[Parents Only] What Makes You the Best Parent?

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

Great Parenting ShowSince this message truly is for parents only, if you don't have children then you can totally skip it. :)

And regardless of whether you're a parent or not, please forward this message on to any parents you know who, like me, are passionate about being the best parents they can be.

Now if you are a parent…

Are there certain things about parenting that have eluded you that you wish you had answers to? Things like how to:

  • Discipline your child without ruining his or her self-esteem?
  • Help your child be successful, both academically and socially?
  • Get quick and easy nutritious meals on the table?
  • Protect your children from the dangers of cyberspace?
  • Teach your children the skills they need to avoid bullying, and to stand up when they see it happening?
  • Teach your children about money and responsibility?

If you've wondered the answers to any of these questions, you're not alone. :)

(oh believe me, you're not alone!)

With cell phones, computer access, changing educational requirements, a global economy, a world view and yet isolation in our neighborhoods and communities, parenting can sometimes be a confusing and downright daunting task. It was challenging before and now there's so much more complexity.

Fortunately, the internet HAS created greater access to information of all kinds, including parenting. It's also helping us connect to other kinds of resources and experts in ways that previously were just not possible. It's giving us opportunities to reach out and bridge all those challenges in real, practical, personal, and accessible ways.

On that note, I am grateful to officially announce my "coming out" into the parenting space.

I'll be creating a new website, resources, and programs, to help support parents in their unique, challenging, and very rewarding adventures. And as part of this "coming out," I'm going to be a featured speaker on the upcoming FREE "Great Parenting Show" hosted by Jacqueline Green.

Click Here Now And Start Improving Your Parenting

The Great Parenting Show is now in its 5th season, and Jacqueline has invited over 25 leading experts in parenting related fields to share their wisdom, humor, and more importantly, their approaches, on just how to most effectively parent our children in these quick changing times.

I will be speaking alongside experts such as Dr. John Gray, Marie Diamond, Laura Silva, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Tana Amen, Shelly Lefkoe, and my dear dear friend Farhana Dhalla (who has inspired, supported, and "nudged" me to bring my parenting work to a larger audience).

I really feel that being a great parent isn't just about having good strategies to help your kids "grow up," it's also about growing ourselves as people… and allowing our transformations to be the examples, foundations, and mediums by which we raise great kids.

That's why I'm grateful to know that in addition to some of the basic "how to get your kid to do what you want" kinds of topics that all parents want answers to, some of the speakers will also focus on on helping you take the edge off of overwhelm and stress, feel more calm and energized, bring more fun and joy into your family's life, and of course give you tools to parent with confidence and easy.

And when I take the virtual stage, I will be speaking about "The Myth of Perfect Parenting: Why Your Self-Critical Thoughts Prevent You From Being the Best Parent and How to Overcome Them."

I've been told that I'll also be fielding live questions, so if you've ever wanted to pick my brain about parenting this will be the time. :)

I've been wanting to share my parenting perspectives with a larger audience for years, and the time was never quite right. Now that time has come, and I hope that you and other parents will join me in this wonderful, mysterious, rewarding, and oh-so-challenging adventure. Click the button below to get all the call-in details!

Register for the Great Parenting Show

Just in case you can't make the live calls, they'll be recorded. So for a couple days after each show, you'll be able to listen to the replays for free as well.

And if you know any parents who would benefit from a resource like this, please forward this email on to them or click the links below to share it on Facebook.

There Is Only Now – Yoga Parenting

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

Special thanks to Ria Sharon of Yoga Parenting for this guest post!


  Yoga Parenting Course

I have this picture taped to my wall as a reminder to stay “present” with my kids. How can we release all of the baggage of the future and the past with our kids?

When a tantrum is unfolding in the present, is my mind jumping ahead to my 16-year old who’s running away from home? Or, is my mind re-living what would have happened had I sassed my grandmother the way my daughter is doing?

I take a deep breath. It’s amazing how ten seconds – just one inhale and one exhale can, in fact release all of that inner dialogue and allow me to see what is actually in front of me right now: an 8-year old girl who’s upset and tired and frustrated because her bike’s tires are flat.

But this did not happen overnight. My journey to using the breath as an integral part of my daily parenting began when I first met Michaela Turner in June 2008. Michaela is a certified YogaKids® Instructor and a long-time educator. My kids were having a blast in the demo YogaKids class she was leading at the health fair that day. I was intrigued by a conversation I was having with another mom about Yoga Parenting, a class that Michaela also teaches for parents at the Brentwood Center of Health, a holistic health center in St. Louis that is owned by my dear friend, Suzanne Tucker.

