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The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

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It’s a tremendous privilege to raise children, though for a quite different reason than most of us who are parents imagine.

While we think it’s our responsibility to mold and shape our children’s future, the essential premise of Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s A Call to Conscious Parenting is that our children are born to us to create deep internal transformation within us.

Our children have the power to unleash our egoic behavior unlike anyone else, triggering all of our emotional reactivity. As, through our intimate relationship with them, we are exposed to our immaturity, they become our most accurate mirror of our own lack of emotional development. In other words, by inviting us to confront who we are in our relationship with them, our children raise us to be the parents they long for us to become.

Despite our best intentions to raise our children well, in our unconsciousness we pass on emotional legacies to our children that have deep and lasting repercussions. Bequeathing to them our unresolved needs, unmet expectations, and frustrated dreams, we shackle them in unconscious patterns that shut them down to their own unique being.

To do justice to parenthood, a parent needs to become conscious. Only to the degree we are willing to transform our own emotional present do we succeed in positively influencing our children’s future.

Dr. Tsabary asks us to set aside traditional parenting strategies that major in controlling our children and instead find true kinship with their spirits by tuning into who each child is in its own unique essence. Surrendering to the oneness of the parent-child relationship in this way lifts parenting out of the physical and into the realm of the sacred.

Peppered with practical, hands-on examples from Dr. Tsabary’s real-life experiences with the countless families she has helped journey consciously together, A Call to Conscious Parenting is a manual for giving our children the opportunity to shine and dazzle with their natural state of being.

300 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2010

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About the author

Shefali Tsabary

38 books466 followers
Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., was exposed to Eastern philosophy at an early age and integrates its teachings with Western psychology, having received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in New York. This blend of East and West allow her to reach a global audience and establishes her as one of a kind in the field of mindfulness psychology for families.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary lectures extensively on conscious parenting around the world and is in private practice. She is author of the award winning parenting book, The Conscious Parent as the newly released Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work and What Will, as well as It's a Mom: What You Should Know About the Early Years of Motherhood, which debuted on the Indian National bestseller list for four weeks. Dr. Tsabary lives in New York City.

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5 stars
2,714 (51%)
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3 stars
644 (12%)
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55 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 430 reviews
Profile Image for Ruby.
5 reviews2 followers
September 2, 2014
Another book I wanted to love because of the glowing reviews & the premise of seeing your child and your parenting journey together with your child, as a spiritual guide. I would choose Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (Laura Markham) over this book any day.

The book is aimed more at parents of teens, so maybe I am blissfully unaware of the battleground that is teen parenting (my kids are 4 and 1). However the example she gives of parents in trouble are often very extreme (verbal and sometimes physical abuse, at least that's how I view belittling, name-calling, and pushing kids around) and not at all relatable. Then there are other examples of "difficulty connecting" and other vague terms/behaviours, which are connected to the parent not having been able to meet the emotional needs of the child when they were very small. She says you can absolutely turn this around, but compared to Markham's book (or How to talk to kids..), there is very little practical advice.

I just found it alienating, depressing and also a little insulting how the author assumed the readers would be parents who know nothing of gentle parenting: I feel the people who read this book are more likely to already be in that camp, than to be of the more authoritarian or punitive parenting camp.

It was also far too long, it seems that the main idea or goal of the book is to indeed see your child as a sort of spiritual compass, someone to show you where you can grow and to do so together (which I really like); but because it is a parenting book, it had to have some more discipline/stages of life chapters in it, but none of them are then complete (quite a few pages on infancy, then toddlerhood, then "school" 2 pages and then middle school, very short indeed.)

I think I would have liked the book better if the author had:
- Stuck to the main idea of spiritual guidance through your own parenting journey;
- Given a first part, describing where the idea of this come from, the basics of mindfulness & stillness, the 'as is' world;
- Then given a second part with lots of practical examples from all kinds of different parents (ages of kids, family type, etc.) and prompts on how use those situations (or how those parents used those situations) to reflect on their spiritual path and internal growth;
- And then given a third part with more general meditations, resources and possibly things like games to play with kids, activities, conversations, etc;
- And had done a little research on who the main audience of the book would be.

