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!

Can we classify people's reason's as good or bad, correct, or incorrect? Yes, we can, and we must. And reasoning must come from the child's best interest, not from an adult who prepares to become a parent. Everyone wants and deserves a beautiful story of origin, not trivial or insulting.

I think there is only one correct reason to bring a child into the world is people's readiness to give the best of themselves and to create the best conditions for a future human being growth and development. We give birth to the child, not to please ourselves and whatever selfish reasons we have. Whatever we do – everything is for the best of the child, therefore it is good to have reasons like - “just to give life to another person”, “to live nearby and be present while another very close person grows and lives - my child "," to be a witness and participant in the miracle of someone's birth, becoming, and life. "

I will add one more reason why it is worth having children - for JOY. And to have joy, and not torment and disappointment, the future parent must be an adult (psychologically healthy and mature) and have a conscious approach to such a serious stage in life as fatherhood and motherhood.

I firmly believe that being a parent isn't only a right but a privilege. As life shows, to become a parent is much easier than to honour this privilege. Especially now, when creation is utterly divorced from human relationships, and when we can make the beginnings of life outside the human body. Now we can buy children. Easily!

When we have in mind a child's best interest, we protect the child from abuse, manipulations, expectations to fulfil parents' expectations, bring meaning to parents' life, or return what the child has received. Raising a child is a hard job, and it is a beautiful way to pay back to life, humanity, Universe for the work our parents have done for us. It is a well-ordered cycle of life, don’t you think?

I want to give here three examples of wrong reasons to have a child. Usually, such reasons have nothing with the desire to be a parent and require deep psychological work before parenting is considered.