What is Conscious Unparenting and is it Right For You? (Of Course It Is, Silly)

Kim Kinziefriendship, guilt, non-judgment, our book4 Comments

If you’ve stopped by our blog and maybe even read our book, you probably have a vague notion of the concept “Conscious Unparenting.” Perhaps now you’re wondering: what does it look like in one’s day-to-day life, and is this the right philosophy for me? Great questions…Let’s discuss. You might recall a year ago or more when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin split up. Rather than get a lowly divorce like the rest of us plebeian slugs, they opted for a conscious uncoupling. Of course this begs to be mocked, so that’s what Dawn and I did one summer afternoon when discussing potential book titles – hence the term “conscious unparenting.” The more we thought about it, however, the more we realized that the title truly fits what we’re trying to accomplish, as we’re not asking our readers to disengage from their children and families, but rather to intentionally begin the process of doing less “parenting” and more enjoying. For example, one of the biggest issues I face is complete cluelessness when it comes to discipline. I grew up without any sort of discipline whatsoever, while my husband was raised in an authoritarian regime. Together we’re a hot mess, as we each struggle to find a middle ground. In my attempt to do better than our parents (because that’s what we’re expected to … Read More

The Benefit of Boredom

Dawn Michaelfriendship, Screen Time, self careLeave a Comment

My daughter asked if she could have a friend come over after camp and sleep at our house for the night.  Sure!  Having another child over would encourage hours of wondrous play for my two girls.  Memories of my childhood sleepovers came to mind-staying up late, french braiding each other’s hair, and dancing and singing into an imaginary microphone.  They were in for a fun night! After camp, we drove home.  The girls whispered and giggled while the radio drowned out their conversation.  We were almost home when I got the question, “Mom, what are we going to do tonight?”  I had already offered to take them to a movie, either in the theatre or the drive-in.  Both options were shot down as Jurasic World wasn’t something they wanted to see.  There were no other age appropriate movies that we could agree on seeing.  The idea of a drive-in didn’t appeal either as they couldn’t understand the concept of being able to see the movie screen with cars parked in front of you. One daughter suggested staying home and watching Dance Moms.  “No, that’s child abuse,” responded the friend.  Lighten up kid, my girls like to watch the dancers.  It’s reality tv- exaggerated behavior, but not to be taken too seriously.  I suggested we browse the bookstore and get Del’s … Read More

Who Made Me the Judge?

Kim Kinzieour bookLeave a Comment

A few weeks ago my 5 year old started swim lessons at the Y. As he headed off with his instructor, I watched a gaggle of new moms and their babies head for the pool for the “mommy and me swim lessons.” I remember doing the same with my sons. Even though I knew he wasn’t truly learning to swim, it was something to do to alleviate those endless hours at home. I soon noticed that the women were grouped according to looks: the cute, skinny, young moms in one group; the chubby, older moms in another group; and the average but smart looking moms in a third. I listened to their conversations, which all centered around nap times and eating solids. They weren’t asking one another for advice; just sort of doing that “this is what I do” game. You know it; it’s the game where you talk about something you’re doing because you think you’re doing a great job at it, but underneath you’re really insecure and just want validation in the form of another person’s praise. It’s something we parents start the moment our children are born and it never ends. In the beginning it’s about sleep and breast-feeding; later it morphs to topics like screen-time limitations and eating habits. We speak up when we think we’re doing … Read More

The Prisoner Gets Furlough

Dawn Michaelfriendship, self care2 Comments

My life is full of endless responsibilities.  I play advocate, parent, wife, daughter, friend, and colleague, always morphing from one role to the next.  It takes concentrated effort to pull this off.  Someone always needs me for something, “Where are my gym socks?  Hey, can you take a peak at my eye?  Did you stop at Target for juice boxes and sandwich bags?  Did you sign my permission slip?”  As fellow moms, you can probably all relate.  Though grateful for the wonderful people in my life, I sometimes feel like a prisoner. It’s so freeing to give up those roles and just be me.  I crave that respite from my daily life.  I try to emmulate our book, “Conscious Unparenting” by placing my needs at least at the same level with everyone else’s.  In fact this weekend, I put myself first.  I let my husband take over my role of chauffeur, church goer, and frozen yogurt connoisseur!  I escaped to the Cranwell Resort and Spa in the Berkshires with four wonderful friends.  It took a lot of planning and money to make this happen, but the results were pure bliss!  After a weekend of shopping, eating, drinking, and relaxing, I was able to reconnnect with who I am.  I mattered.  My effortless existence allowed me to stay focused.  I wasn’t … Read More