Peaceful parenting did not come natural for me once my first child hit the toddler years and I was faced with how to respond to questionable behavior. It’s not that I didn’t want peace, it’s that it has required quite the undoing of non-peace to actualize it in our home… and we continue to focus on peaceful conflict resolution Peaceful parenting requires diligence in observing where I am parenting from moment-to-moment and what short and long-term results I really want to create in our family.
Through many ups and downs in life I decided that parenting in peace was something I’d die for. Even though I did not initially realize it, this meant that the “me” I thought I was would die. Not me – the physical expression and body known as Amy – but all of the stories, patterns, and actions that were not serving me or my family. Such a death does not occur instantly or without pain in many instances. And it certainly requires a focus on what one is living and standing for.
We can choose peace. In any moment, in all moments… over and over again until there’s nothing left but peace. It starts with us, on the personal level. Join me in the journey…
Action Steps to Peaceful Parenting
- Talk about how you feel rather than blame, shame, or criticize without directing anger AT anyone. Outline what you want to have happen in a positive manner.
- Excuse yourself to use a peaceful process when beneficial (deep breaths work, but you have to step aside and take time to focus on breathing deeply to benefit yourself and those around you when stressed).
- See child as inherently equal and valuable, deserving of respect, thus treat child with respect at all times (and the times you notice you’re not bring your attention back to the initial fact).
- Pray/meditate/relax for peace and guidance.
- Provide peaceful solutions to conflict (between siblings, yourself and child, within the child personally).
- Instead of threats use clear consequences that are well related to the behavior (beware of manufactured consequences that are truly punishment in disguise).
- Remember there are always unknown options available for sorting out difficulties. Trust in unlimited possibilities.
- Focus on the desired outcome in the short-term, and long-term, and move towards it positively.
- Speak in the tone you want to hear back from your child/partner.
- Deepen the belief that we All want to cooperate and get along. Look for evidence (even in questionable behavior). What you look for you will see. How can you believe the best about your child in all moments? And yourself?
- Choose peace over and over until it becomes habit.
- Remember that Love neither fails nor ends.
This article has been edited from a previous version published at Innate Wholeness.
Are you struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something with you: a story and some hope.