The Destructive Nature of Peaceful Parenting

The Destructive Nature of Peaceful Parenting

No one would say that children are better behaved than they were generations ago when parents weren’t afraid to discipline their children and say “no” to them. Now, there are a bunch of entitled adults running around acting as if the world revolves around them and feeling entitled to having anything they want when they want.

A man who believes that “peaceful parenting” is the best way to raise his son wrote this on Facebook:

“I have no interest in raising my son to be obedient or compliant with my demands.

What I am interested in is his well-being.

Therefore, the questions I ask myself are things like: Is he happy? Is he feeling connected with me? Is he satisfied with life?

The questions I don’t ask are: How do I get him to behave? Why doesn’t he listen to me? How can I stop his whining or, how do I just make him leave me alone?

And when that kind of contentious attitude comes up in myself, I don’t try to fix him or change his behavior as the solution.

Instead, I look within myself to see where it is that I need the attitude adjustment.

It’s always that way.

Peaceful parenting is all about a change in our own attitude and behavior, not trying to change our children’s attitude and behavior.

When we adults learn to change our attitude first, is when everything else works out with our children. As simplistic as that may sound, it is the way it works.

What we are really after is our own inner peace, our own inner wisdom and our own well being, and from that place of wholeness, we are then better able to take care of our children, lovingly, peacefully, joyously.”

He has decided to be a friend to his child instead of parent him, sadly. Here are responses to him from the wise women in the chat room:

Verna: “It sounds like he will be raising a selfish person who expects everyone to cater to them. Which is not how I want my children to behave. Furthermore, this child will likely have problems obeying and surrendering his will to God, since it wasn’t a concept available to him as a child. I would be very concerned for his soul.”

Sarah: “Honestly, I feel teaching your children how to mind and be obedient/compliant IS in their best interest and for their well-being.”

Lindsay: “It is in the best interest of children to obey their parents. Children don’t know what is best for them. That’s why God gave them parents to make decisions for them and to train them in what is right.

There are certainly times that we parents need to change our own behavior and attitudes. We are imperfect, after all. But if we approach every conflict with our child as if we are the ones who need to change, we are simply incorrect. Children are not born perfect. We shouldn’t treat them as if they are. They need parents to train and guide them, not to worship them as if they are little gods.

Treating children as if they are correct and we are the ones who are wrong is basically worship of the children and is not only misguided, but not good for the child either. A child who grows up worshiped by his parents will have no respect for others and will be dependent on others to stroke his ego. This makes for very unhappy children who also are not inclined to obey or worship God because they think they are the ones worthy of worship.

If you want your children to grow up to be happy, healthy, well-balanced, and properly understand their relationship to the world and to God, you must train them and discipline them, not treat yourself as the problem that needs to be fixed.”

Samantha: “This kind of parenting leads to spoiled rotten brats that have no respect for anyone or anything in my opinion. I am appalled at some of the behavior some parents allow their children. When my husband and I were waiting on a table at the Olive garden there were four boys with their parents and all four were just yelling at the top of their lungs and the mother just gave them a pouty face and never once told them to be quiet. I get complimented quite a bit by how well behaved my kids are when eating out. I would of pulled my hair out years ago if I had allowed my kids to act like that.”

Brooke: “I feel like a lot of this parenting is a direct result of the first generation of real daycare kids now becoming parents. So many people in my generation have been left with gaping holes in their heart and development because they were raised by daycare while both parents worked full time. They KNOW something was missing from their life, and they often don’t want to blame their parents, so they think if they do something different than how they were raised, their children won’t have this emptiness they feel.

This happens at the same time as my generation was raised during the evolutionary boom of technology. Instead of searching within themselves and identifying the problem, it’s easy to go online and find ‘studies’ to prove how things should be done differently. You can support any side of an argument off the Internet, but that doesn’t mean any of them are correct.

A generation of parents were dropped off at six weeks old to be raised by the industry. Then sent to school and overwhelmed with extra curricular activities so they weren’t considered ‘latch key’ and those whose mothers were too busy working the feminist agenda to care for them. Now feeling sad, hurt, neglected and empty and trying to raise their own children without the same hurt they experienced.”

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Proverbs 19:18

13 thoughts on “The Destructive Nature of Peaceful Parenting

  1. Agreed 100%. When I was growing up my parents made sure I behaved well and was a good daughter. That is the best training and preparation for life – and being a wife and mother!

  2. It’s ironic that the father suggests that we, as adults, should look to ourselves to change our attitude so that it, in turn, will change our child’s. In reality, he couldn’t pass this trait onto his son to do with his own children because he never would have taught him how to adjust his own attitude. Totally useless parenting concept.

