Conscious Parenting Strategies
Also Compassion, Patience & Simplicity from the
Tao te Ching

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.

Conscious parenting strategies (CPS) – what does this mean?  Well, let me start by explaining what it does not mean.  This is not a parenting style such as permissive, authoritarian or authoritative.  You are probably aware of these styles and the preferred (based on results of research) method is one of authoritative.  This is an unconditionally loving environment where the parents are very involved, are attentive and autonomy granting.  There is a wonderful child-parent bond filled with respect and parents have reasonable expectations and have firm, loving boundaries. Ten out of ten children recommend this!  It fulfills the bequeath for our children to “give them roots AND wings.”

CPS presumes a basis for parenting that is respectful, unconditionally loving and grants autonomy already in place.  If you are looking for further information to cultivate this foundation, one of my favorite books of all times (written in 1965, no less!) is Dr. Haim Ginott’s Between Parent and Child.  It is a quick read and to me should be the handbook that comes home with every parent from the hospital!  It is the foundation by which conscious parenting is built upon.

But, CPS takes this a step further.   It is not just about the environment one creates that fosters a healthy self-esteem and an “I can do it!” attitude (known as self-efficacy).  This is about parenting on purpose…consciously, not by default.  It is not so much looking at the mundane tasks of parenting (“teach your baby to read”, potty-training, discipline for toddlers), although some of things are integrated into CPS, but it is an awareness and mindfulness in parenting that looks at the long-term objective, not just the steps along the way.  It is based on the Tao te Ching concepts of living, which are a constant state of compassion (unconditionally loving), with patience (this is a playful connectedness that permits all feelings) and simplicity (less is more).  It seems a good way to approach parenting as well.

It takes the concept of playful parenting and respectful parenting and kicks it all up a notch.  It is a relationship based on unconditional love, maintaining connectedness, mutual respect, healthy boundaries and autonomy granting.  The word parent comes from the Latin word, parentem, which means to “bring forth.”  With conscious parenting, we are astutely aware of that which we want to “bring forth” from our child.

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