Traditionally, the model of parenthood has been linear and hierarchical, where the child is seen as “lesser-than” or more “moldable,” ready to be transformed by a “greater,” “more-knowing,” parent. Here, the ?set up? is such that the parent holds the greater power in the hierarchy. The conscious-parenting model seeks to turn this traditional dynamic on its head. It cuts through the illusion of hierarchy which is set up so that the parent retains control, and seeks to disintegrate it. It equalizes the playing field and asks parents to step off their pedestals of dominance and power. It does so, by clearly shattering the myth that the relationship between parent and child is unidirectional. It challenges us to see the truly circular potential of this journey, underscoring how our children contribute to our growth in ways that are perhaps more profound than we can ever contribute to theirs.

The conscious-parenting model refuses to view this journey in its traditionally dualistic manner where the ?greater-than? parent bestows its gifts upon the ?helpless, lesser ?than? child. Here the journey is seen in an entirely different manner ? as truly circular, where each in the dynamic is called upon by their higher selves to enact their “spiritual duties.” Here, the child is seen as pivotal to the parent?s spiritual and emotional transformation as much, if not more than, the parent is for the child. Here, both give to each other, encircling each other with spiritual riches. The parent is called upon to provide the child with emotional guidance, stability, acceptance and safety. The child is invited into the parent?s life to teach it something only a child can ? how to engage with Life with in-the-now-presence, authenticity, ego-detachment and joyful spontaneity; the diamonds of conscious living.

Many of us parents find it impossible to embrace our children in their as is form. Instead we seek to impose upon them ideals that are plucked from the confines of our past conditioning, and because they are “ours,” we feel the unbridled power to do so. Without our realizing, we raise our children in a manner that squelches their true authenticity and being-ness. It is here, in our resistance to their state of constant evolution and pure being-ness that we are allowed to be exposed to our unconsciousness, and through this awareness, are offered a chance to break free from the clutches of our past. However, unless we parents are willing to see our children as the vessels of our spiritual growth, we will stay stuck, unable to grow into the parents our children need us to become.

It is our spiritual obligation to allow ourselves to be transformed by our children as much as we seek to transform them. It is our sacred responsibility to them that we uncover our deep unconsciousness and rise out of slumber. Our children will be the better for it. More importantly, it is us, who will walk with arms outstretched, towards the sun. And our children, they will dance freely in the shadows of their own light.


Dr. Shefali

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