Peaceful Parenting Goals
Peaceful Parenting enables parents to raise confident and caring children who are compassionate, generous, kind and embody a joy of learning. Yes, it is possible. Parents practicing Peaceful Parenting are first and foremost nurturing a connected, loving and respected bond with their child that is foundational and long-lasting. The child’s developing brain thrives with this kind of foundational bond. This connected relationship and interaction has lasting positive effects on the brain’s neural pathways and the mind’s unconscious belief systems that help the child develop lifelong skills for making healthy life choices and fulfilling relationships.
Letting Go of the Way You Were Parented
How we were parented informs our own parenting - there is no denying it! And let's be honest - there are some methods we really admire and want to use with and pass down to our own children, and there are some strategies . . . well . . . not so much. Parenting patterns have been passed down through your family. But now, you have a choice. You can choose exactly how you want to parent and connect with your children.
As parents, we can react and repeat these subconsciously learned generational patterns, or we can choose. We can choose how we want to parent and what kind of parent we wish to be. Yes, parenting can be hard! But do you really want to be yelling and screaming at, or perhaps even spanking and hitting those you love most?
Look to the future. Think about the hopes and dreams you have for your children and your family. What kind of adult do you wish your child to become? What kind of parent and even grandparent do you want your child to be? Do you want to be a part of your grandchildrens' lives? By consciously choosing how to parent right now, the future you desire for your child and family is set in motion. These new, healthy patterns of Peaceful Parenting that you model will impact your family well beyond these toddler or teen years, perhaps for generations.
Peaceful v. Dominant
Sometimes we just don’t know what to do with our children. The crying, screaming, and tantrums. The defiant eye-rolling and sassy back talk. Why can’t they just listen and do what they are supposed to do?
Our parenting style may be where it is by chance. This may seem like foreign territory, on the parenting road without a map. Without even knowing it, we may find ourselves practicing the Dominant Paradigm of parenting. Opposite of the Peaceful Paradigm, the Dominant Paradigm is based on judgement of and control over a child. The Dominant Paradigm establishes the parent as judge and jury, determining “right” and “wrong” behavior. “Right” behavior that meets parental demands is rewarded, while “wrong” behavior is punished or given a consequence. Sound familiar?
“The goal of the Dominant Paradigm is to produce children who are obedient to the parents’ demands. The love of the parent is contingent on the child’s compliance. This paradigm creates wounds that leave a mark on the child’s developing brain, and on the child’s long-term mental and emotional health.”
- Ruth Beaglehole
The alternative is Peaceful Parenting. Peaceful Parenting has its foundation in Nonviolent Communication and the science of brain development. This approach is centered on having a relationship with a child, instead of control over a child.
Practicing Peaceful Parenting helps raise caring, conscious and connected children who have high self-esteem and lifelong patterns for developing healthy, successful relationships. Instead of using their power to control the child, parents following a Peaceful Paradigm redirect their power to guide and support the child. Parents become emotional coaches and mentors, guiding their children and equipping them with tools to manage their feelings and needs. And as a family, everyone learns how to identify, express, and process their feelings safely and constructively. As a result, children raised with Peaceful Parenting are able to authentically feel their own feelings and develop a sense of empathy for others. They also have bonded relationships and skills to help navigate the more challenging times in life.
Growing Your Relationship with Your Child: Understanding Brain Science and Emotional Intelligence
As brain research continues to advance, we are gaining a fascinating understanding of how the parent-child connection physically shapes the developing brain. As ever more sophisticated imaging technologies provide unprecedented insight, we know that a child’s brain will form literally trillions of connections or synapses in the first decade of life. The child’s experiences and interactions determine what connections the brain retains or discards. While we may know it intuitively, current brain science increasingly points to the deep and lasting impact that important relationships have on the developing brain and lifelong patterns of behavior.
The research shows:
A constant loving connection with at least one adult/caregiver is critical to the healthy development of the child.
A warm, secure and connected relationship with a parent or caregiver allows for optimal growth of neural pathways in the child’s brain, influencing how they will handle all future experiences.
Through the connected relationship with a parent or caregiver, a child develops emotional and social intelligence, and develops his/her brain to its full potential.
Loving, attentive care appears to have a protective biological function, helping the child weather ordinary stresses and prepare for challenges or trauma later in life.
While brain development is most active between birth and puberty, the brain continues significant development right up through age twenty-five. In addition, recent research shows the brain to be more malleable than previously thought, with actual re-wiring of pathways possible.
So start building connections now, but know that it’s never too late to start.