  3. I feel incredibly sorry for the future spouse of a child “raised” this way. I can’t think of a better way to make sure that your kid turns out to be self-centered.

  4. This is incredibly sad.
    As far as “biblical” parenting goes I’m probably in the more lenient/liberal basket due to the fact that I’m a trained Nanny with a degree in child psychology and so don’t spank my own children, nor teach spanking as a parenting tool. But even childcare professionals (in my country at least) believe that children need clear, consistent boundaries and rules, with clear, consistent consequences for when the rules are broken. Children feel safest emotionally when they know where they stand. Yes, children need good role models (which seems to be what this peaceful parenting philosophy is all about) but along with role models, they need discipline: boundaries/guidelines, and consequences.

    I truly fear for the next generation of children if they are being raised like this! Although, in my experience of a mum of 4 kids( aged 4 – 14 all in the public school system) I haven’t actually met anyone personally who believes in this new-fangled parenting philosophy – so hopefully it doesn’t become more popular!

  5. ? Mind boggling. I can imagine a father and son like this at Walmart. They get to a toy section and little Johnny sees a car he wants and throws an epic tantrum when father originally says no. As he is fully aware that money is a struggle and is on the verge of losing their home. But seeing Johnny have his meltdown, father questions if he has been too harsh. And contemplates how to aleiviate Johnny’s desire. Father decides to call the credit company to ask for one last extension on their next bill. They agree, but tell him this is the last chance. He then proceeds to buy Johnny the said toy. And Johnny wrath is appeased. And the foolish father is happy that Johnny seems to be happy. Unbeknownst to him, father has created a monster if you will. Foolish man. And on the cycle goes, when will father set the limits with his selfish little boy? When they are forced on the streets? A little dramatic perhaps. Perhaps not.

  6. We don’t spank our children although we would in extreme circumstances but we do insist on proper manners and morality. There is a lot of claptrap about excusing immoral behaviour as being. But we try really hard not to excuse anything which is against God’s teaching.

  7. I agree with a lot of this, however I have seen and even read Christian books that use the method of peaceful parenting and it seems there is a better way to do it that does invoke boundaries and consistency and doesn’t overlook disrespectful talk/actions or destructive behavior. I definitely think it’s harmful to a child if they don’t know you are the authority in their lives because they need that for security. I wonder if there’s a balanced approach to this. It does seem clear that the Bible calls parents to discipline their children (not sure if spanking or other forms are the intent) but I do agree with a lot of the methods used in peaceful parenting like allowing some natural consequences to occur, stating clear and related consequences and being clear about guidelines and removing yourself from the equation in a way that lets kids make mistakes as long as their lives are not in danger and within the standards you establish for your household (ex: no disrespectful speech). Still not sure where we stand, but it’s interesting…

  8. Sadly this is very quickly becoming the new norm for “good parenting”. Children are being treated as idols and parents are constantly yielding to every emotion and request like their child’s life depends on it. I am not judging these parents because they are genuinely trying to do the right thing. I know many peaceful/gentle/attachment parents and they are beautiful people who are just misguided and heavily influenced by the world.

    It is becoming more dangerous and forceful as time goes by just like any other sin. We are now told that time out or removing privileges is disrespectful and border line child abuse. That children have “bodily autonomy” which means they can refuse to have their hair or teeth brushed. We should all unschool our children and let them explore and teach themselves whatever they have an interest in, if we teach or facilitate anything we are undermining them. Children should not be promted to say please or thank you because that is rude, they will say it if they want to and if you force them the words will hold no meaning. Bedtimes are enforcing naps is stripping children of their independence, we must let them choose when they want to rest so they learn to listen to their own bodies. Children must co sleep for as long as they want (forever if they choose) and husbands can sleep in another room if they have a problem with it.

    All of these examples are things I have actually witnessed in real life or have seen in various blogs and Facebook posts.

    I honestly feel like this new trend is another tactic of the enemy to destroy marriage. What man can feel happy and fulfilled after years of being cast the leftover energy and attention his wife has to offer after a busy day of worshipping her children and letting them run the household.

    I have two boys who I love with all my heart but they absolutely do not run this house. If they need a hair cut, they get one even if they don’t like it because it’s boring. If it is bedtime, they go to bed even if they would rather stay up with my husband and I.

