I’m sitting here feeling very lucky. I have a 13 year old son who is still desperate to have me around, even at his middle school at basketball games. Some people I know are amazed by this, especially since it most definitely wasn’t the case with their teens and it wasn’t the case with my older sons at all. I wasn’t going to reflect on what I’ve done differently between the three, but last week I saw a TEDx talk by clinical psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary about Conscious Parenting. She stated that conscious parenting can change the world and after watching it, I would wholeheartedly agree.
I can say from experience that it is without question the difference between my parenting style when I was a young, inexperienced mom to the style that I have now. I had the mentality that I see many young moms with: can’t wait to get it over with. Can’t wait for this baby to be able to walk so I don’t have to carry her around. Can’t wait for this baby to talk so he can just tell me what he wants instead of crying all the time. Can’t wait for this kid to be able to do her homework on her own, can’t wait to get this stage or that stage over so my life can get a little easier. That attitude caused me to not enjoy the small things that I was supposed to be enjoying and made communicating certain things with my sons very difficult.
My older boys and I had fewer conversations about little things that you don’t necessarily remember the substance of, only you do remember the feelings that you were left with. Oftentimes my adult sons are exasperated with me for being “too easy on [their brother] him”. They remind me that they weren’t allowed to “get away with” so much. My explanations to them don’t always help in their understanding, either. It’s tough to tell someone hey, I could’ve done it better with you and I’m sorry I didn’t know or have the presence of mind to do these little things for you that could’ve made dealing with problems easier for you. They certainly deserved a mom who was less stressed, and a more patient listener. All kids do. But 17 years ago, I wasn’t equipped with the tools to do that for them. Believe me, I’ve felt plenty guilty about it, but I can’t spend too much more time on guilt because it helps no one, least of all me. All I can do now is be more conscious when I speak to them and when I’m listening to their adult problems.
Why and how can conscious parenting change the world? Well if you really want to understand, take eleven minutes of your time and watch Dr. Tsabary’s TEDx talk on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM_PQ2WUD2k .Please, if you have a young child, open your mind and listen to her, then look at yourself and see if you can follow her simple ideas for raising our children differently. No one is asking you to be perfect, but there’s a reason that American children rank second unhappiest in the entire world. One in ten children over the age of 8 report being consistently unhappy. Do you ever wonder why anonymous people on the internet seem so angry? Much of it can be traced back to poor relationships with parents. If you care about your children, Dr. Tsabary’s talk will give you necessary tools that you can use to create a better childhood for them.