These three books and their author, Dr Shefali Tsabary, share such profound and progressive insight into the subjects of personal growth and parenting.
Every single person in the world is impacted by how they were or are parented, and being a parent is the most significant role we fulfil in our lifetime. I don’t believe that this is limited to the parenting of children, as there are many other forms of parenting: that of ourselves, the parenting of parents, or even showing up for friends, colleagues or family who may need parenting in challenging patches of life.
The world has changed and continues to change significantly. It is far more complex than it was, and there is far more information available (to which our children have equal access). This, among other things, leads to traditional ways being questioned by current generations, and parenting unconsciously can exacerbate the increase in our own and our children’s levels of distress.
However, the more I work with parents, the clearer it is that we have been programmed to believe that parenting is or ‘should be’ an innate capability, and that looking for guidance is an admission of failure rather than a necessary and practical choice. Sometimes, guidance is essential.
It took me a while to realise that, as my children transition into adulthood, I have as much control over the direction they take as I did when I was dumped by a particularly strong wave when body surfing. At first, I fought hard to regain control, but I soon learnt that the force was stronger than me and it was best to tumble along, with the belief that at some point I (we) would be able to breathe again.
While tumbling, I started looking for coaching and guidance, and a friend introduced me to the work of Dr Shefali Tsabary. Her work is phenomenal. Her books, such as ’The Conscious Parent’, ‘Out of Control’ and ‘The Awakened Family' are particularly compelling. I not only recommend them, but feel like these books should be compulsory for everyone, including those who would like to become parents, those who have already taken on the role and those who would like to understand how the way they were parented may have influenced their current beliefs and actions.
For a role that has such a massive influence within our societies, yet for which there is no prerequisite screening, no clear idea of what the job entails and a limited source of guidance, particularly in the years of transition from child to young adult, these books are eye-opening and reassuring in one breath. They are about our growth as individuals, in the same way as they are about how we show up as parents.
You can find more about Dr Shefali Tsabary at https://drshefali.com/