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The Balancing Acts Of Conscious Parenting

Written by: Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Seeking balance is about finding the middle road. Instead of only seeing the world in black and white, celebrating the grey. Rather than being too extreme about any one thing, looking for the interesting combination of many wonderful ideas. For those of us on a quest to be balanced, we’re interested in health, in the means more than the ends, in the space between.

With parenting, in particular, the balancing act is daily, hourly — seemingly endless. To approach it consciously asks us to be more present than not. It requires honest reflection and ongoing course-correction.


The Most Compelling Balances to Seek (and mantras to go along with them):


Offering Choice While Holding Boundaries


“Soft heart. Strong back.” I love this saying. Be open, but remember your backbone.


Today's world is overrun by choices, frankly too many for your children to know what to do with. It’s a luxury until it’s anxiety-provoking. Give them a few clear choices and move on. Know what your line is and when it’s crossed, with fair warning, let them know. Explain to your kiddos what your line is about and what it means to you.


Often you are the one with great ideas. Other times your kids have even better ones. Be open to this. You’re their guide, without a doubt. However, let them take the wheel sometimes. In truth, if you’re attuned, you’re following their lead anyway.


When to lead, when to follow. When to be soft, when to be firm. Being clear about your boundaries while allowing them freedom within these parameters. It’s a constant balancing act. Remember, though — considering and reconsidering these things, again and again, is bringing consciousness to the relationship, and that's what matters most.


Maintaining The Long View While Responding Daily


As parents, your core values are the foundational blueprint for the culture of your family. You want to keep one eye on these overarching values while being flexible when the unanticipated arises.


Each day, things will come up that you didn’t plan. These are opportunities to model for your children how to pivot and adjust. Of course, you don’t want to veer too far from your path; however, I encourage you not to underestimate the importance of these small moments and your ability to be flexible when they arrive.


Too easily, a commitment to one's values can become rote (e.g., auto-pilot parenting). Listen on a deeper level for the unique needs of each of your children. Be quiet enough to notice what it is they’re trying to tell you — it may be they simply need to know you see them. Look at what’s happening right in front of you and respond accordingly. As I often remind myself, “Be where your hands are.”


Expressing Feelings While Being Respectful


“Only say what’s necessary, true, and kind,” an ancient Yogic principle, is another mantra of mine. The idea is that everything that comes out of one’s mouth must fit all three bills to be worthy of being spoken. This helps our children self-regulate by having them slow down and check; it might help you too.


Teach your children the power of their voice. Invite them to notice what they’re feeling and share it, even when the feelings are not pleasant, all while being respectful. To help them with this practice, give them the ‘I language’ (I feel mad when you walk away when I’m talking …) versus the blaming ‘You’ kind (You never listen to me ….). Model it to teach it.


Additionally, challenge yourself to listen humbly when they speak, even if you don’t want to hear what they have to say. There’s usually a way you can grow from what they’re brave enough to share. Take it in and think about it.


When it’s okay for your children to have uncomfortable feelings and they practice sharing them thoughtfully, they’re empowered to know they can create change in their worlds. This, in turn, will lead to more authentic relationships.


Attending to Our Children While also Attending to Ourselves


It’s difficult to differentiate between your desires and needs and those of your children. To clearly delineate between the two, you’ve got to slow down (and pause) to ask yourself what it is you feel and want, and then be courageous enough to admit to yourself that this answer may be different than your child’s.


Be sure to take time away. Time for yourself - to be alone, write, walk and listen to a podcast, work out, nap, Zoom with an old friend, do whatever it is your heart needs. When you come back, you’ll bring more of yourself — more patience and presence too. Keep track of what brings y-o-u joy, and deliberately incorporate these things into your life.


Lastly, for both of your sakes, before reacting, breathe. This will serve your neurological system, theirs, and of course, your relationship. Come back to yourself, over and over again. It’s so easy to get lost in caring for our young ones, and it takes conscious daily commitment. In every way, every time you remember, be sure to “Practice the pause.”


Without a manual of any kind, we’re all learning as we go — hopefully learning about ourselves as parents as well as about our children as they grow. Awareness requires humility and introspection.


Clearly, I often use mantras to help recenter myself. I hope you’ll find at least one of the ones I’ve shared helpful as you navigate the never-ending balancing act of conscious parenting.


Remember to:

  • Know your family values and understand your personal boundaries.

  • Allow yourself permission to make mistakes, change your mind and evolve.

  • Listen to both yourself and your children in new ways all the time

There’s real power in practice - keep seeking the balance. It will not only allow you to align more closely with your heart but to have a deeper, more connected relationship with your children.


Want to learn more about Jenn´s parent coaching philosophy? Visit her website today for parenting tips, tools, vignettes and ways to connect with Jenn directly.


You can also get connected to her social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!


 

Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Professional Parent Coach, Jenn Wert, serves parents of young children around the globe who are looking for support in their conscious parenting. With a Master’s in Education, educator, and doula experience along with post-graduate social-emotional training, Jenn knows how to counsel parents who want to authentically communicate with their children. After decades of her own therapy, while concurrently working with many different family types, she brings honesty to her conversations and discernment to her listening that allows clients to grow. Jenn inspires parenting that is nurturing, true and transformative.

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