An introduction to peaceful parenting
Peaceful parenting is an approach to raising children in which there is no violence such as spanking or hitting, no punishments such as grounding, time-out or removing privileges, no shaming, no manipulation, and no toxic language used towards children.
The idea in peaceful parenting is that as a parent, you want to work with your child, cooperating and finding solutions to problems and challenges together, instead of resorting to violence and punishments, or threats of violence and punishments.
Peaceful parenting is not a permissive parenting approach where the parent is hands-off and un-involved. Instead, in peaceful parenting the parent is very involved in their children’s lives, and works to stay attuned and connected with the child throughout the child’s life.
How Does Peaceful Parenting Work?
In peaceful parenting, when the parent determines that some limit is needed (to ensure the child’s safety, for example), the parent informs the child what that limit is (for example not running into a busy street, or can not allow a ball to be thrown in the house), then expresses empathy and understanding for the child’s disappointment or frustration about the limit that has been set.
The key to how it works is in the empathy and showing understanding about the child’s upset feelings and emotional reactions. Instead of being dismissive or trying to silence the child for feeling upset, angry or frustrated, the parent holds space for the child to express themselves.
When a child is helped through expressing emotions in a healthy way, they develop better capabilities to handle those emotional difficulties, as well as feeling more connected with the parent. The greater connection and emotional intelligence, the increased willingness a child has to listening to the requests of the parent in the first place.
But peaceful parenting is less about finding ways to make the child compliant with the demands of the parent, and is much more about working together, cooperating, and being non-hierarchical. So it isn’t really just a gentler system of control, it’s actually about letting go of control as much as possible, and trusting and providing space for the child to develop into the person they were meant to be.
Peaceful parenting is based on connection
The basis of peaceful parenting is in the strong connection developed between parent and child. The closer the connection, the less conflict and difficulty.
In peaceful parenting, we want to avoid causing the disconnection that is created by spanking, shaming, forcing consequences and making threats. And we want to find alternatives that strengthen connection and empower children to make their own choices. We also want to be allowing for our children to make mistakes sometimes, and then to be there for them as they learn from their experiences, rather than hushing and shaming, or telling them we told them so.
If you’re interested in taking the next steps with peaceful parenting with your children, contact me today for a consultation.