The Bridge to Conscious Parenting with a Neurodivergent Child
Parenting has no playbook.
Being a conscious parent is a skill that I, myself, am trying to develop.
I sat down with my friend, Kendra Williams. Kendra is a certified conscious parent coach, master practitioner of NLP and Mama Rising facilitator.
Kendra shares her journey on how she got to conscious parenting.
Listen to the full episode for all the details!
Want just the cliff’s notes? Read a summary recap of the questions I asked Kendra about her experience of conscious parenting.
How did you get to conscious parenting?
A California native, like many women, Kendra spent her time in corporate and climbing the corporate ladder, which led to her crash into motherhood.
Kendra took a year off from her professional life to focus on her child and during the year off she got pregnant with her second.
She learned she had to change her perspective on how she parented her neurodivergent children, how she mothered and lived her life for her family.
Taking the time off led her down a deep self-development road, which led her to conscious parenting.
Upon some Google research, Kendra found Dr. Shefali had an institute.
Dr. Shefali wrote the book of Conscious Parenting, which is a movement that started about 10 years ago.
Kendra decided to study under her and understand what conscious parenting meant.
“I need to do parenting differently, and that’s what led me here and now that’s what I help other moms do, is really embrace the journey that they’re on and view their child at a soul level as an equal.”
What is the destination of motherhood if we have to push through and get to the other side? What does the other side look like?
What people see on the outside is a parenting style. The inner work is the conscious parenting.
Shifting your mindset of what you expect of your child and why you are expecting these things of your child, this is where you will recognize that this is working.
Kendra learned that this was a mindset shift and changed into more of a conscious parent.
She learned that there is a big distinction between philosophy and a parenting style.
“The mindset shift is my child is showing not only do they have an unmet need, they’re showing me something if I’m activated. They are a teacher in our lives to say, Yeah, I really care a lot about what other people think.”
Kendra learned her child is an extension of her. She knows she needs nutrition and water to stay alive.
She knows her children should not be yelled at but treated with respect.
Do you feel you have “arrived” in your conscious parenting journey? How do you measure your success as a conscious parent?
You never arrive to your “destination” as a conscious parent. This is what being a conscious parent is about.
Similar to conscious living, there will always be more of you to become aware of.
As you continue to discover more about yourself and your inner child, your conscious parenting journey will continue to evolve.
“We’re never gonna be perfect. We’re never going to arrive. And I think that’s the beauty of conscious parenting is it’s never a pass fail.”
Being a conscious parent means trying to get back into the present as much as possible. There are multiple tools to get you there.
Neurodivergent children will push boundaries and push your unhealed inner childhood trauma. Your child is asking you to look at yourself and assess before reacting.
The journey to conscious motherhood has no arrival.
Mom and mother is a noun and verb.
Society is focused on the verb; doing the dishes, cleaning, educating, etc.
Remember the noun version: is an identity that we now hold, but not all of your identity. As moms, we wear many hats and we are worthy of being a mom.
You are the anchor, so when your world is in chaos, you need to bring yourself back to the theory, the values…that is conscious parenting.
How to break the cycle and become a conscious parent?
As a child, Kendra was taught to not cry. As an adult, she had to unlearn how to avoid that feeling.
Kendra has learned that you have to do the inner healing to understand our triggers. Our childhood influences how we parent. When we are aware we become a conscious parent.
We are human and we have some form of trauma. Trauma changes how we show up on the world. We should choose to heal our inner child trauma to parent differently.
You may not have experienced childhood trauma, but there is trauma in becoming a mother.
This can be caused with an emergency c-section or if you don’t connect with your child after birth.
The journey to motherhood can be derailed by matrescence. Major shifts are happening. You have given birth and your world changes. Your friends aren’t acting the same, physical changes, hormonal changes. The world now focuses on your baby.
All this to say, your childhood trauma doesn’t necessary mean you will struggle to connect with your child.
Learning to break the cycle will help you connect better with your neurodivergent child and become a more conscious parent.
Can you explain the discrepancies with your expectations of motherhood (in general) and being a mother to a neurodivergent child?
On the birthday, there are 4 people in play; the dream mom, the dream baby, the real mom and the real baby.
There is a grief process. Your dream child and you, being a dream mom is non existent with a neurodivergent child.
Your child is different. Parenting them will be different.
Every woman moves from the dream to the reality!
Reconcile where you are in the present; this is where Kendra found her entry point into conscious parenting.
Kendra learned to push her ego aside and view her child as her teacher. Her child teaches her where she needs to evolve internally and become a parent that her child needs.
What will it look like years from now when your children are adults and you look at them knowing that you “raised them right”?
There are three parenting styles:
If you grew up with an authoritative parent, chances are you may become an authoritative parent.
It is a personal journey to becoming a conscious parent and using a conscious style of parenting.
Where should I start if I want to become a conscious parent?
Sit down journal about these questions:
- Why did I have kids?
- What were my expectations of my child?
Sit with your answers and feelings about these questions!
When you sit down to answer these questions and processing your answers, you will awaken to being a more conscious parent.
How can mothers learn from you and what kind of support do you offer mothers?
Kendra has a group program coming in 2023.
There is a unity in a sisterhood of women going through similar struggles as mother. The group session will allow us all to connect and share our own journeys.
This program is a six weeks, that will give you the tools and build your toolbox to become a conscious parent.
We will be working on parenting triggers, helping your partner become a gentle parent, and so much more!
If you feel you need more support, Kendra also offers reup packages of four to continue to support your journey.
Remember conscious parenting is not a journey you have to do on your own. Community is built through us connecting and sharing with each other.
Feel free to comment below with any questions you have or to just share your insights on how you have learned to be a better conscious parent to your neurodivergent child.
- Show Notes: www.theotbutterfly.com/50
- Instagram: @TheOTButterfly
- Email: LauraPetix@TheOTButterfly.com
- Work with me: www.theotbutterfly.com/parentconsult
- Kendra’s resources: https://bio.site/its.kendrawilliams