Parents seem to worry about every aspect of raising their children more than ever, wondering how every decision they make will impact their child’s future. If you lighten up on how you parent, you might raise happier children and feel less stress. You can take the following six things less seriously when it comes to parenting.
What I want is for my children to feel so comfortable with me that they can scream and shout, cry and lament, moan and complain, and genuinely express whatever it is that they are going through at the moment. I know it will pass. Emotions that are expressed don’t stick around for very long.
Acceptance is one of your greatest sources of Power. Without it, you couldn’t receive or own anything, handle unexpected change, or listen effectively. But acceptance is not the same as tolerance.
Our current norm of extreme protection of children has become, unfortunately, not just a social norm, but a moral norm. If you don’t watch your child (or have some other responsible guard watching) every minute, you are, in the eyes of many people, doing something immoral. How can we change this crippling social norm and get back to common sense?
Whenever I hear people saying things like “Unschooling obviously wouldn’t work for everyone, but parents should have a right to choose what’s best for their kids,” or one of the hundred other variants on that same sentiment, I always feeling a niggling sense of unease. It’s never a statement I’ve agreed with. But until recently, I wasn’t entirely sure why it bothered me!
Is it still possible in today’s Germany to escape the realization that without the mistreatment of children, without a form of child-rearing based on violence to inculcate blind obedience, there would not have been a Hitler and his followers? And thus not millions of murdered victims either? Probably every thinking person in the post-war period has wondered at some time or other how it could have happened that a human being devised a gigantic machinery of death and found millions of helpers to set it in motion.
How do we deal with a two-year-old when he grabs every toy his friend plays with? What do we say to a four-year-old who screams in rage when her baby brother cries? How do we talk with a ten-year-old about the chores he has left undone, again? What strategies will keep our teenager open with us – and safe? Nonviolent Communication (NVC), sometimes referred to as Compassionate Communication, offers a powerful approach for extending the values of attachment parenting beyond infancy. A process for connecting deeply with ourselves and others, and for creating social change, NVC has been used worldwide in intimate family settings as well as in organizations, schools, prisons, and war-torn countries.
I doubt if there has ever been any human culture, anywhere, at any time, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today. Our underestimation becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, because, by depriving children of freedom, we deprive them of the opportunities they need to learn how to take control of their own behavior and emotions.
For generations, parents have sought a reliable and dependable way to handle childhood misbehavior. The most recent and popular discipline technique is time-out. Although time-out is better than spanking, it is not an appropriate way for parents to cope with the misbehavior of their children. Moreover, the use of time-out can create subsequent childhood behavior problems. These problems can affect the well-being of the child and severely strain the parent-child relationship.
I’m always a little surprised when people are horrified to hear I don’t punish my children. “How will they learn right from wrong?” is usually the first question, and I can see them picturing a household run by unruly hellions jumping on furniture and swinging from the ceiling fans. It’s not that we don’t have those moments (maybe not quite that extreme) — but as much as I want punishment-free to mean always calm, always peaceful, and rules always followed, that isn’t the truth either.