I have come to realize that parenting styles differ due to many reasons, including education, experience, lessons learned, motivation, etc. One reason that I have found to be related to parenting above all others is life-style. Our parenting style reflects our life-style. (Keep reading for 4 tips on how to consciously create a life that leads to more satisfaction and less suffering).
If we live a life of patience, peace, low-stress, intentions, intuition, and consciousness, then our parenting style reflects these life-styles. These parents tend to be kinder, gentler, and more peaceful. If, on the other hand, we live a high-stress life, full of frustration, impatience and anxiety, our parenting reflects this. These parents tend to be easily frustrated, overwhelmed, and tired. Taking care of our Self and checking in with our own values can lead to less suffering and more satisfaction.
Actions can be a direct reflection of heart and values. When our actions match our values, we experience a fuller life, filled to the brim with satisfaction. If however, our actions are inconsistent with our values, we will experience suffering and life of disatisfaction. This suffering ripples down into our children, causing them to suffer and learn harmful lessons.
For example, if someone values gentleness, yet grabs their child in frustration, they will no doubt experience guilt. Their actions did not reflect their values. This person acted in anger. This guilt leads to self-suffering. If a person values respect, yet gives their child no choice and forces them to do things against their will, the parent and child will suffer. If a person values intuition, yet this parent googles everything about their child and spends time comparing themselves to others (guilty), this person (me) will experience disatisfaction and frustration because they are not honoring their intuition.
The only way to be a conscious parent is to live a conscious life. One full of intention. Living life on purpose. Consciously creating joy and peace. Pausing. Thinking before responding. Catching oneself before reacting. Checking in to determine if actions are based on emotional reactions, trauma, harmful past lessons, or are they based in love? Understanding? Purpose? Consciousness?
As a parent, this process is ongoing. Every moment of every day. It’s not perfect but I keep trying because if I stop trying, I suffer. Once my actions are out of alignment with my heart and my values, I create suffering. This holds true in all areas of life. When I lose my sh!t with my hubby, I suffer because I value peace and understanding. When I panic over finances because I went shopping when I do NOT value things, I suffer. When I feel guilty because I ignored someone at the grocery store because I was in a bad mood, I suffer. When I pull something out of my daughter’s hands because she’s not “supposed” to play with it (even though it’s not dangerous), I suffer. When I lose sight of my role as a voice for my daughter before she has a voice, I suffer. When I won’t allow my daughter to help in the kitchen because she’ll make a mess, I suffer because I value learning and modeling. There is a constant internal struggle for suffering that I can choose to fuel or not fuel by each action.
Each moment is an opportunity for peace. Each moment is a choice. When actions are inconsistent with values, we are choosing suffering.
Suffering can appear as anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, insomnia, just to name a few. What the world needs is people living their lives in direct alignment with their values, resulting in more joy and peace. We need people to honor themselves and consciously live their lives to reduce self-created suffering.
- Identify values
What’s important to you? Love? Honesty? Freedom? Serenity? Family? Friends? Yummy food? Kindness? Money? Nice things? Travel? Education? There is no wrong answer here. The answers are completely individual and unique to you. Your values in life will likely match your parenting values.
What daily thoughts and actions are in direct alignment with your values? For example if you value family, how much time do you actually spend with, or communicate with, family? And what actions are out of alignment with your values? If you value family yet never make an effort to see them or reach out, then you’re actions are not aligned with your values. If you value family and you make conscious effort to share loving time together (such as eating meals together, going to the park, etc.), then you will feel more satisfied.
- Set intentions
How do you want to live? Get honest with yourself and write it down. Say it out loud throughout the day. Write it on post-its. Set reminders on your phone. Commit it to your memory.
Make every action count. Make every action and thought matter. Actions don’t have to be big. If you value family, but you live far away from yours, write a letter or call someone. If you value gentleness, hug your child, like A LOT. If you value empathy, try understanding your child where they are, not where you want them to be. If you value kindness, honor your child’s desires as much as you honor your own. Take small steps and begin making the small, daily actions matter. Consciously create a life that’s consistent with your values and feel the suffering reduce.
Remember: be gentle with yourself. Conscious living breaks down old lessons of conformity and comparison and results in increased life satisfaction. If all else fails, remind yourself that children are people. They are not becoming people, they already are. Treat them with the same love and respect as you want to be treated.
Consciously confirm: Today, right now, at this moment, I choose peace (or kindness, or patience, or love, whatever). Conscious Counseling Services provide different counseling services in Montana.
Now onto the next moment.
I am writing this blog with light and love. Take what works for you and leave the rest. May you awaken to your Self, connect with your inner light, and integrate consciousness. May you feel peace. May you trust your Self. Blessings.