to change your mind {peaceful parenting 101}

something that i have heard over and over again as a parent is
"don't change your mind," "stand firm," "don't back down."
this just baffles me.
it is as if we believe that, as parents, we are infallible and
the decisions we make are perfect.
and if that is not the case then
we are so worried about losing our place of authority
in our children's lives
that we can't change our minds or hear arguments
even when we should.

the next peaceful parenting topic i want to discuss is
changing your mind.

it's okay to say no, think about it or hear arguments from your children,
and then say yes.
it's okay to ask your child to do something and then,
if they scoff or ask not to, tell them they don't have to.
it doesn't make them not respect you, it's not a challenge
to your authority, in fact i would venture to say
it will make your children respect you more, give you real
authority to speak into their lives.
you are showing your children that what they think is
just as important as what you think.  you are caring about their needs,
their wants, giving them a voice in life.
and when you care about your children's feelings and desires,
they in turn will care about yours.

in our home, everyone helps out and everyone has a voice.
it is understood that after breakfast, lunch and dinner everyone will
help to put the house into order.  other than that,
everything is up for discussion.

"layla, can you please take pearl outside?"
"i have five more rows to knit in this project mama,
can someone else do it?"


"mama, can we go in the pool?"
"not right now honey."
"i have a lot to do inside, i don't want to go out right now."
"please mama, it's really hot. can we go in the pool?"
"ok, let's go."

in order to parent peacefully there are a few principles we follow
that really go against the typical parenting flow.

  • no is not the final answer.
  • it's always okay to use your voice.
  • everything is open for discussion
now with these ideas in mind you might think there is quite a bit of chaos and anarchy here.
but that is not really the case.
because we hear each other and give thought to each other's needs,
my kids have learned empathy.  they consider others.
if i ask them to do something and they ask to not do it and
i explain why it is necessary at that moment, they will do it without complaint.
respect goes both ways.

so next time you say no to something and your kiddo asks why,
don't consider it defiance.  answer them, listen to them and then
ask yourself if that no was really necessary.  if it wasn't,

it's okay to change your mind.

peaceful parenting part 1
peaceful parenting part 2
peaceful parenting part 3

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