This is meant to be more of a book report, than a review. In particular, I want to highlight three lessons from the book, The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary, that I found impactful.
This is a book that Mrs. SFTE read and highly recommended. As with most books that require a bit of work, I struggled through it a little bit. It was more me than the book. However, I found the book to have some concepts worth thinking about and that are really relevant across many situations – not just parenting.
The theme that I appreciated the most is that despite being a little unconventional and promoting concepts such as spirituality, mindfulness, and meditation, etc., the book is most certainly not suggesting that life should be all roses and rainbows. In fact, a main message within the book is the life is not alway going to be pleasant and a parent must help a child understand that there will be frustrations, boredom, and the just plain “ordinary.” I found this theme welcome in a world full of millenial attitudes and expectations.
- Changing Your Behavior – “Matching our emotional energy to that of our children is far more effective than asking them to match their energy to ours.” Be the grown up in the relationship. Parenting is as much about modifying your behavior to meet the situation as it is modifying your child’s behavior to what you think it should be.
- Focus on the Process as Much as the Outcome – This is a sentiment that crosses many disciplines. And there’s good reason. “When we focus on the achievement of a goal instead of the learning process, our children miss many opportunities to develop their self-esteem. Rather than telling them, ‘Good job. Here is your gift,’ it’s important to highlight their character development, sharing with them how proud we are that they showed patience, determination, and bravery. … In this way our children discover the joy in learning, quite apart from reaching a destination.”
- Allow Your Child to Just Be – In order to allow your child to develop, grow, and flourish, sometimes you need to step back and let them be who they are and figure things out for themselves. “We are so heavily invested in our children, determined that they not mess up but become a success, that in our desire to be “good” parents, we find it difficult to just be with our children in their as is state, allowing whatever is happening to exist.”
In summary, a good book that certainly inspired some self-reflection.