10 Tenets to Guide Your Conscious Parenting Journey (#CPTisms)
We created these 10 Conscious Parenting Tenets (#CPTisms) to clearly articulate our view of conscious parenting. Our goal is to raise adults that are assertive as well as socially responsible, empathetic as well as self-assured, cooperative as well as self-regulated. It is this parenting dance of expectation and support that helps our children develop skills such as independence, self-control, and self-regulation.
As you review each tenet, we encourage you to reflect on how you incorporate the principle into your parenting.
When providing direction, guidance or correction to our children, it is done in a manner that is respectful. We model respectful communication not only in the words we use, but also our tone, mannerisms and expressions.
How we were raised, interactions we’ve had and situations we’ve encountered in our past can have major impacts on the way we parent our children. We do the work necessary to identify these traumas and seek healing so that we do not impart the effects of the trauma onto our children.
Triggers are the things that ignite the fire within us -- that lead to us yelling, getting angry, sad and upset. If we don’t take the time to stop and think about what triggers our responses, we are less likely to prevent it from happening in the future.
The old adage is true - we cannot pour from an empty cup. Whether it be waking up early each day for a cup of tea in silence or planning an annual solo trip, we prioritize taking care of ourselves and find creative ways to work this into our lives.
The stages of our child’s neurological development and what it means for their learning and behavior provides us insight into how to guide them toward positive outcomes.
Walk the walk.
“Do as I say, not as I do” - does not align with conscious parenting. Do you want to raise a respectful child? Model being a respectful adult. Do you want to raise a child that is empathetic to the feelings of others? Model it. Show them. Be their example. And when you fall short (as we all do), be authentic and acknowledge it.
We impart clear standards for our children’s behavior that are developmentally and age-appropriate. We allow and encourage our children to navigate their lives freely within the established structure and boundaries. We are assertive, but not intrusive or restrictive. We are supportive, rather than punitive.
Feel the feels.
We check our need for ‘cooperation’ at all times at the door. We trust, allow, and encourage our children to feel whatever they are feeling at full intensity and we hold space for their feelings to be vented in the moment. Instead of actively comforting or minimizing their emotions, we offer calm support and connection.
We understand that when a person (child or adult) is in the midst of a tantrum/storm, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. When the situation has calmed, we take the opportunity to provide guidance on healthy ways to express their emotions.
Guide, not dictate.
We understand that we do not ‘own’ our children. While it is our responsibility to train them in the way they should go, we must also be mindful that they have their own thoughts, dreams, desires, purpose and destiny. We are committed to guiding and cultivating the gifts that are already inside of our future family/community/world changers - not stifling their greatness with our expectations.
Conscious parenting is admittedly hard work. We need to ensure that we not only learn from our opportunities for improvement, but also, take time to celebrate our wins!
“Compassion and empathy for our children begins with compassion and empathy for ourselves.” - Iris Chen
In what way(s) do you incorporate these #CPTisms into your parenting?