Believe it or not, when I was considering becoming a parent I didn't give a second thought to the type of "parenting style" I'd choose. What I wanted to do was raise kids who knew they were loved unconditionally, loved others as themselves, and created connections in this sometimes disconnected world. Some people may call this idealistic, but I learned it's actually called "enlightened parenting." I guess you could call me soft or unrealistic, and that's just fine ,because I'm an enlightened parenting mom and, honestly, you should be, too.
When I was a kid I remember wanting nothing more than to be understood, trusted, and respected. These are some of my earliest memories. In fact, I vividly remember the all-too-familiar thought, "Why don't they understand me?" I clung to every iota of connectedness I got because my need for acceptance was so intense. Enlightened parenting takes children's inherent drive for parental connection and holds it at the center of the relationship. This connection, or relationship-based, foundation of our interactions, doesn't make my children meek, weak, or entitled. It actually makes them more accountable for their actions and decisions, almost without me even trying. Natural Awakenings Mag sums it up perfectly, saying:
“We lose sight that we’re not raising children, we’re raising adults,” says Malibu, California marriage, family, and child therapist Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting with Presence: Practices for Raising Conscious, Confident, Caring Kids. “Empower them to cope with ups and downs. Help them know and trust themselves by not legislating their opinions and by allowing them to experiment.”
Which, in a nutshell, encapsulates all the following reasons that I'm not only not sorry, but proud as hell to be an enlightened parenting mother.