Archive | July 2014

Conscious Parenting Notebook – Introduction

CNP Picture

We are the windows through which our children first see the world. Let us be conscious of the view. – Katrina Kenison

As many of you know from reading A More Conscious Life, one of my areas of focus is on being a more conscious parent. As with the rest of my life, when I am more conscious of my thoughts and feelings throughout the day, I much kinder, gentler and more responsive to my self and my children. But parenting consciously isn’t easy. For me to parenting this way, I need a lot of help.

Since I have been a parent, I have read as many parenting books as I could get my hands on, enrolled in online parenting courses, listened to parenting webinars and subscribed to parenting blogs. My parenting philosophy has always had a positive, attachment leaning, so I looked for insight and advice in the areas of positive, mindful and conscious parenting. I found tips and tools to use to help us through difficult times or read inspirational mantras that I was determined to use when I most needed them. Yet, once a book, blog post or interview was finished, I would promptly forget most of what I heard or read. The book might come up in a conversation online or be recommended by a friend and I would remember that I had read it and liked it, but I hadn’t absorbed, or utilized, the information like I had hoped.

When I realized what was happening, I began taking notes. I dog-eared pages, I highlighted text, I filled pages of notebooks with ideas, mantras and inspirations. Once I had gathered a lot of useful information, I compiled it into a small notebook where it was more accessible when I really needed it. As I returned to my parenting notebook, it became more and more unique to my daughter. In using it, I found myself more aware of who she was as a child and what parenting techniques worked best, not in general, but for my unique child. I was finally really learning, applying what I learned and modifying it until it became my own – and I watched my relationship with my daughter blossom. The more I became consciously aware of what I needed as a parent and what my daughter needed as the unique being she is, the more I became the parent I really wanted to be, for the child that I have.

Being part of online forums for spirited children or positive-parenting-leaning parents, made me realize that what was working for me, with my daughter, might help other parents. In lives that can be increasingly busy and disconnected, I thought that my research could be a resource to help others feel more attuned to their children and their own needs as parents. I knew that the books I read and the advice I highlighted wouldn’t be the same that other parents would, but that perhaps they could use the same framework to create a unique parenting guide for their family. And so I created The Conscious Parenting Notebook.

There are a lot of wonderful resources available on Conscious or Mindful Parenting. The Conscious Parenting Notebook is not meant to join them as an equal, but more of a companion on the journey. It isn’t a book of advice, but rather a compilation of exercises, stories, prompts, and useful links to help you create your own unique conscious parenting resource to reflect the history, culture, values and realities of your unique family. I have found that, what is most important on the journey towards being a more conscious parent is a desire to be conscious and a regular reflection and awareness of your thoughts, feelings, words and actions and the impacts they have on yourself and  your family. The Conscious Parenting Notebook is a space for you to do just that.

To learn more, purchase your own copy or view a sample selection, please visit The Conscious Parenting Notebook page. I’m looking forward to sharing The Conscious Parenting Notebook with others and hearing if it was as useful and inspiration to you as it continues to be for me.

Thanks for reading!

Conscious Parenting Inspirations – June 2014


“We need to remind ourselves that many pleasurable moments exist each day in our life. Understanding this, we make a decision to start noticing them. We take a few seconds here, a moment there, to stop and appreciate the small joys and beauty in our lives. And far from it being a chore, we find ourselves refreshed by this simple practice.”
– John Kehoe, The Practice of Happiness
This month has been another busy month in our lives: the end of the school year, the beginning of summer and summer travel, a move from our home and the beginning of a transition overseas. With so much going on, I’ve been less active on the blog and less conscious in my every day, including in my parenting. However, as the month came to a close, I finally slowed down saw the stress of the change in our environment as a wake up call to return to a more conscious state.
Morning and Evening Rituals
With most of our belongings packed up or packed away and our home bases changing every week, I decided that it might be helpful to add a few daily consciousness rituals to our routine to give our days on the road a bit more structure and intention. I’ve started a mini yoga practice with my daughter in the morning, to wake us up and start our mornings off calmly and connected. After our yoga, we both choose a “word for the day” (intention being a bit too complicated for a four-year-old) that we want to keep with us throughout the day. So far she’s enjoyed this and brought up our words at various points to apply them to things we’ve been doing. So far we’ve used “loving, happy, appreciative, “pause,” and “listen.” With inspiration from Left Brain Buddha, our evening routine now includes, our three favorite things from the day and a loving kindness meditation.
Conscious Parenting Resources
Speaking of Left Brain Buddha… I was so excited to find this blog this month. The blog is written by Sarah Rudell Beach, a mother, teacher and blogger. On Left Brain Buddha she shares her ideas and thoughts on mindful parenting, meditation, motherhood, joyful living and spirituality. Her posts are informative and inspiring.
I also recently read an older, but still relevant, descriptive, informational article on conscious parenting in practice in Psychology today called Imperfect Mothers. In the article, author Andrea Fox describes a specific encounter with her daughter in which she used conscious parenting practices, as well describing the “Three Fs” process (Focus, Find and Forgive) for conscious parenting in-the-moment.
Blog Overview
Something I realized this month is that I really need to read this blog. I am inspired when I write posts on conscious parenting, but I don’t always continue to incorporate my ideas and practices in my day-to-day parenting. So this month, I decided to read over my previous posts and make a bullet list of what I most want to utilize in my interactions with my children over the next month. Please forgive the “inspirations” for not being all that inspiring this month; hopefully my practice this month will be more fruitful!
  • Pause Before Reacting – Use the Pause to ask “What does my child need from me in this moment?”
  • When you feel your frustration or anxiety levels rising, notice the color of the child’s eyes; something that anchors you to that moment with your child, to bring yourself back to the present moment.
  • OR When you feel your frustration or anxiety levels rising, take three deep breaths – One for yourself, one for your child and one for what to do next.
  • After an interaction with your child, ask yourself, “What did they just conclude about themselves from that interaction?” Do they feel loved? Heard? Validated? Or unimportant?
  • Lead with Intention – Begin each interaction with your child with a conscious intention
  • Accept What Is – When you hear yourself thinking or saying “should,” Accept and Address What Actually Is. Practice saying, “Okay here we are. My child is doing _______ or feeling _________ . I am feeling ___________. What do I need to do?”
  • Assume Positive Intent – Instead of rushing in an imposing punishment or yelling, assume your child did not mean to cause harm and try to address need or feeling instead of / or before behavior.
  • When you catch yourself mentally or verbally complaining, switch to gratitude mode

Thanks for reading! Wish me luck!

What about you? Have you come across any inspiring sources of information on Conscious Parenting that you would like to share?