One last thing I didn't agree with (but that may be more to do with spiritual choice) was the idea of helping kids disassociate from their feelings and thoughts. I know this is an important concept, but I personally prefer to teach my kids that I accept their feelings, their opinions and their thoughts for what they are, and also help them deal with them by learning to understand them and to emotion coach them. Tsabary suggests leaving a tantrumming toddler alone (if it is safe) but that teaches the kid nothing except that strong and scary emotions are something s/he is left to deal with by him/herself, something I strongly disagree with.

Good/new things I learned from this book:
- Extra emphasis on the idea that your child is who s/he is meant to be. This helped me solidify the concept of "acceptance" in every day parenting;
- To look at my own restlessness, inability to be still and how my kids will learn that from me if I don't change it now;
- The positive idea of growing together, of seeing your child and your struggles in parenthood as a compass to direct you to those areas that still need your loving attention.
Profile Image for Chris Mower.
43 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2013
This book should be a part of every parent's library; it's a parenting book for parents. Literally. The focus is not so much on our children's behavior, but how our behavior as parents effects our children and their behavior.

To me, the overall message of the book was to be present with your child and understand that they are their own person, separate from you—to parent consciously, with purpose and recognizing that it's the here and now that make the biggest difference. Dr. Tsabary reminds us many times to put aside our ego and expectations and help our children learn that living authentically is the healthiest and most rewarding life, not raising a "mini me" if you will.

I learned gobs about myself from reading this, and I also learned valuable information about how my behaviors affect my children. It was very insightful, sometimes to the point of really hitting home and helping me see ways that I was doing well and ways that I could improve as a parent.

I would give this book 5/5 stars, but I took 1 star away for two reasons:
1) I felt the examples in the book, while good, were all "extremes" or "worst case scenario". I would have liked to see some that were a little more moderate. Also, the examples were never followed through to the end. We only heard about the situation, but never if the situation was resolved, and how it was resolved. Of course the theories in the book are supposed to be the how, but I would have liked to have more in-depth case studies.

2) At times the book could get a little repetitive, but it was never to the point of "good heck, just move on."

Again, I highly recommend this book; it's a book on which I'll frequently be pondering.

Some of my favorite quotations (out of many):


When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a “mini me,” but a spirit throbbing with its own signature. For this reason, it’s important to separate who you are from who each of your children is. Children aren’t ours to possess or own in any way. When we know this in the depths of our soul, we tailor our raising of them to their needs, rather than molding them to fit our needs.

Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (Vancouver: Namaste Publishing, 2010), 2-3.


Whether our children are artistic, academicians, risk takers, into sports, musical, dreamers, or introverts, it need have no bearing on how we regard them. On a grander scale, it isn’t our place to approve or disapprove of whether our children are religious, gay, the marrying kind, ambitious, or manifest any number of other traits. While a child’s behavior is subject to modification that brings the child more closely in line with its essential being, their core must be unconditionally celebrated.

When our children choose a religion other than ours, a different profession than we dreamed of for them, are homosexual in orientation, or marry someone out of their race, how we respond is a barometer of how conscious we are. Are we able to respond to them with the realization that they have the right to manifest their inner being in their unique way?

Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (Vancouver: Namaste Publishing, 2010), 26.


What do you have a right to expect from your children? I identify three elements: respect for themselves, for others, and for their safety. Beyond these basics, your children own the right to manifest who they want to be, even if this isn’t what you wish for them. Anything more presumes ownership of who your children should be. Your expectations are yours to keep and yours to know, not for your children to hold just because they were born to you.

Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (Vancouver: Namaste Publishing, 2010), 172-173.


Conscious Parents trust implicitly their child’s intuition concerning its destiny.

Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (Vancouver: Namaste Publishing, 2010), 264.
Profile Image for Anne.
57 reviews19 followers
July 2, 2013
Definitely the best "parenting" book I have read. This book gave me a ton to think about...about how I unconsciously react to my kids and how a lot of the problems we face in raising children, is because we are unconscious. If we wake up to our role as a parent and start parenting consciously...our children can become our spiritual teachers, and we can parent them in the way they deserve to be parented. I think I have more questions now than I did before I read this book...but in all honesty, I think that is good thing. I would recommend this book to everyone...seriously. I think it goes beyond just the parent/child relationship...and encompasses ALL relationships. It is definitely time for me to wake up and start paying attention!!!
Profile Image for Jared.
53 reviews3 followers
July 29, 2015
I've read some of Dr. Tsabary's articles before, seen some video talks she's given, so when I saw this audio book at the library, I picked it up. I'd read so many glowing reviews about it that I was really expecting it to be wonderful, enlightening, life-changing, etc. like a lot of the other reviewers. I have to say that for me, it wasn't. I was mostly annoyed, and I found myself scoffing or cringing a lot at her examples.

I'm already on board with gentle, respectful parenting. I already believe in and practice a "working-with" perspective, not using punishments, not yelling, all that. I've read a number of other books and found all of these concepts years ago, but I keep reading new books just to see if I can continue to grow and improve as a parent by encountering new ideas and perspectives.

A large part of why this book wasn't helpful to me is that it seems to be directed specifically at parents who are enraged at their children, who scream at them, call them names, ignore them, hit them, and generally engage in a great deal of behavior that I just can't fathom. I know there are people who are coming to this book from those perspectives, and for them this might be really helpful. It sounds like it probably is from the other reviews. So if that's where you are and you're trying to find a way to stop, this might well be helpful for you. For me, it wasn't, and listening to the stories about her clients doing these things to their children was disturbing. Any book that's trying to get someone from that point to a more gentle, respectful, "conscious" approach, is obviously going to have examples of people behaving in the harsh, punitive ways. I get that, and other books I've read that do that haven't bothered me as much. I think it's because I was listening to her say things like "So when you scream in your child's face that you don't love them anymore and that you never want to see them again, this is why you're doing that." Something about her use of the second-person perspective in those examples just grated on me. I'm sure she did it as a way to make the people who are doing those things feel like they aren't alone. I understand the device. It just annoyed me to sit there and listen to her doing that for nine hours. I'm probably being too egoic or something.

Also, I'm not big on "zen" philosophy in general, and her overall approach and recommendations seem to fit into this concept. There's a bunch of "Don't judge experiences as good or bad, just let them wash over you and value them for the lessons they can teach you," sort of stuff. I think that's junk, personally. If that works for her, more power to her, but I can learn the lesson of an experience just fine and still see that's it's a bad one that I don't want to repeat. Sometimes that's the most important lesson you can learn from the experience!

So overall, I made it through, but the few bright spots I gleaned from it were mostly just reminders or slightly different restatements of concepts that I'd already seen elsewhere, and which had been said by the other authors in a way that resonated with me more. I wouldn't recommend this to a friend unless they were somehow already a fan of zen philosophy *and* super angry and reactive with their kids all the time. So people who are bad at zen philosophy, but think it's cool? Heck if I know.
Profile Image for Vui Lên.
Author 1 book2,275 followers
March 6, 2021

Sách có kha khá đoạn lặp lại chứ không là mình cho 5 sao tròn vo rồi.

Cuốn sách này thì các bậc cha mẹ rất nên đọc. Và tất cả những ai quan tâm tới hạnh phúc gia đình, hàn gắn tổn thương từ gia đình cũng nên có trong tủ sách để ngâm cứu dần dần.

Sách về làm cha mẹ mình đọc đông tây cũng kha khá rồi, nhưng cuốn này chắc thuộc top hay nhất. Khả năng cao cũng sẽ nằm trong list sách hay 2021 vào cuối năm cho mà xem.