I loved the idea of using the principles of yoga, like centering, ritual, power, letting go — and applying them to parenting. Although I was skeptical at first, I helped Suzanne coordinate a few Yoga Parenting workshops. I got to witness how effective the curriculum was for a number of families with kids of all ages; from toddlers to elementary-aged kids, even college kids. Of course, I began to sprinkle in a few of the ideas into my daily routine and I was impressed that they actually worked!

For example, I started using signs. Just like the reminder I have up for myself now, I put up signs for my kids. I have a sign that says, “Brush your teeth” on the door to the bedroom, in case they’ve forgotten as they head to bed. I have a picture of them with backpacks and lunch boxes taped to the door at their eye level, to remind them of what they need as they leave the house. Simple, daily tasks that used to be the root of conflict between us have been effectively shifted to ways they can demonstrate their capability. Little shifts like this have removed me from the power struggle, increased their self-esteem, and delivered exactly what Yoga Parenting promises: more joy, less stressful parenting.

As chance or fate would have it, I got to work with Michaela extensively because Suzanne and I decided that the message of Yoga Parenting was compelling, so much so that it could be translated into a powerful online parenting course. Although the live classes at Brentwood Center of Health were popular, it’s reach was limited by parents’ schedules and location. The online format would give anyone access to Yoga Parenting, at their convenience. So we got to work.

After 18 months; many hours of taping and editing and testing, the 8-week online Yoga Parenting Course is available. Each lesson, which includes an audio and written version is delivered to every seven days. And then, participants get to join in an ongoing Yoga Parenting Discussion Board. The “happy accident” is that in the process of developing the parenting course, I was soaking up the principles that Michaela developed over a career in classrooms and bringing it into my own home.

The bell, a sign that everyone must stop and take three deep breaths, is now a regular event in our day. What’s even better is that I can now fondly recall when one or the other of my children will call upon Yoga Parenting tools to deal with stressful situations. Like the time that my daughter stomped away from me saying, “Mommy, I just need to sit in the car and calm myself.” Or, when my six-year old son and I were arguing about something and my daughter used her BIG VOICE to say, “DONG!!!” just like the bell! Of course, then we all take three deep breaths and then busted out laughing. Just like that, Yoga Parenting brings us back to the present.

Magic happens in that now moment. Now — that’s where life is.



Ria Sharon is a single mom and she claims, also a “student” to two elementary-aged children. She is the co-creator of My Mommy Manual and Yoga Parenting.

She has focused her professional career in communications, first in traditional media for large consumer brands like the Kellogg Company. More recently, she has devoted her expertise to the building of online communities. In this capacity, she has worked with WEGO Health and Wellsphere. Now as Practical Mommy on MyMommyManual.com, she sources advice from experts in the field of parenting as well as children’s and women’s health.

The Story of When I Lost My Son

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

Since becoming self-employed in April of this year, one thing I’ve really come to enjoy is being able to spend more time with my almost 3 year old son`. He truly is a spiritual inspiration to me – whether it’s his innate nature to be totally present in the moment, or when he’s climbing play structures in ways that scare even me just a little bit (and I’m adventurous!), or when he’s running away from home.

Now about that last part…

If you’re a parent, you know there are two unalienable truths about toddlers. First, never never ever let them out of your sight – not even for 10 seconds. Secondly, if it’s quiet then you know that something has been destroyed, defaced, or has disappeared. :)

Well, a few months back, my son was playing just outside the door on the front porch for a little while his mother was doing something. She turned away for… oh about 10 seconds… and shortly thereafter noticed the house had become…

Quiet.

Nothing had been destroyed nor defaced, but our son had disappeared! Knowing his adventurous and curious nature, we immediately started looking around the neighborhood. His mom went to the park (one of our son’s favorite places), and I drove around a bit with the windows rolled down listening for a lost crying little boy just wishing to be found.

After about 10 minutes, we regrouped back at home to think about "Plan B." I figured if I didn’t hear him crying, that meant he was probably enjoying himself – since we already knew he wasn’t at the park, I figured I’d go look in a few places in the neighborhood that are generally forbidden to him (because of his devious nature – not out of any danger to him). I checked them out, and he wasn’t anywhere to be found.

I paused for a moment and silently prayed. I asked for higher guidance to bring me to him. Within less than a minute of that prayer, I look up to see an older woman walking alongside a suspicious looking small character riding a small toy tricycle.

It turns out, that he had tried to go to the park but the woman encouraged him to stay in the neighborhood. For a little while, he had even played in the forbidden land where I had previously looked for him. However, in the moment I found him he was just enjoying a leisurely ride on his bike with his newfound friend.

