The Peaceful Parent
What does it mean to be a Peaceful Parent?
* We take responsibility for regulating our own emotions, so we can stay as calm as possible with our children.
* We set limits with empathy.
* We reflect before we react, looking for the reason behind our child's behavior.
* We connect before we correct.
* We try to accept our child's "big" emotions with compassion, which helps her to move past them.
* We take responsibility for keeping our own "love cups" full, so we can pour our appreciation, acceptance and unconditional love into our child.
Many of the blog posts on this website are designed to support you in becoming a Peaceful Parent. And don't miss the Mindful Parenting page!
In This Section
Your child is fairly certain to act like a child, which means someone who is still learning, has different priorities than you do, and can’t always manage her feelings or actions. Her childish behavior is guaranteed, at times, to push your buttons. The problem is when we begin acting like a child, too. Someone has to act like a grown-up, if we want our child to learn how! If, instead, we can stay mindful—meaning we notice our emotions and let them pass without acting on them—we model emotional regulation, and our children learn from watching us.
All parents get angry at their children. It doesn’t help that there are always the endless pressures of life: appointments we’re late to, things we’ve forgotten until the last moment, health and financial worries -- the list is endless. In the middle of that hectic momentum, enter our child, who has lost her sneaker, suddenly remembered she needs a new notebook for school today, is teasing her little brother, or is downright belligerent. And we snap.
The bad news is that virtually all of us were wounded as children, and if we don't heal those wounds, they prevent us from parenting our children optimally. If there's an area where you were scarred as a child, you can count on that area causing you grief as a parent. But the good news is that being parents gives us an opportunity to heal ourselves. Most parents say that loving their children has transformed them: made them pore patient, more compassionate, more selfless. Our children have an unerring ability to show us our wounded places, they draw out our unreasonable fears and angers. Better than the best zen master or therapist, our children give us the perfect opportunity to grow and heal. Almost magically, as our wounds transform, we find that these hurt places inform us, motivate us, make us better parents.
"One generation full of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world."
"Dr.Laura's daily emails are the perfect way to start the day with love and compassion"
LETTERS & ANSWERS ABOUT
Have a question about parenting your preschooler? Questions from readers, with wise and practical solutions from Dr. Laura Markham to the worst problems your preschooler can dish out!