Đọc xong cuốn này mình khao khát viết 1 cuốn là Con cái tỉnh thức ghê. Note lại đây cho nhớ chứ viết thì không biết khi nào :D
Profile Image for Saiisha.
77 reviews47 followers
September 1, 2016
The one thing that had made me a more conscious mother was the poem "On Children" by Khalil Gibran in the Prophet. It absolutely changed the way I parented from the day I read it many years ago.

I feel that this book, The Conscious Parent, is the practical guide version of that poem. It hits all the right notes for a person who's on a spiritual path, and wants to guide their children through their life on this planet:
- that at a soul level, you and your child are equal
- that your children come to awaken you to your conscious self
- that both your approval and disapproval are ways to control your child
- that you give up your "shoulds" and instead accept them as they are
- that this partnership is a chance to lose your ego!
and many, many other insights.

Despite the many examples, the book might seem a bit abstract, but it's still a great book to read that can awaken you to a different way of parenting - a more conscious way!

If you're interested in spirituality, philosophy, yoga, etc., join my Old Souls Book Club (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...) for other recommendations and thought-provoking conversations!
Profile Image for India.
116 reviews5 followers
January 4, 2014
Really interesting book. She says that our children can trigger areas of unconsciousness. In that moment we have a choice. In the moment we are being triggered we can either react from instinct and past pain or we can become aware of the feelings that are being triggered. Our children can be a catalyst for our own healing and we can teach them how to be present on an ongoing basis. Very intriguing
Profile Image for Brittney.
297 reviews2 followers
March 9, 2021
Audiobook. My therapist recommended this, and while I didn't find it a perfect book (repetitive, a woo-woo phase at the beginning), it was an important reminder to be more present and gentle with myself and my family. In the last two weeks it has already helped us all be happier at home, and I think it will help me relax as my kids become teens.
Profile Image for Janae.
204 reviews
November 8, 2014
Oh if I had been open to and received this book ten years ago. This parenting book has transformed my daily life and relationships with my husband and children in subtle but amazing ways. I have marked and reread passages and most of all my thinking and perspective has changed.

Shefali asserts that many people parent on a reactionary basis and never examine our reasons for the way we feel or do things. She believes that our children are mirrors and spiritual partners meant to help us heal as we shape our children. We should become aware of our own reactions and feelings and then we can help our children do the same.

If you are looking for methods or ways to transform your child in thirty days, this is not the book for you. This is about changing yourself not your children. Once you embrace consciousness you are more open to disciplining and accepting life and situations for what they are and uncovering the true problem or emotion behind the action. You are then more open to finding appropriate reactions. For those of you who are family and friends, at this point I insert my spiritual bend, this is when we become open to the Spirit and the inspiration needed to correctly help ourselves and our children grow together as spiritual partners.

I truly believe I was led to this book right now because it is what I needed to move forward spiritually. A truly transformational read.

Beware it takes a while to digest. My only criticism of this book is that it is repetitive. Some say the chapters on certain age groups are too brief. I can see that but I don't think she is trying to prescribe certain methods but rather helping us have confidence in our own ability to be open to "creative" ways of helping our children.

A must read in my opinion for all.

Profile Image for Tracey Sylkaitis.
87 reviews5 followers
April 10, 2015
This was the exact book I needed at the exact time in my life that I needed to read it. I have always said that my children are my greatest teachers, but until I read this book I could not articulate or even comprehend to what extent that is true. My children both have ADHD and this book answered the complicated questions that I had in regards to what this journey my children and I were on was supposed to teach us spiritually. I knew that for me raising my children and managing their ADHD was about more than just punishment and rewards systems, and me being "right" and them being "wrong". I recognized that their behavior often triggered emotions and behaviors in me that I needed to address, I just had no clue as to why and how. This book answered all those questions and so many more. This book was really an answer to my prayers and I am so thankful to Dr. Shafali Tsabary for writing it! I will be referencing this beautiful guide book again and again! It truly is a gift to all parents and all children.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
735 reviews972 followers
January 6, 2023
I don't remember why I bought this book - it must have been recommended in one of my Reddit groups. After a few false starts I was able to start reading the book, about an hour a day at lunch. It always takes me longer to read non-fiction books because there's so much info > storytelling, and I'm usually annotating, which means reading everything twice.

