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The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  4,045 ratings  ·  333 reviews
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 chil
Paperback, 300 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Namaste Publishing (first published 2010)
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Diane It is on Kindle. It's been awhile since you asked so you probably know that. Just making sure :)…moreIt is on Kindle. It's been awhile since you asked so you probably know that. Just making sure :)(less)

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Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 physica
Chris Mower
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 m
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
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
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 s
Tracey Sylkaitis
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 ab ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I take buddhist philosophy to heart, striving to be present soothes me, helps me, makes me hopeful and feels me with compassion. This book carries the simple message that a parent's best approach to parenting is to be present with his or her children. For those who don't quite understand this, they should read this book right now. For me, it was unfortunately repetitive, and it took me a long time to finish it. I decided to read a little bit every few days to allow for the lessons to fully sink ...more
Stephanie Kreiner
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Neilina Corbeau
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: janae-s, book-club
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 decisio ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
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 a
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 you ...more
Tiffany Mercer
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Sassy C
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best
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
Rabin Rai
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Despite not being a parent, I was hooked by Dr Shefali during an interview by Vishen Lakhiani. Therefore, I set out to understand my upbringing as well as my parents better, from this book.

It's a profound, spiritually awakening book that requires a concerted and conscious effort to apply her teachings. Her teachings are infused with Eastern and Western viewpoints.

Although the teachings in the book is not easy to accomplish, the rewards of an ongoing daily process of keeping in tune to one's own
Anna Thompson
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best parenting books I have ever read. It is written from a different perspective from the others and it has changed the way I look at what I do as a parent. Written by Dr. Shefali Tsabary ( She has written this book with a combination of eastern and western principles and it is just fantastic! Every parent should read this book! ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful, thought-provoking and quick read, which I wish I had read 30 years ago when my first child was born. It is quite Jungian in its approach without using psychobabble. However, it was a bit repetitive in its concepts; perhaps intentional to reinforce learning. Highly recommended!
Dec 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting
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.
Sharon Eller
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. She focuses on the opportunity for spiritual growth for the parents, rather than trying to "fix" the child. If you are not willing to do some serious self reflection this may not be the book for you. ...more
Gregory Johnson
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book. Goes beyond traditional thinking with a more in depth application of behavioral science and holistic health features.

Outstanding for Parents as well as anyone in a Leadership position, of which being a Parent is the highest order of Leadership for mankind.
Jenifer Jacobs
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent excellent excellent. This book really brings home how to take the worry out of parenting and be conscious so that you allow your children to flourish. A bit more philosophy than parenting but oh so helpful!
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Don't bring your ego into raising your kids. Be present with them. And if you aren't thinking about it, you're in default/unconscious parenting. I liked this book. ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished it and I would like to start reading it all over again.
Lim Lyn
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This should be the first book from dr shefali that I should read but because of library availability it was the 3rd book from hers that I have read . In that sense a lot of the concepts were reinforcements from what I read from the earlier books as well as finally having the foundational understanding of what authentic self and consciousness actually means . I enjoyed this book still because of the reasons . I love at the end of the book was a summary page of key lessons from the book

Few take a
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book made me THINK, a lot. Many gold nuggets in here that totally have and will continue impacting my life and how I raise my kiddos. Talks a lot about accepting and respecting life/yourself/your offspring/humanity.. love the points on that all.
If any of my in real life friends read this and have or do read the book, I want to meet for coffee and gab about it :)

“The core of empathy lies in being able to allow the individual to experience their experiences in their own way, with us bearing
April Throckmorton
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 cent ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This just might be my new favorite parenting book. This book is all about loving and accepting your children and yourself. It dives deep into ego and why truly allowing yourself and your children to be authentic is crucial and needs to be at the top of the personal development hierarchy. Becoming present in each moment with our children or AKA being a conscious parent is the goal.

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Old Souls Book Club: The Conscious Parent, by Shefali Tsabary 11 12 Jul 05, 2016 06:26AM  
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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 lecture

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“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.” 37 likes
“It’s no surprise we fail to tune into our children’s essence. How can we listen to them, when so many of us barely listen to ourselves? How can we feel their spirit and hear the beat of their heart if we can’t do this in our own life?” 21 likes
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