Chris Cade's Blog » Conscious Parenting

Posts Tagged ‘Conscious Parenting’

How Do I Do It?

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Conscious Parenting

As an entrepreneur & father, it is very challenging to do what I’ve done…

First, to nearly abandon the approach I’ve taken to serving you for nearly a decade.

And secondly, to be a single full-time father while doing it.

It’s taken courage, ingenuity, faith, and a whole lot more.

In that spirit, I thought I’d share with you two articles on the Patreon blog which featured me…

And it explores some of the ways I’ve handled those two challenges while being of service to you. 🙂

    How Patreon Helps Creators Do What They Love

  1. The Patreon Creator’s Guide To Managing Work And Family
  2. I hope you enjoy them, and more importantly, I hope that these articles & the wisdom that I (and others) share are helpful to you in your own life!

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, 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…


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

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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