This is the first parenting book I've read so… what did I think?

There were some good nuggets of information. There were also some "woo-woo" things. I'm not trying to be disrespectful but there were definitely parts that made me kind of pucker like a lemon, just because it was a lot of mystical talk about metaphysical things. But I just picked out the kernels of truth.

The gist of the book is…

You cannot be the best parent you can be unless you face your past trauma.
You cannot be the best parent you can be if you have expectations of your child - what you want them to be, act like, etc. Your children are not dolls to dress up or people you can control.
You should make sure your child knows you always love and accept them, regardless of who they are, who they love, what they wear, if they fail.
Profile Image for Jekaterina Dmitrijeva.
209 reviews9 followers
November 13, 2019
Esmu lasījusi diezgan daudz grāmatu par bērnu audzināšanu, un daudzas no viņām runā ar mani caur manu prātu. Tomēr reti kura iet caur sirdi un šī ir viena no tām. Grāmata, kas jāsāk pārlasīt uzreiz pēc pabeigšanas. Gatavo recepšu nav, bet man deva vairākas tik ļoti vajadzīgas atbildes:
- mana bērna jūtu vētras nav mana vaina, vienkārši tas ir cilvēks, kas daudz jūt;
- ja mana bērna vētra sāk manu vētru, te ir ceļa sākums uz sevis izzināšanu, ja vien man pietiks drosmes apstāties un ieklausīties,
- bērna (un savu) jūtu validēšana - tas joprojām sajūtās ir diezgan jocīgi - pēc vairākiem brīdinājumiem par iespējamām sekām, pie šīm sekām nemest "es taču teicu", bet vienkārši "jā, tā gadās, to var labot, nekas traks, visi mēs kļūdāmies". Vai arī no rīta uz bērna "negribu iet uz dārziņu", atbildēt "jā, es saprotu, man arī tā gadās, celties no rīta ir grūti", nevis dusmoties (uz ko? uz dabas parādībām?), ka "ak, dies, vai tiešām atkal?". Tik vienkārša attieksmes izmaiņa,bet tik grūta tai pašā laikā. Un tik iedarbīga!
Profile Image for Gamze Harman.
38 reviews2 followers
May 19, 2020
Bu alanda okuyup en beğendiğim, fikirleri en çok desteklediğim kitap oldu. “Çocukların bizi kendimiz hakkında daha iyi hissettirmek için dünyaya gelmeyip hatta çoğu zaman bunun tersini hissettireceklerini bilmek gerek.”
Profile Image for Jurga Jurgita.
471 reviews59 followers
June 27, 2018
Turbūt pirmą kartą skaitydama knygą apie vaikų auklėjimą, susidūriau su tokia problema, kad skaičiau ir piktinausi. Atrodo, kad prieš tai skaitytos kelios knygos savo mintis dėstė aiškiai ir suprantamai, bet ši man kažkoks nesusipratimas, todėl ir teko su ja "vargti" vos ne visą savaitę. Kaip teigia knygos anotacija, tai yra naujoviškas, netradicinis, gal net revoliucinis požiūris į auklėjimą. Tai knyga apie dvasinį bendravimą su vaikais. Man tie visi dvasiniai dalykai yra kažkoks kosmosas, nes aš esu iš tų žmonių, kuriems viskas turi būti aiškiai ir suprantamai pateikta. Nesmerkiu nei tokių rašytojų, nei tokių knygų, nes kiekvienas skaitytojas gilinasi į skirtingus dalykus, tačiau skaitydama šią knygą apėmė toks jausmas, kad viskas joje tas pats per tą patį kartojasi. Perskaičiusi šią knygą supratau kelias mintis, kuriomis ir noriu pasidalinti:
1) "Sąmoningos tėvystės" tikslas - parodyti, kaip galima atpažinti emocines ir dvasines pamokas, kurias mums suteikia auklėjimas, ir kaip jas paversti akstinu patiems tobulėti, nes tik tobulėdami tapsime geresniais tėvais.
2) Sąmoningas požiūris nukreiptas į vertybes, kurios atsiranda iš santykių. Čia būtinas visiškas tėvų atsidavimas ir laisva valia, nes tik sąmoningi tėvai pajėgūs paskatinti vaiko sielos pokyčius.
3) Sąmoningai auklėjant bendraujama su vaikais tokiais, kokie jie yra, taip stiprėja suvokimas.
4) Norint priimti vaikus tokius, kokie jie yra, reikia atsikratyti žalingų gyvenimo scenarijų ir visa siela susilieti su vaikais.
5) Sąmoninga tėvystė pirmiausia prasideda nuo suvokimo, kad mūsų vaikai iš prigimties yra geranoriški ir nori tinkamai elgtis.
Profile Image for Tiffany Mercer.
302 reviews6 followers
November 26, 2014
Oprah raved about this book. I, on the other hand, could relate to about 5 pages total. I forced myself to finish the book thinking I would have an epiphany at some point, but this book is really for extremely problematic parenting cases. Those who have never related or connected to their children or who have serious issues themselves (selfishness, unaccountability, abusiveness etc.). It's definitely not for parents who feel confident in their abilities, but who lose their temper once in a while. The only good things about this book was right around page 200 where the author gives advice on being truly present and engaged with your children and how to help them open up their curiosity and become more knowledgable.
143 reviews11 followers
October 26, 2014
I saw Shefali on Oprah and was intrigued. I believe her philosophy will be very helpful for me as a grandparent,for my own growth and also how I relate to other adults. I highlighted much of the book and know I will refer to it again and again.

