Unconditional Parenting, Family Traditions, And Vows To

Posted by Arathi Ravichandran on Nov 27, 2017
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For the last couple of months, a small group of us have been getting together to share our journeys as mothers. Our first call's theme centered around the book "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn, where we talked about our parenting journeys as they related to loving our children for who they are (unconditional parenting) rather than what they do (conditional parenting). The conversation was dynamic and insightful, with everyone sharing open heartedly about their journeys with discipline and practicing unconditional love with their children.

One mom shared a beautiful practice inspired by Malika Chopra's "100 Promises to My Baby" - "a book that reflects Malika's deep awareness of the sacred responsibility of parenthood and the vows she made to help her child, and all children, grow up feeling nourished and secure."

Inspired by Malika's vows, this mom wrote her own promises to her children in a journal along with her reflections on their journeys through toddler hood. All of us were deeply moved as we listened to her share her own set of vows to her children. There wasn't a dry eye on the call!

Just in time for the holidays, our second call focused on the theme of traditions. How do we create new traditions in our homes? How do we infuse old traditions with the values that we hold deeply and want to practice with our families? What importance does tradition and ritual have in our lives and how do we build them around our children?

As we talked about our own family traditions and inspiration for building new traditions, we brainstormed different ways of incorporating the values of community, kindness, and generosity into different holidays. One mom shared a beautiful reflection on the importance of taking a step back and letting her daughter lead in the effort to build traditions. Allowing her child to decide and to drive the process gave her a sense of ownership and allowed for co-creation, rather than having all the pressure lie on the shoulders of the parents.

This week's Kindful Kids Newsletter touches perfectly upon this theme, highlighting one mom's practice of bringing Kindness Elves to the home every Christmas. She writes,

"In the first week or two of December, the Kindness Elves arrive at our home with their gorgeous little house accompanied by a tiny letter that they have written, stating who they are and what they will be doing in our family for the coming weeks. They say that they have come to share the magic of Christmas and have heard that the children have kind and loving hearts, and they want to see them for themselves! They let the children know that they will be putting out little notes each day, either praising them for the kind acts they have witnessed, or suggesting more ways we can help others either at home, school, community groups or in public." Check out the full article here .

All in all, the practice of bringing a group of mothers together to share and reflect on different parenting themes has felt healing, comforting, and incredibly eye opening. Looking forward to more calls and opportunities to connect in 2018.

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Comments (2)

  • Suchitra wrote ...

    Wonderful to read at length all that you and your group have been doing, Arathi.
    As parents we can tackle one day as it comes, and hope that the inputs, the traditions etc., all accumulate over time :)

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    excited to learn more about this :)