I want to share a story about what happened at my work last night as a therapist with foster kids. The little girl, who is four years old, had been having a very difficult day. The foster mom believed that she was struggling with missing her biological mom. The little girl was fighting constantly with her 2 year old sister and not listening and generally being defiant. While the foster mom was telling me this story, the little girl got into yet another fight with her 2 year old sister, so the foster mom put her on time out. When the time out was over, she was explaining to the little girl that she must share the books with her sister; that it is not fair for her to have eight books and her little sister only gets one. This is all reasonable, right? It is certainly important to teach her about sharing. However, with the concept of conscious parenting on my mind, I went over while she was talking to the little girl and asked her if I could talk to her. I said to the little girl that her foster mom and I had noticed that she was having a rough day and I asked her if there was something bothering her or making her sad. She immediately burst into tears and climbed into her foster mom’s lap and sobbed for a good five minutes while her foster mom held her and rubbed her back and comforted her. I was explaining to the foster mom that crying in this situation is actually very good for her because it allows her to release all that pent up negative energy that she has in her little body. When I began talking to the foster mom, the little girl stopped crying and became interested in what I was saying. So then I asked the little girl if there was something that was making her feel sad that day. She immediately said yes, that she was missing her “other mommy” and began crying again. It was amazing to see this little girl have so much insight into what was bothering her. After that, we talked about how normal it is when you are apart from your “other mommy” to sometimes feel really sad and miss her. I explained to her that talking about how we are feeling and sometimes crying about it makes us feel better. I asked her to tell her foster mom when she is feeling sad so that they can talk about it and she can help her to feel better so that she doesn’t end up fighting with her little sister and having to sit on time out. She really liked that idea and said she would do it. For the rest of the night, this little girl did not get in one more fight with her sister, and she was happy and smiling and literally dancing around the room playing. It was beautiful.How does this relate to conscious parenting? This foster mom was pretty sure she knew what was bothering the little girl. But instead of going straight to the root cause, she found herself, as we all do, dealing with the surface behaviors that she was presenting, in an effort to stop those behaviors. I likened it to a weed; if we want to get rid of the weed, we cannot simply pull out the leaves. Rather, we must dig down to the root to get them out in order for the weed not to thrive. By being conscious of what was really going on with this little girl, we were able to dig down to the root cause and address it with her and even at four years old, she was able to understand what we were talking about and she felt so much better for truly being heard and understood and seen for what she was dealing with and what she was feeling.Can you use this story to help you with something that your child might be struggling with?