Now for the negatives:
--She refers to a child as "it". This doesn't sit well with me.
--She is very repetitive. This is time consuming and annoying.
--It seems like it took me forever to read the book. I got through all of it but it certainly wasn't easy.
Profile Image for Neilina Corbeau.
140 reviews9 followers
December 8, 2017
So much great advice that I really need to be following. Of course, if doing so were not an immense struggle, I would not need all these helpful reminders. I'd go so far as to say that this was one of the most relevant books on parenting that I have read. Most important take home for me personally: My parenting struggles are within myself. They aren't problematic behaviors of my children. It's my unchecked anxiety controlling my reactions to my children. My children are here to provide a mirror to help me heal my own traumas.
Profile Image for Laura.
45 reviews2 followers
December 17, 2017
I really wanted to love this book, I loved the title, loved the Oprah interview. The book, not so much. It’s a big disappointment, I kept waiting for her to come down from all the metaphysical analogies, but she doesn’t. The book was very vague and too mystical. I recommend Dr. Laura Markham books, they are much better and give specific examples.
Profile Image for Anıl.
17 reviews
May 6, 2020
Kitap bir ebeveyn için başucu kitabı olabilir, 2 yılda bir okumayı planlıyorum.

Ancak Kuraldışı yayınlarının 4.baskısını almıştım; okuduğum hiç bir kitapta görmediğim kadar yazım hatası vardı, okurken çok rahatsız oldum, yayınevine bir sonraki baskıda dikkatli olmaları için yazdım, henüz geri dönüş olmadı, umarım dikkate alırlar. Siz sakın kontrol etmeden almayın, bir sayfayı hızlıca taramanız yeterli olacaktır.
Profile Image for Brandi Heilman.
19 reviews
July 12, 2022
Easily, the best parenting book I've read. There are so many good takeaways to help become a better, more present and conscious parent. It took me a long time to get through it because, I wanted to implement concepts as I went, but it's so good. Every parent should read this book.
January 12, 2023
I really love the way dr Shefalli see the parent-child relationship. I would be great if I could remember every word from this book, every time i am with my children’s.
Profile Image for Stacy.
456 reviews25 followers
November 11, 2019
I've read a lot of parenting books, like over 30, but this one stands out as one I would recommend. I must say, I've never read anything like it, and it's approach is unique. Suspend judgment until the end, because this book does something unusual in that the bulk focuses on changing the parent's mindset/outlook on their child. Only in the last chapter does the author address "discipline", or what she terms "behavioral shaping".

