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Mindful Parenting for Entrepreneurs: How Conscious Thoko's Approach Transforms Family Dynamics.

We had the privilege of delving into the insights of Conscious Thoko, a distinguished parenting coach renowned for her expertise in conscious parenting. With a profound commitment to fostering robust emotional connections between parents and children, Conscious Thoko draws on her experiences as both a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling parent. She empathetically recognizes the challenges that parents often grapple with, encompassing a lack of knowledge about child development, the imperative journey of healing the inner child, and the continuous pursuit of self-awareness. Armed with over five years of dedicated practice, Conscious Thoko shares her wisdom to empower parents in comprehending and meeting their children's needs, facilitating self-awareness, and cultivating effective parenting skills at every stage of development. In this blog post, we uncover the invaluable responses from Conscious Thoko as she addresses key questions about her personal journey, conscious parenting principles, and practical advice for parents navigating the intricate terrain of raising emotionally resilient children.

1. Thokozile, you've been making a significant impact as Conscious Thoko, a parenting coach. Can you share your personal journey and what led you to specialize in conscious parenting?

A: Firstly, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It all started with a simple yet life-directing question: "How can I parent effectively?"

Before our pregnancy, all I knew about children was that they needed to be fed to remain alive. Character traits such as confidence, independence, curiosity, self-control, social intelligence and discovering talents were left to the teachers to develop and nurture. For some reason, this didn't sit well with my spirit, call it the motherly instinct. The gap was enormous for me. So, months went by with me doing extensive research on effective parenting.

Initially, I thought it was about being a stay-at-home mom and home-schooling which I was however, I later realized that I wanted to solidify a long-lasting connection and bond with my child, which comes with accepting the whole child and accepting things as they are. There's also an element of trauma from feeling disconnected from my parents.

2. Conscious parenting is particularly relevant for busy entrepreneurs. How does this approach offer a mindful and intentional framework for parents navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship?

A: Entrepreneurs recognize the importance of time and consistency to achieve what they set out for their ventures. Parenting is no different! Practicing mindfulness brings about a shift in perspective from children being a distraction to children being the most important work. The challenge is deciding to what extent will you allow external factors to compete with your relationship with your children and what boundaries are relevant to protect your relationship.

3. Unlearning bad parenting behaviors is a process many parents can relate to. Could you elaborate on the steps or mindset shifts involved in this journey and share some practical tips for parents looking to unlearn and relearn?

A: The starting point is recognizing that your children relate more to your inner child than your adult self. Therefore, based on this, examine your inner child's state. Is it a healthy one or one that needs healing? The best way to answer this for yourself is to see if you are often triggered by your children or if you are more reactive than responsive.

Finally, examine your relationship with control and expectations. This speaks to putting your ego in check and recognizing that most children's behaviors are age appropriate. It's only a matter of redirection and not expecting a 3-year-old to reason and act like an 18-year-old.

4. Child development is an expansive field. What are some aspects of child development that you believe deserve more attention, especially for parents who are juggling both career and family responsibilities?

A: As a parent myself, I understand the challenges that come with juggling both career and family responsibilities. In my opinion, one aspect of child development that deserves more attention is social and emotional development. Often overlooked, social and emotional skills are critical for children's success in later life. Encouraging children to express their emotions, teaching them how to manage feelings, and helping them develop healthy relationships with others are all important steps that parents can take to support their child's social and emotional growth.

5. Busting parenting myths can be eye-opening. Can you share one or two common myths you often encounter in your coaching sessions and how debunking these myths can positively impact parenting dynamics?

A: Myth - Successful parenting is about raising children who are:

- Silent and rarely complain, disagree, or cry

- Well-behaved and compliant

- A+ students who exceed expectations

- Exemplary siblings and never fight or argue

- Advanced and meet their developmental milestones on time or early.

Truth - Successful parenting is less about how perfect children are and more about how WE nurture the relationship with our children.

Learning this truth helps us overcome living in a toxic space of shame, guilt, and unfair expectations.

6. Conscious parenting emphasizes understanding and meeting a child's needs. How can parents navigate the balance between addressing a child's needs and fostering their independence and self-reliance?

A: Let Go Of The Fantasy Child:

If we have expectations of our children, they can sense it and begin to withdraw from us. Why? Because we are not recognizing the whole child in front of us.

Expectations kill the connection.

Our own needs fuel several reflexive emotional habits, including the psychological process called projection. Projection is when we put our feelings and thoughts onto others based on our history.

Undetected projection can cause conflict between parents and children, leading to severe suffering on both sides. Our children know what they feel and understand who they are. Our mostly unconscious expectations can kill the connection between us because we expect reality to change, creating a conditional kind of love. Most of our expectations for our children are conditioned by cultural archetypes. Therefore, we must learn to release or realign our expectations and not let them control our connection with our children.

7. Discipline is often associated with punishment. In conscious parenting, how can discipline be approached as a tool for guidance and growth rather than a punitive measure?

A: The term, discipline needs to be replaced with "behavioural shaping," aka positive reinforcement. Behavioural shaping implies we respond to ALL of our children's behaviour, not just behaviour we deem undesirable. All conflict is a laboratory for learning. Focus more on the positive.

8. Communication is a cornerstone of conscious parenting. What strategies do you recommend for parents to enhance communication with their children, fostering an environment of trust and open dialogue?

A: Communication differs at different stages, but it's worth noting that we communicate to connect. For example, babies can understand language long before they can master speech. To keep up with the evolving nature of open communication, you can maintain eye contact, squat down to your child's level instead of towering over them, avoid talking to your child when your back is turned or when you are walking away, use a gentle tone of voice, especially if tempers are starting to fray and smile.

9. Reflecting on your experience as a parenting coach, can you share a particularly rewarding moment or success story where conscious parenting principles brought about positive changes in a family?

A: Beautiful and worthwhile success stories for me are when parents can connect how their behaviour contributes to the conflict they desperately want to fix, and when parents can set free their children from the need for their approval. During a coaching session, a parent client of mine once said, "My son is not a problem to be fixed, he is a person to be loved."

10. For parents seeking to embark on the journey of conscious parenting, what resources or practices do you recommend for them to delve deeper into this approach and make it a sustainable part of their parenting journey?

A:Conscious parenting involves being more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours and how they affect your relationship with your child. I'm available and support parents and caregivers through my digital platforms. I offer online one-on-one coaching sessions, inner child healing programs and free digital parenting resources which can all be accessed on my website at and on social media @Conscious_Thoko.

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