Peaceful parenting is a parenting style that places emphasis on parent emotions, connecting with kids and coaching in place of control. Find out if this parenting style would work for you and your family!
If you’re like most parents, you had dreams of being the perfect parent who never yells or loses their temper with their kids. And, if you’re like those same parents, those dreams flew out the window the first time your toddler talked back to you (if not before).
I struggled with this as a young parent. I thought that loving my children would just automatically give me endless amounts of patience. But as almost all parents can attest, that’s just not realistic.
Any parent can confirm that parenting isn’t always a walk in the park. But with all of its challenges, it IS possible to have a positive parenting experience.
It just takes a little (or a lot) of work. Thankfully, there is so much great information out there to help parents accomplish their goals. Parenting styles like conscious parenting can help parents avoid many parenting mistakes that they may be inclined to make.
Peaceful parenting is another positive parenting style that can help you become the parent you have always wanted to be. Find out if this parenting style will work for you!
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What is Peaceful Parenting?
All parenting styles can fit under the main four styles of parenting. Peaceful parenting is a type of authoritative parenting because it combines high levels of warmth with appropriate boundaries and limits.
Peaceful parenting takes the principles of authoritative parenting a step further, putting the focus on regulating parental emotions. This parenting style recognizes the importance of emotionally intelligent parents who can identify and work through their own feelings.
This might sound easy, but for many parents, it is the most difficult part of peaceful parenting. After all, it can be challenging in the moment to control our sometimes natural tendencies to get angry or lose our temper. If this feels overwhelming to you, don’t worry. We have some great tips and tricks to help you get there!
Key points of Peaceful Parenting
Before we talk about what peaceful parenting looks like in practice, we need to take a look at the main characteristics of this parenting style.
- Peaceful parents work to regulate their own emotions. They understand that effective parenting is best accomplished when parents separate their own emotions from their kid’s emotions.
- Connecting with your kids is another important aspect of peaceful parenting. This can look different for each family, but usually includes spending one-on-one time with each kid, making family time a priority, and physically connecting with your kids.
- The hardest aspect of peaceful parenting is usually the idea of coaching your kids instead of controlling them. This means helping your kids recognize their own emotions and how they are showing up. Drawing attention to your kid’s emotions and helping them separate their thoughts from their emotions is crucial to the success of this parenting style.
How To Practice Peaceful Parenting
Are you interested in becoming a peaceful parent, but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with these simple tips on putting this parenting style into practice!
- Firstly, be patient with yourself! Implementing a new parenting style won’t come easy to anyone. Give yourself a LOT of grace and understand that this will be a process.
- When you feel yourself getting angry, take a step back and breathe. Pick apart the situation you are faced with and ask yourself “What am I feeling right now?” and “Why am I feeling that way?” Then consider asking yourself why your kid is acting the way they are.
- Live in the moment wherever possible. It may sound cliche, but a big reason this parenting style is so effective is because peaceful parents are able to take everything one small moment at a time.
- Practice attachment parenting. That’s right – practice a parenting style within a parenting style.
- Make time for one-on-one time with each of your kids every day. This can be for 10 minutes or an hour – whatever you have time for.
- Limit screen time (including your screen time!) when talking with your kids. Give them your undivided attention.
- Give your kids what they need from you physically – hugs, cuddles, whatever they need from you!
- Teach your kids to be in tune with their own emotions. Just as you should ask yourself what you are feeling, encourage your kids to do the same.
Disciplining Using Peaceful Parenting
Discipline is a key aspect of any effective parenting style. But disciplining is always easier said than done. For peaceful parents, disciplining looks a little different than with other parenting styles. It may also look different for each of your kids, depending on their ages.
- Your toddler is throwing a tantrum because they want a cookie, but you said no. Take a moment to check in with your own emotions and remain calm. Show empathy for your toddler by saying something like, “I understand that you want a cookie. I want one too. But we need to wait until after dinner.” If the tantrum continues, try giving your kid a hug or rubbing their back. If the fit continues, you may be able to talk to them about their feelings. If that doesn’t work, consider removing them from the situation and distracting them with something else.
- When your school-age kids make mistakes, you may find it helpful to use a slightly different approach. Suppose your 8-year-old got out some paint that they were not supposed to have and spilled it on the carpet. First, take a second to compose yourself. You may choose to communicate this effort to your kid by saying something like, “I am working to keep myself calm so that we can talk about this.” Consider giving your kid a chance to help fix the problem. Have them come up with ways to clean up the mess. Then you may want to address the main issue – that they used the paint without asking. Punishment is not necessary, but your position should be explained calmly and firmly. There may also be a natural consequence, like they are not able to use that paint again.
- For teenagers, the process is fairly similar to that of toddlers. It starts, once again, with taking stock of your own emotions. When your teenager makes a mistake, it is unlikely that yelling at them will yield positive results. Instead, focus on your own emotions and keep them in check. Connect with your teenager. Express love for them and appreciation for all that they do. Use their mistake as an opportunity to teach them about positive choices. Explain how the choice they made can lead to suffering later in life.
Pros of Peaceful Parenting
Peaceful parenting may still sound a bit overwhelming, but there are many great benefits to this parenting style that you may want to consider.
- Emotionally intelligent parents raise emotionally intelligent kids. This means kids are likely to grow up happier overall and they will adjust to change and challenges better.
- Parents who practice peaceful parenting will experience more peace in their lives as they will likely yell and lose their temper less.
- Because emphasis is put on connecting with each other, families whose parents practice peaceful parenting will experience higher levels of familial cohesion and closeness.
- Kids of peaceful parents have stronger relationships with their parents throughout their lives and into adulthood.
Cons of Peaceful Parenting
There are not many downsides to peaceful parenting, but there are a couple that are worth considering if you are thinking about implementing this parenting style.
- Peaceful parenting encourages attachment parenting – something that highly encourages co-sleeping. Because it is such a controversial topic, some parents may choose not to implement peaceful parenting because of this alone. However, there are other aspects of attachment parenting that parents can use without practicing co-sleeping.
- The other main drawback to this parenting style is that it is not always the easiest to practice. This is not the “easy answer” that many parents may be looking for. It takes a lot of work and patience for the parents to be able to be effective.
Peaceful parenting yields many great results for parents and their kids, but it is not always the easiest to implement. It requires a lot of discipline and patience. Is this a parenting style that you want to try? Tell us in the comments below!