Talking about parenting is kind of taboo in the black community. If your family is anything like mine, it was very much I’ll mind my house, and you mind yours. Not spanking was some other people stuff, and stories of extension cords, water hoses, switches, and fists were like a right of passage in some families.
And if you couldn’t control your kids? What are you even doing calling yourself a parent?
There wasn’t much talk about parenting and how to do it then, but parenting is such a hot-button topic now. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone’s style is the best. But today, I want to share the one that changed my mind (and my life) for the better.
I like to think of conscious parenting as an umbrella term that many style variations fall under, like gentle parenting, peaceful parenting, intentional parenting, etc. They all focus on the parent becoming their best, most healed self to produce positive change in their children.
Conscious parenting encourages parents to make mindful, emotionally intelligent decisions in raising their children. The idea is for parents to manage their own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors while allowing their kids to be kids. That looks like:
Prioritizing relationship and connection
Seeing children as whole people worthy of respect
Letting go of ego and the need for control
Looking beyond behavior to see the child’s unmet needs
Allowing children to experience natural consequences
Being flexible and working with children to find solutions
Encouraging independent thinking
Setting expectations based on developmental stages
Abandoning harmful traditional parenting practices (physical punishment, blame, shame, rejection, etc.)
Conscious parenting is a real commitment. It requires parents to have a deep self-awareness, a willingness to heal their own childhood trauma, and a shift from being a walking rod of correction to being their child’s safe space.
This style of parenting is not for the faint of heart. Coming from a traditional household will require you to question everything you thought you knew about parenting. It will challenge you to ask yourself hard questions and stir emotions about things you thought you left in childhood.
It’s hard. It’s messy. It’s uncomfortable. But for those of us who say we would risk our lives for our children, it’s a small price to pay.
I’m passionate about seeing a future for black children filled with healthy environments, emotional intelligence, bodily autonomy, confidence, and the courage and freedom to be themselves. Can you imagine who you would be if you were trained and guided without physical punishment? What would you have had the courage to say if you felt like your voice mattered? How would your life be different if you learned at a young age that your body belonged to you and no one else was entitled to it, not even the most trusted adults in your life? What kind of leader would you be if you felt empowered to make choices starting in childhood?
I ask myself these questions as I guide my daughter through life’s stages. Always reminding myself that the things I find annoying now, like her desire to negotiate and her assertiveness, will serve her well in adulthood. But the catch is that those things have to make it into adulthood. I’ve learned that teaching and guiding is the only way to do that, not by punishing these skills.
If you’re ready to commit to parenting that creates healthy, whole children, schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute coaching session.
Your legacy will thank you.
I had my daughter, and I thought I would know exactly what to do. They tried to call it ‘motherly instincts’, but it was really