Shefali Tsabary’s The Conscious Parent book is a revelation. It offers a different approach to raising your child in this modern age. Actually, this book does not focus on the child, but on the parent: explaining how a parent’s upbringing, attitude and outlook affects his child. This book will force the parent to really look into himself and re-evaluate how he raises his kids. I try to read a chapter a night so I can internalize the information better. I post snippets on my feed too so I can better remember things that struck me.
Being a conscious parent is not an overnight feat, so don’t expect that when I finish the book I’ll miraculously turn into a conscious, better parent. Hehe. Being conscious entails evaluating all your actions and decisions, challenging yourself to look into your own imperfections so you can be a better person for you and your child. The more I delve into the book, the more I realize just how much I need to change for the sake of my daughter.
One chapter talks about the importance of celebrating your child’s ordinariness. At first you might think why the hell should we enjoy our kid being ordinary. We live in a world wherein we put pressure on ourselves to become excellent. Parents naturally want their kids to excel in something: in academics, sports and any other achievements. The book explains that if we fail to appreciate our kids as they are – sans medals and accolades, we are actually teaching them to be obsessed with what is “bigger” and “better”. They end up believing that only the grand and fabulous should be celebrated and applauded. Pressure also gets to them if ever they fail to reach the high bar we set them. Eventually, they will be unable to appreciate life itself. They will grow into adults who can’t focus their attention on what’s before them, only to what isn’t.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expose our children to the best of everything. We must still encourage exploration but not to the extent that their sense of worth is determined on achievement. As parents we must show them to appreciate the ordinary moments and their own simple self. This could mean highlighting to your child to appreciate the togetherness of the family as you sit down to eat. You can just tell your child how happy you are that they’re there. You know, simple things.
I’m writing this post mainly so I can remember to always celebrate who Win is, not who she’s “supposed” to be. I promise to never put pressure on her to become the “best”. Of course, I’ll still encourage her and give her all the tools she’ll need for her to be able to realize her own potential, but I will never impose and force her to anything. She is her own unique person, wonderful in every way, and that is enough for me.