It was after watching Dr Shefali speak on an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions that I made the decision to start my first blog. I was excited to hear the less conventional ideas I had about children, wellbeing and parenting expressed so eloquently and powerfully. Having my point-of-view affirmed by a qualified and well-regarded psychologist (endorsed by Oprah, no less) gave me the assurance that I was on-track and had ideas worth exploring & sharing. The next morning, I wrote my first essay for my blog.
The Conscious Parent is just one of Dr Shefali’s books. It was the byline that jumped out at me – “Transforming Ourselves, Empowering our Children”. It asserts that being a parent is just as much an opportunity for me to grow and develop as it is for my children. It connects to my ever-deepening understanding that parenting is more about how I show up for my children than how they behave. Secondly, it puts my children’s wellbeing at the centre of things. Often, in wanting our children just to behave in a way that suits us, we disrespect and disempower our children. This book gives us an approach that shows us how to lift them up instead.
One of my favourite parts of the book is Chapters 7 and 8 in which Dr Shefali outlines the task of each stage of parenthood. She explains the growth opportunities for both ourselves and our children as they move through infancy, toddlerhood, middle school and high school.
The book isn’t a particularly easy read, especially if you’re tackling it in bed at night as you drift off. Dr Shefali has a sophisticated, often poetic, way with language which beautifully expresses her ideas but sometimes has me re-reading sentences more than once. However, I feel a deep resonance with the message so it is a book that I go back to occasionaly and, each time, I understand it a little more fully.
Why I suggest this book: I feel a deep resonance with Dr Shefali’s approach to parenting. She doesn’t put parenting in a box but acknowledges that all aspects of our children, ourselves and our lives are woven together. This book has offered me a way to think further beyond strategies and quick-fixes and to honour and empower my children. There are many examples showing how to put relationship first in a non-formulaic way and there’s no expectation for anyone or anything to be perfect. The Conscious Parent has helped me to see the opportunity in each imperfect moment to move myself and my children towards greater consciousness.