Principles of Conscious Parenting

Conscious Parenting is not a set of rules for parents to follow, but a set of beliefs about what children need to develop and thrive. 

I'm going to ask you to step outside the traditional box of parental thinking and re-frame everything you thought you knew about how kids learn and what they need to grow into mature, responsible adults!

Conscious parents engage and connect with their children using emotionally intelligent discipline choices rather than punitive methods.

This does not require you to abandon all of your parenting practices - just be mindful as you shift your thinking about what kids need and start to decode what's really going on behind the behavior.

Give your child the benefit of the doubt for having a different perception than YOU.

As we mature, we collect, sort, and file away our emotional experiences as reference points. How we learn to respond or react to life is driven by the emotional patterns that are set up in early childhood.

This foundation is built - memory after memory - shaping our perspective, beliefs, self-concept, and outlook. Everything can be completely changed - mood, behaviors, emotional intelligence, ability to give and receive empathy, cognitive processing and even our immune function - by altering how we experience our primary relationships.

Choose to give your child quality feedback about how to respond to the world. 

Conscious parenting deepens your child's trust in the world and secures your influence as something to be regarded as reliable and safe. This cultivates the environment your child needs to develop and thrive - mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Fill the hearts and minds of your children with acceptance, understanding, and confidence. Try these three conscious parenting tips to start building a more influential relationship with your child.

    - is it sarcastic, cruel, degrading, impatient, callous or otherwise disconnecting in tone or attitude - verbally or non-verbally?
    - is your request developmentally appropriate? Can you control the environment to meet your needs w/out your child's help? 
    - is your manner calm and confident? Are your limits set with kindness regardless of how your child reacts? Can you remain non-argumentative in the face of an upset child?

Help is Here

I want to help you shift from a traditional (power-based) view of parenting to a conscious (relational-based) view, so you can bring the focus back to building strong bonds between you and your kids. A secure attachment is built with timely and caring responses to a child's needs.

You can use empathy to resolve conflict! When you make it a priority to create a safe place for the expression of ALL feelings and needs - you will create change in your home.

This does not mean that you allow unsafe or inappropriate behaviors or that you ignore setting limits. It means that you have faith that age-appropriate cooperation will come with time and maturity and by developing an emotional connection with your child.

Empathy, understanding, tolerance, and the validation of needs, along with consistent modeling of self-regulation and mindful practices will nurture your child's growth in positive ways. 

Your influence will be stronger with a loving, non-judgmental approach to discipline than with fear-based, conditional techniques aimed at seeking at short-term compliance or unwavering obedience.

When we understand how punishment disconnects us from our children and emphasizes conditional love - we learn tolerance.

When we recognize that solutions and acceptance can't always occur in the exact moment of conflict because they require reflection - we learn patience. 

Moving to a place of reflection takes time and support.

It takes a certain brain state which is unavailable in times of stress or fear and totally unavailable if the skills are lacking because of experience or stage.

First, we need to process and regulate our emotions.

Regulation is the key to successful conflict resolution and cooperative problem-solving. Children who yell, resist and act out are not regulated. They are in a state of dysregulation where the stress response system has taken over the body's major functions - most importantly, the thinking function.

It takes a mature brain, unconditional support, and lots of repetition for the lessons about proper behavior, good decision making, and other higher-order skills to sink in and cement into positive behavioral patterns in our children.

Development of the most complex brain skills happens slowly and unfolds over time, on a timeline unique to each child.

Here are some general tips recommended by the work of speaker and author, Alfie Kohn.


by Alfie Kohn

  1. Be reflective.
  2. Reconsider your requests.
  3. Stay focused on your long-term goals.
  4. Put your relationship first.
  5. Change how you see not just how you act.
  6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
  7. Be authentic.
  8. Talk less, ask more.
  9. Be mindful of your child's age.
  10. Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts.
  11. Don't stick to no's unnecessarily.
  12. Don't be rigid.
  13. Don't be in a hurry.

If you are ready to start your conscious parenting path, click here to start by learning the five BIGGEST communication mistakes parents make (and what to say instead).

I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment below. Share your stories, let me know what conscious parenting tips work for you or post your challenges and find support.

And if you benefited from this article, consider sharing it with a friend!

comments powered by Disqus

Conscious Parenting: Return to Unconditional Parenting