“It’s harder to make sure children feel loved unconditionally than it is just to love them. It’s harder to try to solve problems with them, to give them reasons for doing the right thing, than it is to control them with carrots and sticks.” – Alfie Kohn
Let’s be straight here– It might be what we want to do but…
Making children *feel* loved unconditionally means making time for them, delighting in them, listening to them, recognizing that they’re doing the best they can when things go sideways, can all feel exhausting.
Solving problems and explaining things when we could very easily get compliance with a threat or a bribe can feel exhausting.
Okay so the secret is out! Peaceful parenting is a lot of hard work.
Considering all this hard work- here are some things to keep in mind:
Peaceful parenting requires that you are intentional about your parenting– time and space to think and learn- especially if your children are neurodivergent and/or “more” or “extra”. ADHD, autistic, sensory-challenged. Extra sensitive or strong willed. More anxious.
Peaceful parenting requires that you try to find a community so that you have inspiration or a shoulder to cry on when you are surrounded by a culture that doesn’t support treating children with respect.
(Please don’t judge yourself if things seem harder for you than for your neighbour or your friend. They likely are.)
Peaceful parenting requires you to take better care of yourself than the average parent might have to. Sleep 8-9 hours a night if you can. Go to bed with the kids a couple of nights a week. The next day feels so much easier if you’re rested. Put as much care into food for yourself as you would for your child. Move your body in a way that feels good.
Peaceful parenting requires that you give yourself the same compassion you give your children. When your children are having a hard time, you know they need more love and understanding. When your children make mistakes or mess up, you don’t love them less because they aren’t perfect. Please give yourself the same understanding!
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