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What Conscious Parenting Is Missing

What do you know about conscious parenting? Learn more about how this parenting approach and how you can develop a healthy relationship with your child starting with your parenting style.

How do you show up for parenting? What decisions do you make to help prepare your children for the future? There are a variety of parenting styles that might provide your children temporary happiness or freedom. But it doesn’t last. Conscious parenting claims to hold the solution to this problem.

Recent conversations surrounding parenting styles promote conscious parenting as a philosophy that holds the key to effective parenting. However, there are some elements to this parenting style that require further investigation and questioning.

What is Conscious Parenting?

It is a parenting approach that focuses on a parent’s self-awareness (mindfulness) and self-control combined with a sensitivity to their child’s feelings to communicate with their child most effectively. Essentially, conscious parenting is about first being aware of how you show up for parenting, so that you can do your best to connect with and guide your child well. It is not a new concept and can be quite effective.

This parenting approach does not come from Christian roots. But it does provide a great reminder of some Christian parenting principles. This approach is a different way of saying what many experts have said throughout the years regarding the importance of being a healthy parent to help your children develop well.

In this approach, parents move away from reacting to children’s behaviors and move more to responding to the child’s thoughts and feelings by first being aware of their own.

In other words, conscious parenting is about calming your inner world well enough so that you can do the understanding, directing, and interacting with your child as effectively as possible. 

Key Beliefs in Conscious Parenting

On the surface, this approach makes sense and seems to match other healthy parenting styles, such as authoritative parenting, mindful parenting, and attuned parenting. This approach also has a high likelihood of a secure attachment between a parent and child because of the emphasis on sensitivity and awareness.

However, and like many things, this is much more difficult for some parents than others. There are some parents who are not naturally attuned to their own emotions. So, they may give up quickly on this approach. Or this approach may not be the best one for the different personalities in your home.

Be Aware of Risks

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering the conscious parenting style:

  • Big emotions are considered “bad” in this approach when they are merely signals of something important.
  • What happens when one parent works hard on conscious parenting and the other does not?
  • It is good for children to learn how to respond in healthy ways to people in authority in their lives and this approach takes parents out of the place of authority.
  • Being upset with your child is not bad. Relationships are stronger when navigating issues together.
  • Your past is based on how you interpreted your past. How do the different personalities in your home interpret you – conscious parenting and all?
  • Stopping and reflecting takes a lot of time and energy. Make sure you’re ready to be consistent with this rather than reactive one day and responsive the next.
  • This approach does not focus on God as your source for wisdom and direction in your parenting. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 provides an amazing template for parenting: Love God with all of you and out of that guide your children whenever and wherever you’re doing life with them.
  • Children’s behaviors and why they are happening can be very complex and can drain patience quickly.
  • Peacefulness is best found in realizing you have an invitation to raise and guide a child toward a healthy development.

7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment

Good parents aren’t perfect. There’s no formula to follow, but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family’s 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment gives parents an honest look at their unique strengths, plus some areas that could use a little help.

Is There a Better Option?

Conscious parenting is certainly better than unconscious parenting, but this approach needs a biblical foundation to be the most effective as you search for wisdom in guiding your children toward a thriving faith. In Proverbs 22:6, we see a call to train up our children in the way they should go and they will not depart from it.

Overall, this parenting approach provides some helpful thoughts about self-control and showing up well for your invitation as mom or dad. However, it’s disappointing that conscious parenting takes parents out of the role of “healthy authority” figure in a child’s life.

Authority is not a bad word like culture wants to portray. Healthy authority has other people’s best interest at heart and when done with love for Christ as the centerpiece, the Fruit of the Spirit spills out. If a child learns how to live under authority in healthy ways, they also get to learn what it means to develop a humble and servant heart.  

Take a look at the 7 Traits of Effective Parenting as a biblically based and research-based approach to being more attuned, focused, and effective in your parenting. Take the assessment or simply begin trying out the 7 traits in your day-to-day parenting. 

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If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a Focus on the Family counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

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Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies

Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

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