Parenting, understatedly, is probably one of the hardest jobs out there- and probably the most important job. For many people, it comes so easily and often unexpected. For others, it seems like becoming a parent might end up being a long-awaited dream that might not happen. Whatever your circumstances, whatever you choose, many of us become parents and end up having to participate in this age-old puzzle called parenting. No one wants to raise a child the wrong way. Most instead dream of raising children who are confident, successful, and bastions to ideal parenting. This is however, hard to pin down. What’s the best way to parent a child? What works best? Is there a sure-fire method of parenting that works? There are studies out there that show how one type of parenting approach seems to work, and we call that Peaceful Parenting.
Peaceful parenting is what it sounds like. It’s a general term for a feel and method of parenting that’s not wrought with screaming, yelling, hitting, imprisonment, and dysfunction. Easier said than done of course, in those moments when everyone’s tired and fed-up, but overall, parenting peacefully has been shown to benefit not only children long-term, but it’s also shown to benefit parents as well. And, for those of us who weren’t parented peacefully as children (and many of us weren’t!) we don’t really know how to parent aside from spanking or using shame. In fact, often times many of us don’t even realize as parents how non-peaceful we really are towards our children.
There are moral obligations for peaceful parenting along with the fact that it simply raises better children. Consider the fact that children come into the world as heavy obligations which are not of their own choosing. They didn’t choose to be obligations. They didn’t choose to be born to specific parents. They are completely dependent on adults for every need, and withholding these needs easily creates insecurities and issues down the road that might seem insignificant at first, but later on can become serious problems later. An example of non-peaceful parenting can come in simple but significant form. Consider the following- a mother and daughter are playing at the park and mother wants to leave before daughter does. Mother asks daughter more than once to leave, daughter declines. So mother then gets up and pretends to leave the park without her daughter. Her daughter will think to herself (without realizing it) that her mother will leave her alone, on her own at the park. She can’t find her own shelter. She can’t find her own food. She’s a target for predators. Where will she sleep? So she runs after her mother to ensure that she’ll make it to the car in time before her mother abandons her at the park. What kind of lesson is mother teaching her daughter here? That if she doesn’t come when mother asks, she’ll be left behind like nothing- is that the kind of lesson you want your children to learn?
Spanking and yelling also have the same effect on children. There are alternatives to aggressive, non-peaceful parenting that work, and that teach your children that you love them and they can trust you.