Some parents might have scolded their child. Often when somebody else does something that scares us, or makes us feel out of control, we scold them. Our hope is that by scolding the person, that he or she will then conform to our desired behavior – and in the case of a child running away, our hope is that the child will learn not to run away. However, as we move further in our spiritual development is important to become conscious of the deeper lessons to be learned and how we affect others.

Jesus once said that we must become like children to enter the kingdom of Heaven. During his time away, he clearly was living in Heaven – he was in complete trust and unity with his environment, he was engaging the world with curiousity and passion, and he exemplified courage, kindness, and joy.


If that’s not Heaven on Earth then I don’t know what else could be.

It became clear that our son was teaching us very profound spiritual lessons, simply by living as an example of what I aspire to embody. That’s why scolding him would have been hypocritical – scolding would have sent him a very clear message that he can’t trust the world, and that qualities such as curiosity, passion, courage, kindness, and joy, are not welcome… we would have been punishing him for being exactly the kind of person this world needs more of.

So what did we do?

 Picture of my son

We made a new friend and enjoyed the bike ride home, where we played for a little while and ate breakfast while enjoying the sun coming through the windows in the early morning.

We also learned a few practical and spiritual lessons, and we laughed alongside this little enigma in our lives.

As a parent, I draw upon many different influences to raise my son in a happy, healthy, and conscious way. I am extremely selective about which ‘parenting philosophies’ I adopt and use in his life, whether it be attachment parenting, unschooling, co-sleeping, unconditional parenting, just to name a few…

And I’m always conscious about how my own beliefs (conscious and unconscious) are affecting him. Though it’s very rare I find a parenting resource I truly want to share with others, when I do you can bet that it’s something worth taking a look at. And one such resource is Rhonda Ryder’s “Kids Awakening” website.

There she is giving away her ebook "The 7 Secrets of Sharing the Law of Attraction With Kids and Teens". I’ve read it already, and though my son is too young for me to ‘teach’ him verbally about some of the spiritual principles in our lives, that guide was helpful for me to look more closely at myself and how I can continue to teach him through example. It reminds me that even when he "runs away" there are greater forces at work for both my son and myself to learn from.

(though a lot of times it seems like he is teaching me much more than I’m teaching him!)

The neat thing is, Rhonda’s work goes deeper than that. She’s giving "The 7 Secrets" away to introduce people to her more comprehensive "Inspired Parenting Course" which is based off of interviews she did with 5 teachers of the secret:

Dr. Joe Vitale, Marie Diamond, Bob Doyle, Dr. John DeMartini, and Mike Dooley (who by the way will be visiting Portland on Nov. 5th at Powell’s Books – and I definitely plan to be there!)

One thing I really like about Rhonda’s Inspired Parenting Course is that it, like Inscribe Your Life, points out that for spirituality to work effectively in our lives, we must be willing to work with both our conscious and unconscious beliefs.

It’s not enough to take action, if those actions are being undermined by limiting beliefs that are lurking in our subconscious. This is even more important as parents, since our actions directly and indirectly affect our children for their entire lives.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

Tonight coming home from the park, my son (now 2 1/2) looked inside the window and saw his mom using the laptop. He says, “Mama, Mama, ‘puter.”

When we got inside, I half-jokingly mentioned it was probably time to get him his own laptop. Okay, I wasn’t really joking… I was serious ;)

So I start looking online for kids laptops, and it turns out there’s quite a lot of them! Not “real” laptops, but great ones for kids to feel like grownups.

And of course I’m searching on Amazon because it’s a “trusted” source, and I come across this particular laptop:

Small World Express Preschool Toys Laptop

I only offer the link as proof of what I’m about to show you next. And I ask you, what’s wrong with this picture? :)

Small World Express Preschool Toys Laptop

Championing Your Children to Develop High Self-Esteem

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

 A happy confident child - not mine :)

I did not write this article – I got it via email Self Esteem Newsletter that I’m subscribed to.

Studies show that high self-esteem is the #1 ingredient essential for developing happiness, fulfillment, rich relationships, and overall success in life. In the life of every child, usually sometime between birth and age 6, something happens to have the child doubt him or herself. Someone says or does something that has the child believe that he or she is flawed, unlovable, not worthy, imperfect.

This initial stressful incident is the first real realization that the child is not perfect and fails to measure up to society’s standards in some important way. The initial upset can be one of two types. The first assault could be an unkind word from a peer or authority figure, a spanking, an insult, an argument, a bullying or name calling episode. It could occur as a direct result of something the child said or did that provoked an attack on his or her sense of worthiness or ability to fit in.

