Recently, I have been participating in a tele-seminar called ‘The Art of Conscious Parenting’ facilitated by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. Dr. Shefali is a clinical psychologist who blends Eastern mindfulness with Western psychology. Her teachings consider the inner, emotional experiences we all have and how this shapes our external, parenting circumstances. To learn more about her philosophy, I recommend her book, ‘The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves and Empowering Our Children.”
Had I been introduced to this philosophy when my children were very young, I would have had a hard time digesting it. Sometimes all you can do to get through the busyness of a day is to be happy you survived it. This leaves little room for the examination of our inner experience. I get it. You may not have the time or energy to learn this new way of thinking. However, as I learn more about it, and it resonates deeply for me, I believe that there are a lot of nuggets of wisdom that everyone can relate to. Even if you are up to your neck in diapers, carpool and helping your kids with homework you might find this philosophy helpful. I hope to introduce you to some of Dr. Shefali’s concepts and support you exactly where you are at on your parenting journey.
In a series of short videos Dr. Shefali shared as a summary of the teleclasses thus far, one idea in particular was a standout for me. She described the expectations we have for our children. We expect them to get perfect grades, excel at sports, be good leaders, have excellent manners, succeed at extracurricular activities and behave well in class and at home. I couldn’t believe it. At some point in raising my boys, I have expected all these things from my boys. As they have gotten older, I have expected these from them ALL THE TIME. I never thought about it as a whole picture before. How impossible are my expectations for them? Yikes! It reminded me that they are not robots. They are going to make mistakes, forget their manners and sometimes have a bad attitude for no apparent reason. My expectations should allow some room for this and whatever else my boys may throw at me.
Maybe you haven’t had quite this scope of expectation regarding your children, but you might be able to relate to at least one or two areas. For example, you may wonder why your kids aren’t reaching their potential in a sport or they continue to fidget during class. It may be helpful if we remove an expectation of impossible perfection no matter what the challenge is we face with our kids.
Dr. Shefali Tsabary is planning a Level 2 tele-seminar for ‘The Art of Conscious Parenting’ tentatively in mid-April. I will be sure to keep you posted. Beginners are absolutely welcome. I also encourage you to ‘Like’ her Facebook page as this will keep you updated on her upcoming news and events.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent