Parenting children is hard, no matter what approach you take to it whether you are a disciplinarian, or a fan of peaceful parenting.
In the past, parenting involved creating children that followed the rules, did well in school, had good friends, and were pleasant and happy individuals.
However, children were often taught to be obedient out of fear.This involved parents who used manipulation, shouting, and scare tactics to get their way.
.Similarly, modern-day society increasingly delivers children that aren’t parented enough. They aren’t guided to tell right from wrong, working the world out for themselves.
Children can learn to be respectful individuals through a different parenting approach. Peaceful parenting involves caretakers who aren’t dominant power figures over their children.
By the same token, they still guide and teach their children right from wrong until adulthood. If you’re interested in learning more about peaceful parenting, keep reading.
You’ll learn more about this parenting style in this article. We’ll also cover the benefits and disadvantages of other parenting styles below.
What Is Peaceful Parenting
Peaceful parenting is a parenting approach created by Dr. Laura Markham. She believed that authoritarian parenting scared children instead of nurturing them. To develop well, children need understanding, calm, and communication from their parents.
Peaceful parenting involves swapping controlling attitudes for an empathetic, communication-led style of parenting.
It encourages parents and guardians to cease shouting, angry demands, and manipulative words. Instead, they should try to adopt working together, dialogue, and exchanging targets with their children.
Parents aren’t controlling authority figures here, but they help their children understand themselves and the world around them.
Peaceful Parenting’s Basic Principles
Breathwork & Calmness
Breathing and relaxing is one of the most important features of peaceful parenting. If you can’t keep calm in stressful situations, you won’t be able to understand your children’s requirements, as they are often frustrated and irritated themselves.
This parenting style involves stopping, then taking a minute out to breathe, before they react to their child. This prevents us from yelling or whispering things that we’ll regret later, which also stops situations that cause resentment or anger in the future.
Active listening should be one of your goals as a peaceful parent. This involves listening to your child and having your child listen to you.
This is practiced by listening to what your child says, going through their words in your head, then repeating what you’ve understood back to them.
Rather than forcing certain needs onto your child, you’re working with them to make a healthy home. Children start to follow rules and ideas when they feel like they own those same guidelines.
They’re also more likely to stick to guidelines when they work towards them with a parent, but not when they’re being demanded.
Peaceful Parenting Aims
There isn’t any research that studies the approach itself, but there have been studies that looked into what the approach was based on.
They found that children are more likely to interact with parents and siblings when they feel heard and safe at home.
Why Does Peaceful Parenting Work So Well?
Dismissive parents who ignore their children or think that their children are inconvenient are likely to raise anxious and angry children.
When children feel like they have a say, they are more likely to listen to rules. As children grow, they will exhibit aggressive behavior, which includes talking back, tantrums, and physical aggression.
These show that the child is trying to gain control of their lives, as they know that their life is controlled by their parents.
Even if the child is young, when parents inspire children to make their own decisions, they create a healthy household. The caretaker teaches their child how to speak up and exhibit their wants, needs, and wishes.
Peaceful parenting also aims to lower the amount of stress on all family members. When parents are stressed or tired, this has effects on their children’s mental and physical health.
When the home is healthy, children within it will feel more confident when they go out into the world. This also has links with less hostility, lower substance abuse, and negative behavior.
Peaceful Parenting And Other Parenting Styles
Other parenting styles view parents and caretakers as authority figures in charge of their children’s development. These include authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting approaches.
Peaceful parenting lets the child work with their caretaker. They collaborate on rule development, making decisions, and open communication that covers feelings, desires, and guidelines.
Authoritarian parenting is the oldest style of parenting on this list. As the name suggests, this parenting approach involves viewing the caretaker as an authoritative figure.
These parents shout out orders and use a threat and reward system to incite ‘ideal’ behavior. This parenting method is the opposite of peaceful parenting.
The benefits of this approach only concern the parents. Children respond out of fear, are obedient, and don’t get into trouble.
These children can harbor resentment and anger for their parents over time. Parents also suffer from this style, as making demands and maintaining strict guidelines can be tiring and stressful.
This approach is closer to peaceful parenting. Authoritative parenting involves communicating with children, acknowledging their feelings, and working together to create a happy, healthy, family home. However, the parent or caretaker still creates the rules and boundaries in the home.
Authoritative parents tend to keep close relationships with their children and are normally happier as parents. However, it can be difficult.
Parents need to put time into setting rules, but they also need to do the same understanding their children’s needs.
Permissive parenting gives children permission most of the time. Parents aren’t authoritative figures, but they aim to be like friends to their children.
Household rules do exist, but they aren’t enforced. Rule-breaking rarely results in any consequences.
At first, children like this parenting style, as they can get their way without any expectations. Parents may also enjoy having a friendly relationship with their children.
This can be enjoyable, but it can result in problems in the future. Some of these include lack of self-control, poor relationships, narcissism, and difficulty understanding society’s norms and values.
Essentially, uninvolved parents don’t ‘parent’ their children. They don’t understand their children, as they don’t know what their children’s likes, dislikes, or feelings are.
They’re often labeled as negligent, but a lot of these caretakers don’t do this deliberately. Uninvolved parents may have issues like poor mental health, substance abuse, or abusive partners.
Children may feel freedom and happiness at first, as they can do anything they want to without worrying about the consequences. However, uninvolved parents are likely to be distant from their children in the future.
Their children are also likely to make poor decisions regarding mental, physical, and emotional health. Parents with substance abuse or addiction problems may see the same tendencies in their children.
Peaceful Parenting Disadvantages
Peaceful parenting is difficult. A lot of caretakers come to this parenting style as they haven’t had a healthy environment growing up. Trying to enforce a completely new parenting style can be demanding, especially right at the start.
If it seems like you’re in a constant battle with your child, peaceful parenting principles will take time to implement.
You will need to learn how to avoid getting angry during angry or frustrating situations. Similarly, your child needs to learn that you are a trustworthy person, so that they can communicate their thoughts and feelings to you without fear.
They need to understand that they can trust you to deliberate reasonable rules, consequences, and rewards.
Some parents find peaceful parenting too lax for their children. As children who act out or throw tantrums aren’t punished for them, opponents believe that these children don’t listen to authority in the future.
This can occur in households that haven’t implemented peaceful parenting techniques over time, as children are still battling their caretakers.
Why Use Peaceful Parenting?
Peaceful parenting tries to create a healthy household where its members communicate with each other. The family dynamic is created through love and respect for each other. It doesn’t encourage past beliefs like children should be quiet at all times.
It also doesn’t support newer ideas, like children should figure the world out for themselves without parental guidance.
Parents and caretakers are still important figures for their children. They still tell their children how to put their feelings into words, then come to a solution with a trusted parent.
Rather than yelling and shouting at children who don’t follow the rules, peaceful parenting involves communicating with children to create a healthy household. In stressful periods, like when a child throws a tantrum, the parent keeps composed and works with their child to calm them down.
Parents and caretakers still create the rules, but children collaborate with them to reach a consensus.
Peaceful parenting allows caretakers to be effective parents that also create a good relationship with their children.
Children who are parented through this approach learn how to identify their feelings, think for themselves, and express their desires. In most cases, these children grow to become healthy adults with a good outlook on life.