Parenting beyond punishment is not about techniques to get children to cooperate, behave or listen. It’s not about how to get kids to pick up, pay attention, or do their homework. It’s not about how to get kids to do…anything.
So what IS parenting beyond punishment?
Parenting beyond punishment is about choosing relationships over rules: genuine, authentic, everyday and every moment relationships.
- It is forging your own individual path based on your unique child (each one) and your own unique self.
- It is recognizing that family values means valuing every member of the family equally; and recognizing that each member knows themselves best – trusting them is essential.
- It is making decisions based on everyone’s needs and concerns.
- It is healing your own childhood wounds as they come to your attention so that (1) you don’t inflict those wounds on your children (2) you don’t hinder your children with your own wounds (3) you heal and find joy in your life with your children.
Does this mean kids are left to “rule homes and run amok”?
No, parenting beyond punishment means we focus on building loving, authentic, trusting relationships because it feels good, it builds resilience to life’s difficulties, AND because the people we feel the most connected to are the people we most want to cooperate with in finding solutions that work for everyone.
- All children want to do well.
- Connected children want to cooperate; connected adults want to cooperate too.
- Family equality ensures that parents and children cooperate in ways that benefit everyone’s well-being.
- Healing brings more joy to individuals and families.