It was one sunny afternoon in California that I accidentally landed up on Oprah’s episode with Dr Shefali Tsabary. Just five minutes into the episode, I knew how much I wanted to read her book, “The Conscious Parent”. https://www.amazon.in/Conscious-Parent-Shefali-Tsabary/dp/1897238452. Why? It resonates so closely with my thoughts about parenting but obviously comes from a learned person backed by research. Often times when we become a parent, we have this big, huge, gigantic vision for our new bundle of joy. We want them to be a musician, a dancer, an academician and so on. Don’t worry – I am not going to take the 3 Idiots route. That’s not what I want to say, even though that’s an equally valid point of view. What I am saying is that as soon as we become parents, we have this big picture of what we want our child to be. And why not, we made this gorgeous/handsome being. So why not? We own it, don’t we? Well, the fact of the matter is we don’t. We don’t own anyone and no one owns us. We are all here as different souls trying to serve a certain purpose in each other’s life.
So what possible purpose can this tiny being serve in my life? A big one if you ask me and if you are ready for the transformation – ready for that big leap of faith. They are mirrors in our life reflecting our biggest challenges, weaknesses; pressing our pressure buttons just so much harder. Why? Because they came into our lives for us to grow and evolve not the other-other way round. And only if we take parenting as an opportunity for self-growth can we become conscious and happy parents and beings. Imagine this scenario –
My two year old loves her letters and number magnets. Except she only very rarely likes to stick them on the magnetic board or the refrigerator. More often than not, they find their place on the floor after travelling a very forceful projectile kind of trajectory from the bed or the table to the floor. And each time she deliberately throws every single magnet, oftentimes making direct eye contact with me or my husband trying to tell us, Heeeeree, goooooes, ooooooone, aaaand twoooooooo and so forth, I cringe. The sane person inside of me wants to yell at the top of my voice for making our house messy again when I might have just cleaned it up a few minutes back. The mother in me wants to teach my toddler some discipline, “You don’t throw stuff on the floor. And if you do, it’s you who picks it up, not Mamma or Papa.” And believe me, this happens numerous times a day. You often get tired just fighting it in your head and trying to teach. So I took a step back, sit in silence just watch her throw those magnets not knowing how to get her to stop. In that silence, I realize a) she started doing it as an experiment, “Let me see what happens when I throw this stuff on the floor.”, b) smart as they are, she quickly realized it was giving her the attention she wanted because I would look at her and ask to stop. As soon as this realization hit me, I found a comfortable place on the floor and started putting them back on the refrigerator and she joined me in our latest play. I didn’t need to discipline her, I just needed to create a new game for her. After all, it’s all about play at that age.
Each one of these imperfect, messy moments is an opportunity for us to sit back and reflect to identify how one can rise above the chaos and identify those deeper needs of connection. It’s all about re-inventing, re-connecting.