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5 Ways to Practice Conscious Parenting

Before you roll your eyes at what seems to be another parenting genre to polarize and ignite debates — not ANOTHER expert telling me I’m doing it wrong! — rest assured that “Conscious Parenting” isn’t a radical shift, nor is it groundbreaking in its message.

It’s common sense.

Started by Heidi Oran of The Conscious Perspectivethe term “conscious parenting” refers to a more enlightened way to raise children in our modern world. (Heidi defines a “conscious perspective” as assessing a situation with non-judgment, compassion, and tolerance. She writes from a place of positivity, spirituality, and a more “awakened” consciousness, so her parenting content goes hand-in-hand with those ideals.)

To get started, here are her 5 basic rules that she lives and parents by:

  • What is Conscious Parenting? 1 of 7
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    Heidi isn't saying anything you don't already know deep down in your gut — down where intuition and common sense mingle. But here are 5 basic principles that form the foundation of her "Conscious Parenting Manifesto"...

  • 1. Practice What You Preach 2 of 7
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    If I had to pick one life mantra as a writer, a parent, and a person, it would probably be "show don't tell." That old cliché that actions speak louder than words becomes utterly undeniable when you have little eyes staring up at you, absorbing your behaviors, expressions, and language as their default setting. 

     

    As Heidi said, it's very simple: "If you want them to be kind, then be kind. If you want them to be charitable, then be charitable. They do what they see, good and bad."

    Photo: Picnik Photography

     

  • 2. Embrace Imperfection 3 of 7
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    Heidi wrote a thought-provoking post about the potential damage from our society's need for perfect parenting (along with every other aspect of our Pinterest-ified culture), and so she asks parents to embrace their imperfections. Be authentic and honest about the messiness of life and humanity. Why set them up for the unrealistic standards that even we have a hard time living up to?

     

    As Heidi said, "Striving for perfection can put a ceiling on what they are willing to try and the person they could become."

    Photo: Picnik Photography

  • 3. Address Tough Questions with Honesty 4 of 7
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    It's not just imperfection that we should be honest about, but everything else, too. We don't have to perpetuate the fallacy that adults are all-knowing, do-no-wrong creatures that have all the answers. 

     

    As Heidi said, "We are all seekers, from the moment we are born until the day we move on from this life, and we will never have all the answers. It's okay to start teaching our kids now that there is a mystery to life."

    Photo: Picnik Photography

  • 4. Step Back and Reassess 5 of 7
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    It's so easy to get caught up in a parenting cycle — continuing things that were done and said to you as a kid (and were likely said and done to your parents as kids, as well) without stopping to think about the whys. Along the same lines, it's easy to get stuck in a certain parenting phase and assume that whatever happens right now will determine your child's entire future. In both cases, it can be good to step outside of the situation and reassess. 

     

    As Heidi said, "The most important thing is to simply step outside of ourselves and do our best to witness what is happening with a set of eyes not clouded with the judgments of personal experience."

    Photo: Picnik Photography

  • 5. Find Balance with Fear 6 of 7
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    There's nothing that erupts new and deeply buried fears than having a child. But, historically, fear isn't the healthiest emotion to drive decision making. 

     

    As Heidi said"It seems impossible to live fear-free today, I do understand this, but it's important to find a balance of making decisions for your child to keep safe, and letting them in on the emotions driving these decisions. This may be one of the most difficult things to do as a parent.

    Photo: Picnik Photography

  • More Conscious Parenting 7 of 7
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    Read more about Conscious Parenting from Heidi at The Conscious Parenting. You can also stop by EarlyMama.com, where she's a regular contributor on subjects like personal growth, health, and self-help book recommendations.

     

    Photo: Picnik Photography

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