“No matter the problem, kindness is always the right response.” – L.R. Knost
Stop and think for a minute about how hard this is. Really! Let’s be honest!
Problem: Your child hits their sister (or does something else they KNOW is wrong.) What do you do?
If you are dedicated to peaceful parenting, you know that a consequence is not the answer and you forgo the punishment.
But what next? What happens after you tend to the hurt sibling? It can be really hard to respond with kindness when your child has just done something wrong. You might be tempted to give them a bit of a cold shoulder or withdraw. You don’t want them to think that what they did is okay!
When I suggest that we respond with compassion, many of you have said, “But I don’t want to reward bad behaviour! If I’m kind and loving after they hit, won’t they think they can just do it again?”
A child who is acting out is doing so because they are having a hard time.
Have you ever acted horribly because you were having a hard time? (I hope I’m not the only one!) Would you want your friend or your partner to respond by treating you coolly, ignoring you, sighing loudly? Or would you want them to gather you up in a hug and ask what’s wrong and offer to help?
Love withdrawal, or not not acting with kindness, is just another form of punishment.
As L.R. Knost says, “No matter the problem, kindness is always the answer.” They’re doing the best they can!
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Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 15, 18, and 21). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com