All mothers are role models; either by example of how to live happily or by the unfortunate opposite. Either way, we learn from our mother how we want to act in our life or how we do not and sometimes maybe both. My wish as a mother of 3 children is to lead by an optimistic example, helping lay a positive foundation for joyful lives. And so the question begs, how can we be a model of positivity for our children? While the answer is quite simple, the results may vary depending on your parental perspective.
It is through conscious parenting (or in this case conscious mothering) that we understand the massive affects of what we say and do on our children. When you are living and leading in an awakened manner, you know what you will attract with your thoughts, words and actions. The law of attraction does not stop at the door step of parenting. If you’re interactions with your children are primarily based traditional views of obedience, punishment, rules and regulations what do you think the results will be? I know what they were for me, a lifetime struggle with fear, anger and acceptance.
Being a conscious parent means communication is based in love and compassion not only for your children, but everyone involved. Now this does not mean that we live without rules, they have their practical purpose in raising children; mostly to avoid arguments, accidents and injuries in our house. However, the rules are never created to impose my will over my children; I respect their free will and teach them to do the same with others.
Conscious parenting also does not mean my children are never punished. Understanding consequences for behavior and actions is the corner stone to understanding the Law of Attraction. When there is an issue, we take the time to discuss why it happened and make sure the punishment fits the crime but with a full explanation of why it is being enforced. I also examine my part in the problem by asking questions of myself. For example, if my 6 year old son has angry outburst, I realize that it may be in reaction to something going on within our home or perhaps he needs more attention. Even though the angry outburst will not be tolerated, I am sure to also adjust my actions that may be contributing in addition to correcting my child.
That is a key element to conscious parenting, taking responsibility for our involvement in the actions of others. It’s about teaching children to be accountable and realizing how we contribute to any given situation. I am trying to impart to my children that life is what you make it, nothing ever just happens to us. If I am to truly teach them this concept, than I must live it as a parent myself. So when there is a mishap with one of my kids, I try to look at my own behavior first for answers.
These trials and tribulations are also incredible opportunities for learning and growth. We are never not learning, so I have a choice as a parent. Do I punish without purpose to merely correct a singular negative action; or, do I ask how I contributed and investigate why my child did something, taking the time to explain the consequences and why their behavior was hurtful or unacceptable? By choosing the ladder, you give kids the tools to avoid the situation in the future by learning how to deal with it in a constructive manner. It also helps keep the lines of communication open because you are not leading with anger which will only create fear and more anger.
As parents, we can either approach parenting with a reward/punish mentality or a learn and grow one. Nothing against rewards and punishments, they have their place but fall short of teaching children personal responsibility and empathy. The advantage of my chosen philosophy has been especially evident when dealing with my son recently being harassed and bullied.
When I first heard his stories of being teased on the playground, I wanted to dive in and protect; give him advice about how he could verbally assault these villains or run right to his teacher to punish them. Instead, I gave it some thought and decided to encourage my son to approach the situation with complete compassion and empathy. I knew that bullies are simply children who are probably very insecure and in pain; so much pain that they must make others feel bad to make themselves feel good. I asked my son to consider this when he was being taunted and it made an immediate difference in how he felt about the mocking; plus I pointed out that what the child was saying was obviously not true (my son was indeed not an elf).
This conscious and considerate approach revealed a vital lifelong lesson; how to deal with negative and hurtful people. If I had chosen the other option, to merely teach my son the art of verbal defense or seeking instant punitive action, this opportunity would have been lost and he would continue to struggle with the situation today. Instead, he now knows what it means when another person chooses to torment and he has learned to ignore it for the most part; he has even become good friends with a former “bully”.
I certainly make mistakes, but I do believe that leading by a conscious, positive example will have a beneficial, long term effect on my children. I hope that because of these efforts my children will choose to follow my lead instead of seeking another direction. No matter who you are; what you do for a living, where you reside, if you are rich, poor or something in between; we all have a mother. This article is dedicated to all mothers for being our tireless teachers, one way or another. Have a blessed Mother’s Day!