To read this book is to confront your own consciousness and what in your personal history/upbringing may be acting as a trigger when you child acts out.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"To be in a state of consciousness means we approach reality with the realization that life just is. We make a conscious choice to flow with the current, without any desire to control it or need for it to be any different from what it is. We chant the mantra, "It is what it is." This means we parent our children as our children are, not as we might wish them to be. It require accepting our children in their as is form.

I mentioned earlier that when we refuse to accept our reality - be it our children for who they are, or our circumstances - we imagine that if we are angry enough, sad enough, happy enough, or domineering enough, things will somehow change. The opposite is the case. Our inability to embrace our reality in its as is form keeps us stuck. For this reason, not resistance but acceptance of our reality is the first step to changing it."

"Rarely are we raised with the understanding that life is essentially wise. To understand that life is a wise teacher, , willing to show us our higher self, revolutionizes how we live and how we parent. We approach everything with an attitude that our circumstances are here to help us come from our higher self. We see life as trustworthy, here to usher us into a deeper self-connection. We also know it's inherently good, a mirror of our own internal state of goodness. This approach recognizes that we are fundamentally interconnected to all that happens in our life, so that we are co-creator of the reality in which we live. Life doesn't happen to us, but happens with us. Neither does our children's behavior happen in a void, but is a response to our energy..."

She notes the parents who set impossibly high bars for their children to validate their own efforts as parents. Instead, she recommends:

"Set the bar for speaking from their authentic voice
Set the bar for engaging in daily dialogue with you
Set the bar for engaging in acts of service
Set the bar for sitting in stillness on a daily basis
Set the bar for manifesting imagination, creativity, and soul
Set the bar for being kind to themselves and others
Set the bar for delighting in learning
Set the bar for expressing emotions in a direct manner
Set the bar for demonstrating curiosity and a state of receptive openness."

She recommends reveling in ordinary pleasures ("the light of the sun as it sets; the smell of the laundry when we fold it; the taste of our favorite foods; the crunch of fall's withering leaves"; the excitement of starting a new book") and focusing on being truly present with your children.

Maybe I need to buy this one. There is too much wisdom to re-type all of it. I do recommend it.
Profile Image for April Selim.
4 reviews1 follower
June 12, 2018
Cultivating an attitude of presence and awareness is something that I was first introduced to during therapy for trauma over a decade ago. I thought I had a decent handle on these concepts until my daughter was born. Motherhood is magical in many ways, as everyone will tell you, but it also has relentless way of exposing all your vulnerabilities and tearing open old wounds - some you didn’t even realize you had. My years of experience with grounding techniques for anxiety and meditation for centering all went out the window.

This book was tremendously helpful for me in realizing it’s okay to accept we inherit baggage from our parents, regardless of how healthy our relationship with them may seem. In many ways, becoming a better parent is learning be kind to yourself - including becoming aware of inherited baggage and generational wounds.

It also cemented for me something I was already realizing: that the autonomy of my daughter - body, mind, soul - matters above all else. She isn’t my property or an extension of myself. Parenting with that in mind, is something that must be cultivated moment by moment.
259 reviews3 followers
March 1, 2016
A parenting book that focuses on altering the behavior of the child by means of changing the parent. In fact, the whole book is focused on teaching the parent to examine their motives, triggers, every day behavior and delve into their past and engage in constant introspection - all in an effort to not pass on the sins of your parents to your children. This isn't a "how to" manual, which she states clearly up front. Conscious parenting requires you to live in the moment and make parenting decisions based on the specific circumstances of that situation.

