Conscious Parenting vs. Old School Parenting

November 3rd, 2017 by Alison Dwight

There is a 99 percent probability that you are parenting your children with outdated and ineffectual methodology and tools.

This is known as “Old School Parenting” “OSP”.  OSP has been handed down through generations of struggling, naïve parents that environmentally created significant obstacles for emotionally healthy kids to grow and develop into their fullest potential.

What is the Revolutionary ad most effective way to create and grow the most exceptional and emotionally healthy kids??   “Conscious Parenting.” “CP”

Let me explain:

True Story>

I believed that the best way to parent my four children was from an authoritarian standpoint.  I disdained the permissive parent with kid-centric households where the child ran thee household.
Maybe I was close to the right track, yet so far off calibration like the axel point of a spoke of a wheel that is closer in the center, but leading to a far outer angle.

Let me explain.

I was kinda close.   Limit setting is absolutely essential for Conscious Parenting.  Kids LOVE limits!

The “Essential” parts I was missing was:

1.    Allowing Choice by the child to either choose to follow the limit or to challenge the limit.
2.    Teaching and guiding from an aspect of Love and allowing choice, not Fear and punishment.

This is a simplified overview, of course.  There is an infinite amount of detailed fine strokes a parent must practice to mastery as well!

And Secondly, how I was kinda close was the notion that a Permissive Parent that errors toward:

1.    No limits
2.    And Allowing the child to run the household
Is not only very challenging to repair, but quite frankly scary for the child!

The good part about the Permisive Parent was that they appeared to give unconditional love and tried to teach from an aspect of Love as opposed to Fear and punishment.  The terrible part is the child is overwhelmed by n0 structure, no limits and unhealthy control and power.

LET ME MAKE IT EASIER AND CLEARER for you after I tell you one of my many true stories.

It was the holiday break from Palo Alto High School and “one” of my three kids (I was fortunate this kid was completely open to sharing the truth on just about Everything with me…great and scary all at once by the way!) Let’s call this kid Sloan for kicks.

Sloan tells me in an excited tone of her plans for New Year’s Eve.  A bunch of kids are driving over to the East Bay to a party wherein the parents will not be home.  The house is big and they have beer, and by the way don’t worry Mom…everyone is spending the night!  Yay!!  My “Old School Parenting” model wants to scream out “Not a chance in hell.  Are you nuts?  Over my dead body!”  But, my “Conscious Parenting “ self immediately steps in and says “breathe…say nothing…yet”.

I listen without interruption, breathing heavily and consciously pressing my shoulders back and down and rolling my head from side to side trying to fain a small interested smile.  I know there is time, time to speak rationally and help her to make a different choice in the nearest future…say a day.  New Year’s Eve is a week away.

As the days go by she continues to vocalize and flesh out the plans of the Huge party as I listen, say nothing and continue to breathe heavily and stretch.  She thinks I am a weird yoga mom…and that works for me for now..  Again,  will re-iterate, I am an Old School Authoritarian parent switching over to a Conscious Parenting format that has unyielding limits, but allows choice (that does not allow harm to the child)….ie…she is Not gonna go to this party…but she is going to have to be allowed to be guided to this conclusion Herself!

Long Story Short.  Days go by and I lovingly and unyieldingly let her know that No.  I will not allow her to attend. She is furious.  “EVERYONE is going.”  This time around we come to an unusual conclusion/solution.  Her Dad will drive her to the party and will sit outside and wait for her in the car.  He will then driver her home at a reasonable time discussed ahead of time.  Apparently the party was a bit of a let down.  She arrives at 10 and comes out around 12:30 tired and happy to go home…chauffeured.  She says the party was a little lame.

The point here is this.  She made the choice.  I didn’t allow her to get harmed.  She didn’t have to lie and sneak. It was a reasonable compromise.  You can judge all you want, but the point here is Limits, Choice, Guidance, Trust, Love and Allowing experiences that will not be in a range of ‘harmful’ that is not acceptable to Your family. Remember…in general…your kids will need to enter adulthood Trusting themselves by being allowed to make choices and experience the results of those choices.  They need to know that we have confidence in them and that overtime this will create not only trust for Us…but trust in themselves to make the better choices.

What IS Old School Parenting.  “OSP”

1.    Authoritarian Dictator Style Aggressive No Choice Parenting

2.    Fear and Punishment to keep control
3.    Non open dialogue resulting in the need for child to Lie
4.    Non listening
5.    Not allowing choice.  No Trust

What IS Conscious Parenting? “CP”

1.    Setting Reasonable Limits that are unyielding
2.    Allowing Choice
3.    Having pre set up and pre understood reasonable consequences and rewards for choices
4.    Teaching and Guiding* from the standpoint of Love*
5.    Using the “Non-reactive Active Listening Technique”
6.    Doing work on your own Self Awareness of your emotional triggers, past non functional programing, awareness of your small self/fear state which leads to unhealthy control and harm.

How is it Conscious Parenting Better than Old School Parenting.

1.  Children feel safe with reasonable unyielding limits
2   Children understand they are in charge of their Choice
3.  Children understand and accept pre ordained reward and limits, including natural consequences.
4.  Children Learn to trust themselves and grow self esteem and confidence through their choice of experiences
5.  Children internalize the deep sense of trust, and unconditional love from their primary care takers.
6.  Children feel safe to tell the truth

What Can YOU Do Now.

1.  Keep a book of limits that you set together as a family
2.  Keep a book of rewards and consequences that you set together as a family
3.  Unyieldingly set limits and install immediate reward and or consequences clearly, and impeccably consistently
4.    Use Non Reactive Active Listening technique
5.  Always parent from the realm of Love.*  This requires delving into your own self awareness and a consistent daily practice* that is written down and upheald by each parent/caregiver.


Using the Conscious Parenting model and techniques, you will facilitate a child or children that learn to make wise choices through their own choices and experiences taught and guided by you as their unconditional loving, trusting, limit setting parent/care taker.  Your children will build a robust and enduring level of self worth, self respect, self care and self love that will guide them through their life journey.

Conclusion:   You are welcome to continue on with your current model of parenting whether it be in the realm of authoritarian, permissive or levels in between; but if you wish to truly be the best at what you do from your work, your self, your community and your family….please seek to learn about the Conscious Parenting Model.  You are already high level, highly educated, intelligent people.  This should seem logical.  Learning is fun!   As well, I suspect there is no other person, place or thing that is more precious to you than your children!


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