There was so very much in The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Shefali Tsabary that resonated with me. It is not a how-to book of parenting strategies but a philosophical guide for walking the parenting journey with mindfullness. I put down the book feeling like my mind just left a conscious parenting retreat, punctuated with moments of, “Ah, yes,” and feeling spiritually rejuvenated. I definitely recommend this book for parents in the advanced class.
That said, I do have four significant points of contention.
- Lack of connection
I walked away from this reading experience feeling a definite sense of separateness as the ideal (in her opinion). But connection is the foundation of everything for humans. The author of this book sees the path to enlightenment as being a solitary one. I disagree – passionately.
- Devaluing of full time parenthood
The author conveys a clear message that working away from your child gives them the greatest benefit and further diminishes full time parenthood by expounding the insignificance of direct involvement in your child’s daily life. I wholeheartedly disagree and attitudes like this contribute to a societal devaluing of mothering.
- Only child perspective
Some of what she describes is not applicable for a family with multiple children. For example, she espouses a lot of alone time and silence. Having three little boys myself, they are always together and it is never silent.
- Traditional Public School
A lot of the book is told through the lens of a family with a child in traditional public school. So much so, that it is presented as the way of life, as opposed to a choice she has made.
Despite these concerns, I still recommend the book for parents who seek to evolve.
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