For previous generations of parents, explaining a decision to a child usually went as far as: because I said so. That was the line to end all further discussion on the topic. Children who grew up under the reign of the all mighty “Because I Said So,” then became adults, had children of their own, and vowed never to use it. They’d take on a new parenting philosophy; a more mindful approach. One which sought to have healthy exchanges between parent and child to raise more conscious kids. Many people praised this effort, but just as many criticized it for overly coddling the child. Today, the dilemma for many parents is how to bring up children that are assured enough to express themselves, but not so self-assured as to be disrespectful; conscious children that are aware of their surroundings, but not so entitled as to validated in dictating those surroundings. In sum, how do we raise conscious kids?
Like all aspects of being a parent, mindful parenting is a tight rope act. We want to replace punishing with teaching, but not to the extent that there are no consequences for negative actions. Some techniques advocate for taking the reprimanding out of parenting all together, and treating your children as adults. Under this practice, when your child starts screaming in a crowded public place, you continue on with whatever you are doing, and ignore the child’s actions. This may imbue a comfortable bond between parent and the child, but what kind of behavior does this instill? Will this child grow up to assume all people should put up with their temper tantrums? Raising conscious kids means guiding them to consider the perspectives of others. With that, comes important personality traits like having empathy and compassion. So, raising conscious kids to have increased awareness means letting them know why a certain behavior is unacceptable.
One day, when your kid is a little older, they might even call you on your poor behavior. And on that day, as you admit your mistake to them, you may wonder why you decided to raise a conscious, if somewhat lippy, kid. In the end, however, when your children grow up to be kind, grateful, assertive, mindful and responsible members of society, you’ll remember why you chose to sacrifice your “Because I Said So” power.
There are a number of things that you can do from a young age, that will help your children recognize and elevate their consciousness. These techniques are not just ones that they can use as children, but ones that will sustain their mental and emotional growth as adult, as well. In fact, we recommend you incorporate them into your own routine in hopes that your conscious kids will see you in action and want to adopt these practices as well. It will assist you in remaining a compassionate parent, and will allow your child to see how these healthy habits are implemented by someone who they look up to.
5 Tips for Mindful Parenting + Raising Conscious Kids
Learning to set aside a small block of time so that they can breathe through their anger and frustrations, will help your child to deal with conflicts in school. When you are not around, your child can use methodical breaths as a mechanism for coping with difficult emotions. Kids don’t always love sitting still, so it can be helpful to put on calming music, and entice their interest with a crystal – try choosing a special one just for your kids meditation. Have them sit or lay on a mat, close their eyes, and guide their deep breadths in and out. After calming down with meditation, your child will be more centered and open to a discussion on what is bothering them.
This one seems kind of obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. The most important thing you can ever do for your child is to be attentive, and help them establish meaningful relationships. Create a connection where your child is comfortable enough to share with you. Introducing your child to positive adult influences, other than yourself, can be additionally beneficial. It will give them a mentor who they can view as an outside source of support for guidance when they need it. Having as many positive, adult role models who your child can actually connect with will be central to forming who they grow into as adults themselves.
Show them the power they can have, even as children, to inspire positive changes within their community. They will learn the expanse of influence they can have on the world from a young age, and seek to make a greater difference in the future. Volunteer work will open your child’s eyes to see the world for what it is, as well as what it can be with a little effort.
Journaling, in general, can be an important outlet for conscious kids, but gratitude journals are especially conducive to building a healthy perspective. Through writing down what they are grateful for, your child will come to understand humility. In noting what they have, children learn how to take stock in what truly matters, which not gives them a positive outlook, but also compassion for those who have less. Your children will learn how to be grateful for the little things, and thus will be less likely to feel entitled to material goods.
Just as we give our crystals an intention, we need to give our children an intention too. Teach your children the importance of responsibility by giving them a job. Simple tasks like chores will convey that you trust and believe in your child enough to fulfill that duty. You can demonstrate to your child how to do approach a job or chore with meaning and intent. This will imbue them with a sense of focus and resolve that they can use to their advantage in school, and throughout life.