Do you ever start doing something different because there’s a possibility you’re being watched? I know I have.

Recently I was thinking about an event early on in my conscious parenting journey. I was at a restaurant with my family and I saw an acquaintance (let’s call her Margaret). I impulsively began to play with Lily’s hair. Why did I do it? Was it to show off how connected I was to my daughter? And why did I care so much about the opinion of this woman who barely knew me? It’s interesting to note the ways in which our behavior can change based on who’s around to see it.

Now, the road toward becoming a conscious parent is a long road! Following in this path requires that we all become acutely aware of our behaviors and the motivating factors behind them, and sometimes the Margarets in our lives, both real and imagined, can help with this. Early on in my conscious parenting journey, I developed a sort of life hack where I pretended I was on a reality TV series with cameras all over pointed at me. Is it weird? Maybe a little. But it also helped me pay attention to my behaviors, specifically in parenting.

I constantly ask myself: what are my motivations for doing whatever I’m doing? This is not to say that you should be overly concerned with what other people think about your parenting style or your relationship with your children. In fact, as a general rule, you shouldn’t care! (See episodes 96 and 97 for more on this topic.) HOWEVER, the reality TV technique can jumpstart your mental focus, forcing you to get curious about your own behaviors and their motivations and be aware of what you must modify within yourself to become a better parent.

As you develop confidence in your ability to be the mentor, the rational mind, and all the other things children need from adults, you can go from the reality TV mindset of “parent like everyone is watching” to “parent like no-one is watching.” You’ve got this!

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