Safeguard Your Relationship With Your Child!
What is Peaceful Parenting?
Peaceful Parenting was pioneered by my mentor, Dr Laura Markham, Clinical Psychologist, Parenting Coach and founder of AhaParenting.com, author of the world renowned books "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids", Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings" and "The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook."
Peaceful Parenting, also known as authoritative parenting, is grounded in contemporary neuroscience and in attachment research. It is a relationship-based approach that cultivates a secure attachment and, therefore, guides children to be the best version of themselves, instead of controlling them with rewards and punishment into compliance. In order to do this successfully, the parent needs to be able to manage their own emotions so they can meet the child's challenging behavior with presence and connection.
The Three Big Ideas that emerge, therefore, from decades of scientific research as instrumental in the optimal development of children into resilient, self-driven, self-disciplined, considerate adults who experience emotional and physical wellbeing are:
Parental Self-Regulation and Presence
Connection between parent and child
Coaching instead of controlling and creating an environment where the children can thrive.
Let's briefly explore each Big Idea!
We set the emotional tone in our homes, and what we feel colors everything we do like a lens; managing our emotions is what allows us to feel peaceful in our parenting.
Also, children learn to manage their emotions when we model it for them.
To self-regulate means to connect to ourselves in the present moment, becoming aware of what we are feeling, what we are sensing, what we are thinking, and then pausing and choosing to respond rather than yell, threaten or punish in difficult parenting moments.
This is the hardest work and the most valuable work we can gift our children. It is a life-long practice that takes fierce intention and a lot of love.
Howvever, it will get easier the more we apply the research-based tools and strategies to create more peace in our life and in our relationship with our children.
We cannot parent or lead our children if we do not have their heart.
Connection with our children is the joy in parenting because it strengthens our relationship with them and creates those delightful moments of resonance, that are deeply nourishing for both our children as well as for ourselves.
Mother Nature designed children to resist us or to become oppositional when they feel disconnected from us.. That is our clue to reconnect or parenting becomes exhausting.
Truth is...we can't change or control others. They can only choose to accept our guidance if they feel deeply connected to us, loved, understood and valued in their authenticity; that's when they trust that our guidance is for their benefit and care to hear what we think.
Coach instead of control
We support our children to meet our age appropiate expectations: we accept all their emotions, we limit challenging behavior from an emotionally generous place, and we support them to develop mastery. When we use empathetic firm limits, children understand that, even though they may not get what they want, there is nothing they can do to threaten the bond they have with us and they rest secure in our love.
Children need guidance, orientation and loving firm boundaries to grow into adults who have self-discipline and an inner moral compass to choose to do the right thing even when no one is looking. In contrast, research shows that punishment creates more negative behavior and teaches children to focus on avoiding punishment, even becoming more skilled at not getting caught, rather than to consider the moral aspect of their actions.
What matters most:
Stay connected and never withdraw your love,
even for a moment. The deepest reason kids cooperate is that they love you and want to please you. Above all, safeguard your relationship with your child.
That's your only leverage to have any influence on your child.
It's what your child needs most.
And that closeness is what makes all the sacrifices of parenting worth it.
Share Peace Parenting -the Practice ...
... is the intention, a choice we make everyday for our family: to take care of our own heart, to find an inner sense of peace with what is, and to let that peace flow effortlessly toward those we love the most in the world, pouring into their hearts to nourish them and to help them feel seen, safe, soothed, and unconditionally loved.
... is not an unrealistic expectation or another high standard that we can never attain. It is an act of love in itself for ourselves and others and ultimately the world.
... is deciding how we want to be as we parent and to willingly and continuously try to remember that intention, as well as to treat ourselves with compassion (when we fall short), to repair, and to try again, entrusting ourselves to the flow.
... is to ask ourselves over and over again - WHAT DO I NEED RIGHT NOW TO SHOW UP AS THE PARENT I WANT TO BE? - and to commit to ourselves to fulfill that need.
Real strength can be found not in power, money, or weapons, but in deep, inner peace. When we have enough insight, we are not caught by many difficult situations anymore.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The Share Peace Parenting Manifesto:
We are the best parents for our children and we know best what our children need.
We are all imperfect humans doing the best we can, with what we know, and when we know better we do better...especially when we can incorporate in our parenting the growing body of knowledge in brain science and human-development.
We are all good inside even when we make choices that do not align with who we want to be and how we want to show up in the world; we need the force of self-compassion to rediscover our goodness.
Even though what happened to us in childhood is shaping our reactivity in parenting, with intentional work and self-compassion we can reparent ourselves, with presence we can rewire our brain, and with self-care we can continuously move toward meeting our needs for connection, safety and satisfaction, becoming the parents we want to be.
Making mistakes is human and we are worthy of love even when we act unskillfully
We take responsibility for our unskillful behavior and repair relationship ruptures and we will try to do better next time.
We make time to nourish our body, mind and soul because we cannot pour from an empty cup.