the development and expression of children’s authentic selves. She posits that ongoing difficult behavior in children often comes from parents’ immature reactions rooted in unresolved hurts, fears, and patterns from their own childhoods. …She has the rare ability to inspire parental reflectiveness about adult responsibilities without making the reader feel blamed, belittled, or overwhelmed. Realistic examples of everyday interactions demonstrate how family relationships can be moved to a place of partnership, empathy, and growth.”

The book is divided into four parts : Part One – A New Awakening, Part Two – Our Parenting Myths, Part Three – Understanding Our Reactivity and finally Part Four – Transformative Parenting Skills. I don’t recommend skipping any part or just reading from a point of interest as all the parts interconnect to a fascinating conclusion.

My favourite part was the ‘Parental ‘Kool-Aid’ Dr Shefali says we all drink as parents and as a result are all disconnected from our own essence and unable to connect and see and accept our kids for who they really are. This Kool Aid is cultural and societies dictates of acceptable parenting.

The 7 Parenting MYTHS are as follows:

  1. Parenting is about the Child – The relationship is more about you the parent and your emotional intelligence and ability to connect from a place of self acceptance.
  1. A Successful Child is Ahead of the Curve – Pushing our kids to excel in academics and sport does not mean they will be fulfilled adults one day. Kids are not trophies to put on display!
  1. There are Good Children and Bad Children – Its all about our perception and often our unrealistic expectations are the problem as children cannot be that we need them to be, only who they truly are. Accepting this is our responsibility.
  1. Good Parens are Naturals – Being a parent is hard and does not come naturally but takes consistent and conscious effort on our parts daily. Seeking support on being a better parent is a sign of strength.
  1. A Good Parent is a Loving One – Love must be seen and felt as love by child and herein lies the challenge, our adult perception is often very different to our kids.
  1. Parenting is About Raising a Happy Child – Who defines happy and happy is relative? A simpler life and just being present, being in a state of joy, noticing life’s natural beauty and gifts is already something children possess. We are the ones who need to learn from them.
  1. Parents Need to Be in Control – This is the most mind blowing myth to accept, that we parents DO NOT need to be in control of our children but to serve as a guide and work in confluence with them.

The Appendix consists of ‘Thirty Daily Reminders to Build Consciousness’ to help solidify the content and keep you motivated in moving forward with your awakening. A few examples are listed below (pg 341-348) :

Honour Essence

  • Focus on who your child is today, not what they do.
  • Let go of emphasis on their performance, tests, achievements, or chores.

Create Connection

  • Touch your child’s face and tell them what they mean to you today.

Enter a  No-Judgement Zone

  • Commit to being judgment-free today, no matter what the triggers.
  • Pause and take a step back. Before you react with judgment, ask, ‘Does this really matter in the long run? ‘

Express Feelings Safely

  • Open conversations with observations, not questions; with comfort, not control.

Accept Imperfections

  • Create humility by reminding them that it’s human to have limitations.

Make Peace With the ‘As Is’

  • Accept your child and yourself for who you both are in this moment.
  • Let go of expecting your child and yourself to match your fantasy of who you both should be.
  • Make peace with your child’s strengths and limitations, just as you need to do with yourself.

So many learning moments occurred as I read this book and it took a while to complete as changing and assimilating revolutionary concepts don’t happen overnight. I urge and encourage every parent, teacher, human being to take time out to read this book as a starting point to making the world a better place, one family at a time.

So many learning moments occurred as I read this book and it took a while to complete as changing and assimilating revolutionary concepts don’t happen overnight. I urge and encourage every parent, teacher, human being to take time out to read this book as a starting point to making the world a better place, one family at a time.

Comments 1

  1. I have just listened to the podcast with Dr Shefali talking to Oprah in her SuperSoul conversations and then googled the 7 Myths. Your summary of her book and essence came up and is spot on. I also believe wholeheartedly in what Dr Shefali is trying to encourage parents to take on board. A truly conscious, non-judgmental parent is one who is listening and truly present with their children through all the ups and downs and can guide them and themselves through this amazing life that we live. Thanks for your well written summary of this book

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