Conscious Parenting: Children Don’t Do What You Say, They Do What You Do
Conscious Parenting: Children Don’t Do What You Say, They Do What You Do. The best teacher I have had as an adult to learn about leadership, and the quality of presence in parenting, is my own child, Sebastian. It was not until I observed his interaction with a friend, using the same words I do when greeting and expressing excitement, that this realization became clear: kids are constantly listening and recording in their amazing minds, moment by moment, every word, behavior and event they witness. Most of us probably know this on some level, but as adults we tend to forget or overlook it, sometimes acting unconsciously in front of our children.
It is not enough to tell your child what to do. You need to be observed doing it. Children are forming their self-image based on the example they see in the people who play a fundamental role in their lives. For example, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell them they should be gentle with animals, if you are not being gentle with yourself and others, children will imitate your behavior. Most importantly, it will be imitated in their relationship with themselves.
To be fully present is the best
gift we can give to another human being.
As adults and as our children’s guides on this planet, we have the duty to be present, to know ourselves deeply and to align with love first before trying to teach anything to a child. When we are aligned with love and joy, our kids will naturally gravitate to us and recognize themselves in us. Once children are tuned into our loving energy, all we need to do is to practice what we want to teach and they will naturally follow.
What does it take to be a mindful, love-rooted and present parent? Clinical psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D, explains it beautifully. She believes parents must somehow deconstruct their own emotional legacies and conditioning to find their own truth, which they can then unleash in their children. Children are wise and intuitive enough to easily absorb every piece of information we give them. This happens without needing to use words and just by interacting with us.
I learned that when I do things I truly enjoy, my son sees it and imitates me. It’s not a matter of what I am doing but the joyful emotion that I am projecting. Quickly, this uplifting emotion spreads through Sebastian’s entire world, reflecting on his self-respect and loving relationship with others. Creativity overflows and the impact extends to his profound connection with his environment and mother earth. Consciousness is contagious and joy is contagious, as well as loving, caring and happiness.
To be fully present is the best gift we can give to another human being. That is especially so if the other human being is your own child, observing you with forever-loving eyes and a boundless open heart. Make a commitment to be the highest and truest version of yourself to honor your child’s growth.
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