Raising kids is certainly not an easy task. If you’ve embraced parenthood recently or are parents to a growing child, you are most likely to wonder (and often) how your parents did it. No doubt, you will respect them even more! Once your kids start exercising their independence or throw tantrums, you will have to discipline them. And no, not by yelling or being authoritative. Here’s a method that you should try: it’s peaceful parenting, and no, it’s not an oxymoron. Curious? We’ve covered everything you need to know about peaceful parenting. If you’ve got growing children at home, this method is worth a try!
Peaceful parenting is a philosophy developed by the famous clinical psychologist Laura Markham, PhD. Peaceful parenting starts with regulating your own emotions so that you become a more emotionally generous and peaceful parent. In brief, the concept of peaceful parenting she developed can be broken down into three major ideas:
Peaceful parenting starts with controlling your own emotions. The ‘peace’ in peaceful parenting comes from you, parents. As parents, you have to live in the moment of whatever is happening with your kids at home. Moreover, you have to spend some time trying to recognize your previous experiences and honour your own emotions as your emotions might impact the way you respond to your children during certain situations.
The goal of peaceful parenting is to improve the behaviour inside out and create a strong child-parent bond. The main objective is to support kids as they will need to understand and recognize their own emotions. As a result, they will make wise choices when they grow up.
Though there is no exact evidence to show that this parenting method is superior to others, there are numbers of pros that children and their parents might see after trying this method of parenting. A few of the benefits include:
Mindfulness is at the heart of peaceful parenting, and there are various studies that support mindfulness both for parenting and individuals. The advantages of mindfulness also range from less anxiety and stress to improved communication between children and parents. Some other issues it could benefit with are depression, hyperactivity, and improved parenting satisfaction.
There are not many risks that come with peaceful parenting, especially for children who are above the toddler age. However, the philosophy does increase the attachment of parents with their young babies, which leads to co-sleeping. Co-sleeping may increase the risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so most experts do not recommend this. You can practice various other parts of attachment parenting, like babywearing, and choose safer methods for the infant’s bedtime.
It is important that parents comprehend that there will never be one parenting style that would fit every family. A few areas of peaceful parenting may not benefit your family as it may with another family, but you will never know unless you check it out. If you tried peaceful parenting and it did not seem to work, you could give it some more time.
You may wonder if peaceful parenting techniques would apply to your teenager or tantrum-throwing toddler. The key is practice, and you may need to practice a lot if you are switching from more traditional parenting styles. A few examples are given below:
Screaming children can get on any parents’ nerves, especially if they are throwing a fit in a public space, like during a flight. During those times, keep the following points in mind:
If your 8-year old kid just broke an expensive vase even though you told her to be careful:
Here are a few tips that will help you begin the process of peaceful parenting:
The “peace” from peaceful parenting must begin with the parent, especially from their commitment to realize and regulate their own emotions. This means that when you are upset about something, you should stop, temporarily drop your agenda, and take a few minutes to just breathe. You should refuse to act under the “flight or fight” feeling that makes you angry with your children.
A connection is important in peaceful parenting. Therefore, before you try and change your child, you should start creating a bond. Otherwise, you will stop punishing your children, but they still would not feel motivated to do the right thing. Therefore, spend some time every day connecting with your child.
Once you feel like you have improved the connection and cooperation between you and your children, start with the discussion. You can explain to your child why you have been yelling less lately, and why you think the punishment is not a good option. You could tell your children how much you love them and believe in them to solve their own messes. Just support your children and promise to be there for them when they need help.
Though you need to become flexible from your child’s point of view, you will still need to set many limits. The key is to create a limit before you get angry, while you can still empathize with his perspective.
When your child shows you that he is upset, just stay calm and do not take it personally. The more you stay accepting and compassionate, the more your child will feel safe enough to show you how much he is hurt behind his anger. This will help him share his problems with you and heal.
Forcing your child to apologize may lead to resentment. But if you model an apology, then your child will follow your example and learn from it. When something goes wrong, you can show them how to step up and take responsibility.
You are human, so expect to make mistakes. Parenting is hard, and this kind of parenting is harder when you begin. Some days can be a huge struggle, but it will get easier. Even when it is hard, you are healing your own and your child’s old wounds, and you will definitely feel the difference.
Being a parent is hard work, especially when there are so many types of parenting styles out there for you to try out. However, if any of these ideas speak to you, then do consider taking some time to implement them since it could be the key to a harmonious home.
This post was last modified on December 12, 2022 8:39 pm
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