Conscious Parenting provides an alternative to smacking your child, which has now become illegal in South Africa. Judge Raylene Keightley passed the ground-breaking ruling in the Gauteng High Court in October 2017 encouraging parents to find alternative methods of discipline.
Conscious Parenting advocates gentle positive discipline that sees the child as an individual. According to Dr Shefali Tsabary (Author of The Conscious Parent) A Conscious Parent is not one who seeks to fix her child or seek to produce the perfect child. This is not about Perfection! A conscious parent understands that this journey has been undertaken and this child had been called forth to raise the parent itself, to show the parent where the parent has yet to grow. This is why we call our children into our lives. It may seem a daunting task to confront the self, but this is the portal to your authenticity.
In practical terms, its more about the way you want your child to behave as an adult by modelling all the qualities yourself, such as respect, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Ultimately, Conscious Parenting is about the parent and not the child .
Emotional connection is a vital component of conscious parenting. Making sure our child feels seen, heard and valued on a daily basis is how we maintain this bond. It is not in a child’s best interest to misbehave and challenge us if they have a connection with us, as this means more to them than anything else. In order for us to be emotionally available to our child, we have to work on our emotional issues and baggage we are carrying from our own childhood. Even when we say we will never be like our parents, without any introspection and awareness of why, we will unconsciously replicate the pattern.
Important points to note:
1. No child is ‘BAD’, but their behaviour is a form of communication of an UNMET NEED.
2. Spend more time CONNECTING with your child, and less time CORRECTING them.
3.Give your child more CONTROL over their dally lives and they will be CO-OPERATIVE and HAPPIER.
4. There is no situation where hitting a child is the SOLUTION!
5. Be aware of what your TRIGGERS are and be MINDFUL of them.
As a Parent Coach, the most common request I get from parents is to help them discipline their children. My response to them is to rate their relationship with the child on a scale of 1-10. A low score means there is a difficult and challenging relationship and a poor emotional connection. I usually suggest that they work on the relationship first. Hence, discipline will almost always seem ineffective or only work in the short term when the relationship and emotional bond is weak.
What can you do to get compliance? Hitting? Yelling? You may get compliance out of fear but your child learns how to be smarter and sneakier the next time they disobey you. So, nobody wins in this way.
Conscious parenting teaches conscious boundaries which are rules guidelines that can positively impact your child’s behaviour. Having rules that your child is not aware of, is useless. You need to sit down and discuss with your partner and your child what your family rules are and then use this as guide for behaviour in your home and how you treat others.
Research has shown that time-out, rewards and punishments (removal of toys and privileges) are not effective as a long term strategy as it works on an external motivational level and cancels the child’s natural tendency to do the right thing. Lets be honest, policing our kids is exhausting and we want them to act responsibly when we are not around.
WHAT TO DO NOW?
- Let go of the idea of the perfect child or perfect parent.
- Get to know who your child is, their likes and dislikes and this is the best way to connect with them.
- Be more present with them, listening to their feelings.
- Be aware of your stress-level, as its spills over into Parenting
- Seek help and support if your are not coping, you are not alone.
In March 2018, I will be running a 4 part workshop on Conscious Parenting where you will learn how to be the parent your child needs, to go from shouting snd hitting to connecting and talking. See the info below.
Please find the link attached for the registration form for Conscious Parenting here: https://goo.gl/forms/6Jc1Ls0dD6lElnit1