7 Principles for Peaceful Parenting

In my 25 years of being a parent, a student of human development, a human in constant development, an impassioned researcher of the human sciences, and a parent coach engaged with the challenges and triumphs of real moms and dads, I have gathered a superabundance of excellent information. But I’ve also come to recognize that a great gift in this era of information overload is to arrive at the other side of a gazillion helpful facts to a few solid peaceful parenting principles. I wrote Parenting for Peace around seven such solid-gold nuggets — principles informed by research in fields from neuroscience to developmental psychology to consciousness studies and beyond.

Each principle “accordions out” to include more practical basics than I have room to include here (that’s what the book is for!). These, though, are the foundational principles for effective, healthy and peaceful parenting.

Presence

The ability to be fully here, right now, with your body, thoughts and feelings. Engaged, connected. One of the greatest needs of the child is regular doses of your undistracted presence. Try “Nothing Else” time: Sit on the floor, amidst the blocks, the books, the dolls… and be available to your child. This is potent, brain-to-brain training time. It is also when parents allows themselves to be taught by their children — curiosity, playfulness, spontaneity. If you can carve out 20 minutes, 15 minutes, even 10 minutes in a day, it’s like a magic vitamin to the relationship mix. It nourishes you both, and also buffers and protects against other disrupting elements of daily life. It also enhances the true self-esteem that flourishes with the child’s experience that she is worth your time, your attention, your presence. Cultivating your capacity for presence is perhaps the more reliable investment you can make for the wellbeing of your children, yourself, and all your relationships. {Read more of this post at mothering}

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