Dr Shefali & Oprah Winfrey - Stop Trying to Get Your Children to Follow Your Script

By Daniel Schmitz, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Have you ever wished for your children to pursue a certain path in life or follow a specific profession? Have you ever caught yourself hoping they would be more like who you want them to be?

As a parent, I know how easy it is to have these kinds of thoughts and even push your children into a specific direction, instead of helping them to find their own way in life. In the following interview with Oprah Winfrey, the psychologist and author of “The Conscious Parent” and "The Awakened Family" Dr Shefali Tsabary, talks about the negative impact trying to get our children to follow our prescribed path has on them.

She says that children intuitively sense the influence of their parents and lots of them can’t handle this pressure. She makes the point about the importance of us as parents becoming more aware of our own thoughts and behaviours. Then we are able to work on changing these for the well-being of our children. We as parents can then develop a healthier connection with our children instead of becoming more disconnected from them:

“Many of the expectations we have of our children are unspoken. Despite what we don’t put into words children intuitively sense when we wish them to be other than they are. They sense that we want them to fulfil our fantasies and who they grow up to be and what they will accomplish. Yes, some children raise to this challenge and are successful but for every child who does there are a host of others who buckle under the pressure.”

- Dr. Shefali Tsabary

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a better parent, check out this article about how Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith raise their children.


I'm personally in the process of setting up parenting groups for parents to come together and support one another. I also have parenting books that I would like to exchange with other parents. If you'd like to hear more about this or have any parenting books you would like to exchange with other parents, just reply below...

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