The first half of the book is worth reading, but full of some very extreme parenting examples from her work as a counselor (that probably most can't personally relate to). There are some great nuggets of wisdom there, so don't skip it. The second half is more pragmatic and divided into the different stages and ages of parenting. We read this in book club and it's a great book for some deep, insightful discussion.
Profile Image for Juanita.
305 reviews2 followers
May 22, 2016
I loved this book - it resonated strongly with me. When we transform ourselves and notice our triggers, this frees our children too.
One piece that i would question is the idea that there is such thing as finding a perfect balance between between too strict or too permissive. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. There is no guarantee that finding that perfect equilibrium will ensure that your relationship with your child will turn out fine. We can hope, but our children are who they are and sometimes no matter what you do as a parent, your relationship with your child may not be as you envisioned or hoped.
As parents i think it's a balance of accepting out parenting choices and also being willing to change and adapt. Parents are so judgmental of their skills - i think that the healing begins with being more gentle and accepting of ourselves first. We need to stop looking for one parenting model and instead as this author writes - transform ourselves to empower our children.
Profile Image for Amy.
3 reviews
September 29, 2016
I wish every parent would read this book. The concepts are so valuable. Unlike many parenting books, it's less about how to parent and more about how parenting itself is an invitation for your own spiritual growth -- an opportunity to develop your mindfulness so that you can respond to your children in a present and conscious way. It contains the tools to develop your awareness about your triggers and the ways in which your own ego and projections affect your relationship with and rearing of your children. A book to own and revisit yearly to see your progress as you practice.

Unfortunately her writing could be better -- wish the editor had helped more with that. A lot of sentences start with a dependent clause and follow with an independent clause... The rhythm of the text gets a bit old at times. I still give it 5 stars because the content is so great. If you can have patience with the sentence structure, it's an invaluable book.
Profile Image for Sassy C.
223 reviews34 followers
January 9, 2017
Highly recommended for everyone! - To people who are committed to both raising children with awareness and to “raising” their own level of awareness spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. It really assists in accepting the "as-is"-ness of life and letting go of any rigid expectations of past/present/future events, etc.

"When you parent, it's crucial you realize you aren't raising a mini-me, but a spirit throbbing with its own signature. For this reason, it's important to separate who you are from who each of your children is. Children aren't ours to possess or own in any way. When we know this in the depths of our soul, we tailor our raising of them to their needs, rather than molding them to fit our needs."
Profile Image for Terra  Wood.
138 reviews2 followers
January 13, 2022
Not my favorite parenting book. I felt like her negative parenting examples were extreme and not at all in line with most parents who would pick up this book. There weren’t a lot of actionable steps to move forward consciously. I also disagree with some of her views. Personally, I find being stuck in traffic for a long time as negative and I think it’s okay to voice that, “yeah, this sucks but it’s where we are now. how can we make this experience a bit better?” I would also say this isn’t really a parenting book, it’s more of a book that says, “hey, when you work on yourself that flows into your parenting and you become better at it.” But not how to work on yourself.
Profile Image for iclal Demirkan.
3 reviews3 followers
October 29, 2018
Ebeveynliğin kişinin kendi iç dünyasına ve farkındalık yolculuğuna kattıklarını anlatan, dolu dolu ve çok besleyici bir kitaptı. Kitapta o kadar çok yerin altını çizdim o kadar çok not aldım ki bitirmem çok uzun zamanımı aldı. Tekrar tekrar elime alıp gözden geçireceğimden eminim. Bölüm sonundaki şiirleri de not defterime geçiriyorum. Ebeveyn olduktan sonra iç dünyasında yolculuğa çıkan herkese tavsiye ederim.
Profile Image for Sidnie.
253 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2021
Overall a great meditation about parenting, but I always want really specific tools from parenting books and this provided more of an overall philosophy. It felt a tiny bit disjointed; like if you consulted a guru on parenting and they gave you sort of a meandering answer, but I did take some fruitful things away and it definitely fits into a more responsive and proactive parenting model, just lacking in specifics.
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