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Dr. Shefali Tsabary: Stop Seeing Your Child As An Extension Of Yourself (VIDEO)

05/16/2014 08:50 pm ET

Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and author of The Conscious Parent, has made a name for herself by calling for a radical restructuring of the parenting hierarchy. Rather than following the tradition of a leader giving orders from above, conscious parenting eliminates the ego and sets aside the desire to create what one believes is "the perfect child," as Dr. Shefali explains during an interview for "Oprah's Lifeclass."

"[Conscious parenting] means we no longer look at our children as an extension of who we are, because when we do that, we unleash all our emotional baggage onto them," Dr. Shefali says.

The conscious parent, she explains, understands that children are not possessions; they are expressive, free-thinking individuals with their own spirit and interests. "They are not ours to possess, to control and dominate, and to act as if they are our puppets, our minions, our products," Dr. Shefali says. "Because that's where we begin messing it all up."

At the heart of Dr. Shefali's approach is the idea that conscious parenting is an unending journey -- not an achievement you can earn and complete. "This is not some perfect destination where you get an award [like], 'You Are Now a Conscious Parent," Dr. Shefali says. "It is a constant state of evolution."

What's especially powerful about making this parenting shift is what parents are able to learn from their children once they become more fully conscious, Dr. Shefali says.

"Moment after moment after moment, your child acts as your mirror," she explains. "Through every interaction you have with your child, you are really interacting with yourself. Every way you relate to your child is a reflection of how you relate to your own inner world."

Dr. Shefali joined HuffPost Live on Friday to talk more about conscious parenting. Watch the video below for more from that interview.

"Oprah's Lifeclass" with Dr. Shefali Tasbary airs Sunday, May 18, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN, following Dr. Shefali's appearance on "Super Soul Sunday" at 11 a.m. ET.

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