by Julie Begman Sender
Conscious Parenting is an authentic and natural approach to parenting. As parents we can be honest, observant and respectful towards our children. The term conscious parenting is often misunderstood or confused with being self-conscious, affected, or hyper or micro attentive. It doesn't mean catering to, but rather, to collaborate with your child.
Some parents anticipate their child's every need. Conscious Parenting gives our children the opportunity to initiate what they need and want. This allows us as parents to respond to them on their terms. This also includes explaining to them why we say "no," not just saying the word, "no."
We can guide them which is different from teaching them. As a parent we can create safe and appropriate boundaries, which allows them to make choices within that framework. A trust develops, and the parent can then step back. I don't mean stepping back from them emotionally - ironically you will find yourselves more intimate with them when they feel you trust them to be appropriately autonomous. Whether that means to reach for the toy they are interested rather than you making the choice for them (as early as 3 months old) - or later chosing the blue shirt or the red shirt (as early as 6 months old).
Julie Bergman Sender began her career in 1982 as a film Executive at Warner Brothers. After almost two decades of work in film and producing over 10 films including Washington Square, G.I. Jane and Six Days, Seven Nights Julie took a sabbatical from the rigors of traveling on location to raise daughter Emily, now four. She began teaching parent-infant classes 3 years ago and continues to teach at Creative Space in Los Angeles, California. She is currently writing a book about holistic and conscious parenting and remains a freelance film executive.