The second type of self-esteem diminishing episode can be as a result of the child misinterpreting someone’s words or actions to mean that the child is flawed, unlovable, or defective in some way. In such a case, no insult or demeaning connotation was intended. The facts were that someone said or did something. The child mistakenly made up that there was something wrong with him or her as a result of what was said or done.

Daily, there are hundreds of opportunities for a child to misinterpret life in a way that tarnishes their self-image over the long term. A common example of such a misinterpretation can be when parents get divorced. What happened was the adults fell out of love or realized that they wanted to separate. What the child made up was that if he had only been a better boy and did a better job cleaning his room, or picking up his toys, mom and dad wouldn’t have fought so much and would still be together. The child may make up that he is bad and people leave him because of this.

Another example of this faulty reasoning might be an episode where the parents drop off a child for a week with a relative. Perhaps they feel they need a vacation or might need to tend to some business matter and decide that it would be easier for the child to be minded by a sitter. The child makes up that his parents don’t love him and that people want to get rid of him. With this sort of tendency toward faulty interpretation, there are literally thousands of opportunities for the child to attach a meaning to the situation that begins the process of eroding self-esteem.

The process of diminished self-esteem does not stop at such an initial decision regarding the child’s value. The child, armed with the belief that she is not good enough, now scans for additional situations that may serve as more evidence to reinforce this initial thought of being flawed. During such potentially upsetting events, the child reinforces this idea of unworthiness by further interpreting life events to prove the fact that she is defective. After years of accumulating such evidence, their self-image deteriorates further with every episode. Before long, there is no doubt in the person’s mind that there is something wrong with them. After all, they have created a self-fulfilling prophesy to cement this belief firmly in their self-perception.

Parents can do much to support their children to feel good about themselves and to champion their child’s self-image. They can continually reinforce the concept that no one is perfect and all one can do is their best. They can be a source of unconditional love, supporting the child at every opportunity and encouraging them to see themselves as worthy of affection, abundance, love, and trust. They can make sure that the child understands that they, as parents, might not always agree with the child’s behavior. However, they can continually reinforce that the child is NOT their behavior. Everyone makes mistakes and life is a process of learning and growing. No matter what mistakes the child makes, he or she must realize that they are always inherently good, lovable, and worthy.

Parents can continually reinforce that they love their children unconditionally. Children need to realize that even when they make mistakes and parents do not approve of their behavior, this does not affect their love for them or their sense of value. Children will benefit from knowing that they are loved for who they are, not just what they do.

Parents can speak respectfully to their children, reassuring them of their competence, capability, and inherent value. They can empower them to make their own choices whenever possible, fostering their belief in their own ability to make wise decisions and learn from any mistakes. They can give them responsibilities that nurture their self-confidence and belief in their abilities. Whether that looks like making their bed, helping with household chores, or selecting their favorite juice at the grocery store, each can serve as an opportunity for the child to grow in self-confidence.

Parents can consistently acknowledge their children for worthwhile qualities they see in them. They can get into the habit of finding something good about them every day and pointing it out. Parents can support their children to see what might be missing for them to be more effective with other people or in accomplishing their goals. Rather than focusing on their weakness and faults, they can empower their strengths and communicate that everyone has unique talents and gifts that make them special. They can support children to identify their passions and pursue their special interests and develop their gifts.

Parents can teach their children to interpret life with empathy. They can support them to imagine what it is like in another person’s world so they can better understand why people do the things they do. They can support their children to not take the reactions of others personally. When children realize that no one else can make them angry, sad or afraid, only they themselves can, they learn to not be reactive and easily provoked by others’ issues. Parents can teach their children to forgive themselves for mistakes they make. They can teach them the value of cleaning up any mistakes by speaking and acting responsibly. They can also teach them to forgive others, knowing that they are doing the best they can based upon how they see the world. This does not mean that we condone bad behavior. It means that we can better understand why others do hurtful things at times and separate out that they do them rather than interpreting that they do them TO us.

Parents can teach their children to have gratitude for their blessings in life. They can teach them that the world is an endless source of abundance for those who believe in themselves and their ability to attract good things. They can teach them to expect success, happiness, rich relationships, and abundance. They can also teach them to play full out for what they want, committed to their goals with a vision of success without being attached to any result.

Many mistakenly confuse high self-esteem with ego. It is important to distinguish between fostering high self-esteem in children, as opposed to creating ego-maniacs obsessed with themselves at the expense of others. High overall self-esteem means being competent and capable of producing a result in every area of life. This includes being effective in our relationships and in our communication with others with an appreciation for what it is like in the world of other people. Those who care only about themselves with no concern for others do not, by my definition, possess high self-esteem.

