An increasing number of parents use plant medicine to heal past traumas and to learn how to be more present with their children. Many parents use these substances in place of alcohol, or to supplant their prescription medications altogether. It follows that plant medicine teachers can help us become more conscious parents. They help us disrupt conditioned patterns and form deeper relationships with all beings in nature. Among all relationships, what is more sacred than the relationship we share with our children?
What follows are some practical suggestions and resources for engaging with our plant medicine allies to go beyond healing, and embark on our conscious parenting journey.
The Spiritual Path of Conscious Parenting
Many parents who use cannabis and psychedelics do so to end the cycle of family trauma and to overcome childhood issues. In turn, these parents form more supportive and loving relationships with their own children.
In her book, The Conscious Parent, Dr. Shefali Tsabary states that “despite our best intentions to raise our children well, in our unconsciousness we pass on emotional legacies to our children that have deep and lasting repercussions,” and that we therefore “shackle them in unconscious patterns that shut them down to their own unique being.” Dr. Tsabary teaches us that “to do justice to parenthood, a parent needs to become conscious. Only to the degree we are willing to transform our own emotional present do we succeed in positively influencing our children’s future.”
It follows that we are not just raising children. We are also raising the next generation of parents, and our parenting style will be the model they follow. Thus, if we embrace it as such, parenting is a spiritual journey that extends beyond our own finite lives. Along this journey, plant medicine can travel with us as a trusted companion. In this vein, remember children are perceptive and will learn about “drugs” one way or another; it is best if they learn from us.
Coming of Age: Discussing Plant Medicine with the Children
If we attempt to hide our plant medicine usage, we will be teaching our children that it is something to hide! Rather, as the topic arises, we must create a space for open and factual dialogue. Our intuition will guide us on when it is time to engage our children about substances. In this setting, we must be honest about our own relationship and experiences with plant medicine. If we take this approach, it follows that our children are more likely to be honest with us and come to us for help. Speaking to our children about substances will be challenging; fortunately, there are resources to aid parents along this journey.
Resources for Conscious Parenting with Plant Medicine
The available resources include guidance for responsible parental use of plant medicine. There are a growing number of support groups where parents who use plant medicine can connect with and support one another. In addition, there is a growing body of literature for discussing the topic with your children. Here are a few helpful resources; note that a quick internet search will yield many results.
Plant Parenthood was founded by Rebecca Kronman, LCSW as an in-person and online community for parents who use psychedelics. They provide guidance on topics such as safety, legal issues, and psychedelic integration from a parenting perspective. In addition, they share best practices on how to speak with your children about substances.
The Rites of Passage Project
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’ (MAPS) Rites of Passage Project is a collection of anonymous stories by families who have created their own rituals with plant medicine. Rather than waiting for young people to experiment with substances on their own or with peers, some families have chosen to create ceremonial experiences as a rite of passage for “coming of age” family members. The short essays provide a wealth of guidance for approaching the subject of plant medicine with children.
The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness
The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness is an organization which provides a variety of plant medicine assisted therapies. Among their offerings is Conscious Parenting Therapy, which is a holistic approach to cultivating conscious and healthy relationships between parents and children. Part of this program includes guidance for facilitating family discussions about cannabis and psychedelics.
Medicinal Mindfulness provides in-person therapy sessions at their facility in Boulder, Colorado. They also host virtual options for clients anywhere in the world.
Risk Reduction for Psychedelic Parents
As parents, we must be knowledgeable about the risks associated with plant medicine usage. We can mitigate risks by applying good Harm Reduction practices. In addition, Reality Sandwich hosts a library of substance guides to educate readers on a wide variety of substances. Furthermore, it is a parental best practice to ensure that one parent, partner, or another responsible adult remains sober and capable of dealing with any emergencies that may arise with the children.
Make it Sacred
Psychedelic plant medicines are a sacred gift from nature. When we engage these substances intentionally, they can be the bridge between the physical form and the spirit realm. This connection with Spirit helps us see beyond our conditioning and shows us a more conscious way of living. In turn, we cultivate the next generation of conscious, compassionate, and loving human beings, thus doing our part to elevate the human condition.