Dr. Shefali Tsabary strongly believes that children are always speaking to us -- even when they're infants, even when they haven't yet developed a vast vocabulary, even when they're acting out and misbehaving. All adults have to do, according to the clinical psychologist and author of The Conscious Parent, is train themselves to listen.
This "training" is integrated into what Dr. Shefali calls "conscious parenting," an approach that advocates viewing children as our mutual teachers with their own free-thinking personalities, rather than mini-me versions of Mom or Dad. During an interview for "Oprah's Lifeclass," Dr. Shefali discussed what children would say to their parents if they could.
"They would say to you, 'Mommy, Daddy, love me, protect me. I'll even let you lead me, but the best gift you can give me is to grow yourself up. Know who you are. Live your own dreams. Find your own purpose. And love yourself unconditionally,'" Dr. Shefali says in the above video.
When it comes to unconditional love, take a cue from children. "They will tell you so sweetly... 'I love you. You are my first love affair,'" Dr. Shefali says. "There is no greater love than a child's love for us."
Learning to love yourself and to consciously nurture your own spirit is so incredibly important, she adds, because children closely watch and absorb what they see their beloved parents do.
"And then they would say something like, 'The best gift you can give me is your own unfolding. Your own awakening. So move, go, fly free. And then, I can soar as well,'" Dr. Shefali says.
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