It would serve parents to commit to themselves being perpetual students of personal development, knowing that their children will model their actions and their approach to life. It is with such an energy of respect, love, and acceptance that children will receive the tools they’ll need to grow into self-actualized, happy, and self-assured adults possessing high self-esteem.

For more information on how to develop extreme self-esteem for you and your children, visit The Self Esteem System.

Yours in Soaring Self-Esteem,
Dr. Joe Rubino
Dr. Joe Rubino - The Self Esteem System



Why I Encourage My Son To Touch The Hot Stove

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

 my Son

When it comes to parenting, sometimes our desire to protect our children actually disables them from experiencing the world in a way that they learn what’s best for them. How many times do parents say “Don’t do that! That’s dangerous!” or some variation of that? These are perhaps the most common phrases among parents of toddlers, and as a result, they become very tired phrases.

It’s only natural to want our children to be safe. However, when we look at things from a bird’s eye view, sometimes the paradigms that we were raised with won’t work if we want our children to be simultaneously safe and empowered. Today I’m going to begin sharing with you some of my thoughts about conscious parenting and what it takes to raise an aware and enabled child.

Much of what I will write is based off of Alfie Kohn’s work in Unconditional Parenting, although as it is my interpretation and application of his work, you’ll probably find significant differences. I also integrate facets of attachment parenting, unschooling, spirituality, The Diamond Approach, and other modalities… which makes for an interesting and ever changing exploration of parenting.

Today I’m going to start with a principle that is an extension of unschooling. If you haven’t heard of unschooling before, then here is what I personally consider it to be:

The experience of learning naturally, in ways that are uniquely suited to a child’s unique preferences and interests, and is facilitated through through the experiences of life.

There is no formal learning time nor a specific school because every moment, and every place in the world, is an opportunity for the child to enjoy learning through personal and experiential discovery.

I personally prefer to create an environment in which I don’t have to say “No” as frequently as many parents do. It is my desire that my son has as many opportunities to learn through his own experience as possible, so that he can personally discover what is right for him.

The reason for this is that when I tell him “No,” I am imposing MY views onto him. I’m telling him what I believe is right for him (or I’m just trying to control him from annoying me somehow), and not giving him an opportunity to find out for himself what is right, or why I might want him to refrain from a particular behavior. Ultimately, this creates a situation where he will usually obey me in my presence, yet when I turn my back, he’ll stick his hand in the proverbial cookie jar… or on the hot stove

Right now he’s only two and a half, so some of that is inevitable simply by the psychological nature of toddlers. That’s perfectly normal as he’s exploring his independence and pushing boundaries. However, what happens when those boundaries become dangerous? What if he wants to stick his hand on a hot stove?

Should I let him burn himself? After all, that sure will teach him not to touch hot things anymore! He would learn through his own experience, and though it may scar him, it won’t kill him. It’s easy to interpret what I’m saying in both of those lights; however, neither one truly expresses nor honors my ultimate goal which is to simultaneously let him learn what is right for him, while also keeping him safe.

Rather than talk theory, I’m going to use this as a concrete example. He has never burned himself on the stove, AND, I don’t have to tell him ‘No’ or ‘Don’t touch the stove.’ Here’s why…

When he was about 1 1/2 years old, he became tall enough to reach over the edge of the stove and put his hands on the burner. The first few times, we pulled his hand away to protect him. However, I really didn’t want to have to say “No” or scold him for the next year or two while I tried to condition him not to engage in that behavior. When possible, I try to avoid directly conditioning him with my own beliefs.

Instead, I approached the situation two-fold. First, I started turning on the heater intentionally to a point that it would be uncomfortably hot, and at the same time, not burn him. Then, when he would reach for the burner or heating pot, I would simple tell him, “It’s hot” and “It will hurt” and that’s it.

The first few times, he touched it, pulled his hand away and made a face and sound that showed he really didn’t like it. He never cried, and yet, he learned from personal experience a couple of things – he doesn’t like touching hot things, and when I say “It’s hot” or “It will hurt” it’s probably a good idea to trust my wisdom.

Now he still loves to stick his hand on the burner and play with it. He’ll get up on a stepping stool, grab burners, and do all sorts of things with them. However, before he does he always places his hand near or over the burner to see if it’s hot – and only if it’s cool, does he actually play with it.

I never have to say “No” or even worse “I told you so.” Instead, I’ve created an environment where he can explore a usually dangerous situation in a very safe way… in a way that enables him to make decisions for himself, and in a way that can be transferred to other experiences.

Now when I tell him something else is “hot” or it will “hurt” he usually steps away and trusts my guidance.



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