Conscious Parenting: Breaking Generational Curses


Generational curses? Conscious parenting? Gentle parenting? Had you mentioned any of these terms to me five years ago, I would have tilted my head and looked at you with utter confusion. Five years ago, I knew nothing about parenting and was reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting; because I knew nothing about being pregnant either. I had never decided if I wanted children until I got pregnant with my first. He wasn’t planned, but from the moment I knew he was growing inside me, I knew I wanted to give him the best life I could.

Pregnancy was difficult. The newborn phase was also difficult; it’s not easy to function off three hours of sleep while your hormones are raging, and you can feel your internal organs working their way back to their original positions. I didn’t feel like I was beginning to grasp motherhood until he was about three months old. And once he began sleeping through the night, everything felt more easygoing. That is until the terrible twos started, and my easy breezy days turned into days filled with screaming, hitting, biting, and the occasional headbutt. Once again, I had no idea what I was doing. So, I did what most people do and turned to others with more experience for support and advice.  

Except I didn’t like the advice that I was being given. “Slap him on his hand when he hits,” “flick him in his mouth when he bites,” “ignore him until he stops acting that way,” “spank him, and don’t apologize, you’re his parent.” I’m ashamed to say that I have tried corporal punishment a handful of times. Every time I put my hand on him, he cried. And seeing him cry because of the pain I caused him, emotionally and physically, was heart-wrenching and resulted in me crying and apologizing profusely. I realized that the advice I was being given was only causing more harm and not resolving the issue at hand. I still had no idea what I was doing, but I began doing my own research instead of consulting others around me. I started seeing terms like “generational curses,” “corporal punishment,” “gentle parenting,” “conscious parenting” and began to fall down a rabbit hole of self-reflection and trying to better myself as an individual and as a parent.  

The more I read, the more I resonated with the concept of conscious parenting. I realized that to give my child the best life and form a secure attachment with him, I needed to first focus on healing myself from my childhood traumas and breaking the generational curses before me. I grew up in a less than favorable household. My mom was grievously abusive. Abusive to the point where CPS was involved multiple times, and I feared for my life on more than one occasion. She is the reason I questioned if I ever wanted kids. What if I have kids and I turn out just like her? What if I don’t know how to be there for my children because my mom wasn’t able to be there for me? Those are legitimate concerns that I cower before frequently, even two kids later. My biggest fear is that I will somehow repeat my mother’s mistakes and end up with traumatized children who resent me. But I have some advantages: my dedication, my perseverance, my receptiveness, and Google at my fingertips. You could say that my advantages are because I’m a Capricorn, an INFJ, or a part of Gen Z, but they are my advantages regardless of how I acquired these traits.  

It’s because of my advantages (and an unsettling fear of failing as a mother) that I kept searching until I came across something that inspired me. And that thing just happened to be gentle/conscious parenting. Viewing your children as teachers, not just people who need to obey your every command. Focusing more on controlling yourself than controlling them in situations where tensions are high. Viewing your children as equals, respect has to be given for respect to be earned. Viewing yourself as a guide for your children instead of just protectors or enforcers. And seeing your children for who they are instead of just who you want them to be. If I have one goal in motherhood, that goal is to raise emotionally competent children who feel that they can thrive in the world as adults and know that their mom always has their backs. I know motherhood isn’t a perfect journey. I know that I’ve already made several mistakes, and I’ll, unfortunately, make numerous more. But the important thing is to acknowledge mistakes, work to repair those mistakes, find a better alternative for next time, keep putting in the work, and give ourselves some compassion. The pursuit of knowledge and bettering oneself is an endless one, just like motherhood.