For the next few months, I am going to do a brief recap of some powerful parenting (with educational topics) books I’ve read.
Sometimes reading quotes from books helps shift my mindset on certain topics and gets me focused on what’s really important when raising children.
Book Title: The Conscious Parent
NAUTILUS AWARD WINNER, 2011
Written by Namaste author Shefali Tsabary, PhD, with the Preface by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and advance acclaim by authors Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Wiliamson, Marci Shimoff, Laura Berman Fortgang, and other leaders in the field of parenting, this is the book we’ve all been waiting for.
This innovative parenting style recognizes the child’s potential to spark a deep soul-searching leading to transformation in parents. Instead of being merely the receiver of the parents’ psychological and spiritual legacy, children function as ushers of the parent’s development.
Once parents are learning alongside their children, power, control, and dominance become an archaic language. Instead, mutual kinship and spiritual partnership are the focus of the parent-child journey.
Parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain and emotional shallowness. To handle the behavior that results from this, traditional books on parenting abound with clever techniques for control and quick fixes for dysfunctionality.
In contrast, in Dr. Tsabary’s conscious approach to parenting, children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self.
The parent who is willing to look in the mirror has an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness.
Once a parent finds their way back to their essence, they enter into communion with their children. The pillars of the parental ego crumble as the parent awakens to the ability of their children to transport them into a state of presence.
For a couple years, I listened to the podcast “Zen Parenting” by Todd and Cathy Adams. Almost weekly, they would reference the author of this book highlighted today. The concepts are good in this book and something I heard about for a few years. It was nice to finally read the book!
Top Ten Quotes:
- “When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a “mini me,” but a spirit throbbing with its own signature. For this reason, it’s important to separate who you are from who each of your children is. Children aren’t ours to possess or own in any way. When we know this in the depths of our soul, we tailor our raising of them to their needs, rather than molding them to fit our needs.”
- “To enter into a state of pure connection with your child, you can achieve this by setting aside any sense of superiority.”
- “Children learn who they are and what they really enjoy if they are allowed to sit with themselves. Inundated with activity and subjected to lesson upon lesson, how can they hope to recognize their authentic voice amid the din of all this “doing?”
- “Once you accept your children’s basic nature, you can contour your style to meet their temperament. To do so means letting go of your fantasies of yourself as a certain kind of parent and instead evolving into the parent you need to be for the particular child in front of you.”
- “The more we hone this ability to meet life in a neutral state, without attributing “goodness” or “badness” to what we are encountering, but simply accepting its as-is-ness, the less our need to interpret every dynamic as if it were about us. Our children can then have their tantrums without triggering us, and we can correct their behavior without dumping on them our own residual resentment, guilt, fear, or distrust.”
- “After all, how can we hope to raise our children to be freethinkers and free-spirited if we aren’t these things ourselves? How can we raise independent, autonomous children if we ourselves aren’t independent and autonomous? How can we raise another human being, another spirit, if our own being has been largely dismissed, our spirit systematically squelched? It may be helpful for me to share with you some of the areas in which I am learning to accept myself: I accept I am a human being before I am a parent I accept I have limitations and many shortcomings, and this is okay I accept I don’t always know the right way I accept I am often ashamed to admit my own failings I accept I frequently lose my center worse than my child ever does I accept I can be selfish and unthinking in my dealings with my child I accept I sometimes fumble and stumble as a parent I accept I don’t always know how to respond to my child I accept that at times I say and do the wrong thing with my child I accept that at times I’m too tired to be sane I accept that at times I’m too preoccupied to be present for my child I accept I am trying my best, and that this is good enough I accept my imperfections and my imperfect life I accept my desire for power and control I accept my ego I accept my yearning for consciousness (even though I often sabotage myself when I am about to enter this state).”
- “Often it’s the adjustment of our expectations, rather than reality itself, that’s the hurdle we have to leap.”
- “As a parent, I repeatedly find myself presented with opportunities to respond to my daughter as if she were a real person like myself, with the full range of feelings I experience—the same longing, hope, excitement, imagination, ingenuity, sense of wonder, and capacity for delight. Yet like many parents, I tend to become so caught up in my own agenda that I often miss the opportunity afforded by these moments. I find myself so conditioned to sermonize, so oriented to teaching, that I am often insensitive to the wondrous ways in which my child reveals her uniqueness, showing us she’s a being unlike any other who has ever walked this planet.”
- “They are resting, and you tell them how appreciated they are. They are sitting, and you tell them how happy you are to sit with them. They are walking in the house, and you stop them to say, “Thank you for being in my life.” They hold your hand, and you tell them how much you love to hold theirs. They wake up in the morning, and you write them a letter saying how blessed you are to get to see them first thing in the day. You pick them up from school and tell them how much you missed them. They smile, and you tell them your heart is warmed. They kiss you, and you tell them you love being in their presence.”
- “Whether you have an infant or a teen, your children need to feel that just because they exist, they delight you. They need to know they don’t have to do anything to earn your undivided attention. They deserve to feel as if just by being born, they have earned the right to be adored.”
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