The beginning of conscious parenting

Conscious parenting is informed, thoughtful parenting,

in which the mind and heart of the parent resonate with the needs of the child.

- Thomas Verny

Conscious parenting is a concept and a science that is encouraged these days actively. I support it wholeheartedly and promote it in my counselling work too. When discussing mindful parenting, I have an existential approach and ask future parents three fundamental questions to consider before they conceive:

1. What do you need or want for the child?

2. What do children want and need the most?

3. Are you prepared to become a parent?

Also, I like working with the meaning of words very much. Sometimes analysing a word, we can find lots of wisdom and answers to our search. Let have a look at the dictionary and find out what the word "conscious" means.

The Oxford Dictionary gives us a few options. Conscious means:

  1. aware of and responding to one's surroundings.

  2. having knowledge of something, concerned with or worried about a particular matter.

  3. deliberate action or feeling.

With the dictionary help, we can conclude that conscious parenting requires awareness, responsiveness, knowledge, and intentional action. Do all the parents meet these expectations? Of course, not. And this is very sad. Parenting is the most responsible role in our life and the one taken with less preparation. That sounds like a great contradiction!

What is extremely important is to ask these questions before conception and to become a conscious parent before you become a parent at all.

The experiences of childhood shape us into adults we become; therefore, parenting requires a high level of maturity and emotional intelligence. Conscious parenting is about letting go of a parent's ego, desires, and attachments. Instead of forcing behaviours on children in the future, parents should focus on their own language, their expectations, and their self-regulation. And it should be done before the child is born. I encourage you to look at the adult you see in the mirror and try to be honest with yourself. Are you ready to be a parent? Are you capable of being a conscious parent?
The beginning of Conscious Parenting

Question #1 – What do you need or want for the child?

Please notice the difference; I am not asking "Why?" but "what for?" The question "Why?" is much easier to answer because there are lots of options, like:

  • getting pregnant was an accident; I didn't plan for it;

  • it is time, or I am running of time;

  • everyone has children, and I feel that I would like to have too;

  • there are too many questions about us not having a child, and we would like to escape from the pressure;

  • I am single and would like to have a child to get some meaning in my life;

  • we have one child, and it is not suitable for him to be alone;

  • real family is the one with two or three children;

  • I want to leave the job I hate;

  • I want someone to have with me, I feel too lonely;

  • the oldest child needs a brother or a sister;

  • I hope to correct or keep my partner;

  • I want a descendant, a continuation of me;

  • I am afraid of old age and loneliness;

  • I hope to get more benefits, financial support, etc.

When in the counselling session, I ask, "What do you need a child for?" usually, there will be a long pause in our conversation, and my client will struggle to answer this question. Many people have witnessed that they never considered such a question.

By asking this question, I invite people to reflect, be honest, and verify the reasons they consider to be correct to bring a child to the world. Challenging these reasons is one of my responsibilities as a counsellor.

Everyone has their own reason for having a child, but answering this question is important for each child. And to every parent. Because it will affect the child’s and parents’ destiny, their relationship. Will affect, definitely!