  9. I know this post is over a year old, but I just came across it. It seems that from this Facebook post, perhaps it is difficult to tell – but Peaceful Parenting is not the same thing as Permissive Parenting. It does not mean you let your child always have his way and never discipline him. It’s more about the method of discipline. I’ve only just begun learning about Peaceful Parenting, but from my understanding, it’s about helping your child find solutions to their problems. Instead of making them behave for fear of punishment (spanking, time out, losing a privilege, etc) or for want of a reward (sticker charts, treats, toys, etc when they “behave properly”), you teach them the right thing to do and they do it because it’s the right thing to do. There are still firm boundaries and there is still discipline – but the discipline just looks different in a peaceful parenting household. For instance, instead of giving your child a time out where you force them to sit alone and “figure it out” while you ignore them (this is the typical idea of a time out), you have a “time-in” where you sit with the child, help them to calm down from whatever upset there was and then work together to find a solution to the problem. If they hit their sibling because their sibling took a toy from them, you work together to find a solution to this problem. It wasn’t kind of the sibling to take the toy, but that does not excuse them hitting the sibling. Peaceful Parenting also tries to put to use the natural consequences of a child’s actions. If you don’t eat your dinner, you’ll be hungry. If you don’t turn in your assignment, you’ll get a lower grade. Often times these natural consequences will be enough to teach a lesson without the need for additional punishments. This parenting technique also teaches parents to consider whether your discipline is really for the betterment of the child or simply for your convenience. It teaches parents to learn to be in control of their emotions so that they can handle discipline from a place of love and calm rather than reacting out of anger and frustration, which usually does no good for anyone involved. If the parent is always reacting based on their emotions, you can be sure the children will too. Children learn best from example. Of course this is only one of many ways to parent and I’m hesitant to say that any one way is completely wrong or right. What works for one family may not work for another. We all just want to raise our children to be good people.

  10. Think about that for a minute and you will realize how true the statement is. This is the basic premise of the positive discipline concept. Once we as parents recognize that inherently our kids are not bad, they are just behaving badly, the rest of it will slowly fall in place.

    For instance, suppose your child hits another child. The first thing you feel is probably embarrassment and shame, followed closely by a fear that your child may have a “mean” streak. If you go with that feeling and call your child a “bad girl” or “naughty boy” you reinforce the negative image of your child both in your own mind and in your child’s.

    Your child may just be hungry/sleepy/tired or any of the hundred different stress triggers that may have made her act out. In other words, something in your child’s environment is influencing your child to behave badly. When we accept that it was just a behavior that was bad, and the child herself is fine – teaching instead of punishing becomes easier. For instance, instead of screaming, “Why did you do that? I don’t understand how you can be so mean sometimes” you will be in a much better situation to say “That wasn’t the best behavior – we do not hit our friends”.

    At this point, I have to admit, I have a pretty strong-willed child and this will likely just get a “back answer” from her (or the water works, if she is already feeling guilty about it), but in her mind (and my own), I have planted the seed that she is not bad, it was just bad behavior, and it becomes easy for both of us to deal with it positively using one of the other techniques below.

  11. 5 Simple Ways to Teach Kids How to Apologize Sincerely
    by Jennifer Poindexter.
    (This article is part of the Positive Parenting FAQ series. Get free article updates here.)

    How to Apologize – Main Poster Isn’t it amazing that “I’m Sorry” are just two simple words, yet pack such an unbelievable punch?

    They have the ability to mend a hurt just by dancing across our lips in a sincere manner.

    Yet, those two little words are the most difficult words for us to utter at times.

    I remember as a child I was invited to my best friend’s pool party. She also invited some other friends from school. I was a few years younger than her so I felt a little out of place.

    My friend got busy with her school friends, and I felt as though she had forgotten about me. She didn’t do much to make me feel included so eventually tempers boiled. One thing led to another and we ended up in an argument.

    I remember going home in tears that day because that was the first time I had ever felt such rejection by such a close friend.

    This was the first big argument between us. We had never been so mad at each other before as to stop speaking. This argument was different. We didn’t speak for days after the incident. Neither of us knew how to apologize and take that first step towards reconciliation.

    Eventually, I remember her calling and apologizing for my feeling excluded. It may have been days since we talked, but those two magic words – “I’m sorry” – brought so much peace to my young heart. I quickly jumped in with my own apology for the hurtful things I had said during our argument. And just like that, the world tilted back on to its axis again.

    In the years since then, I have seen many relationships – from childhood friendships all the way to marriages – being mended and torn apart. Whatever the underlying cause for conflict, in most cases, the mending usually starts with those two simple yet powerful words – “I’m sorry” – said sincerely. And in cases where things fall apart, it is often due to the lack of courage to say, or mean those words.

    I want for my kids to be able to use the power of these words for mending. I want them to be able to sincerely say “I’m sorry” and fix a situation when it runs away from them.

    At the same time though, I don’t want to force this lesson upon them. Most of the power behind “I’m sorry” comes from the sincerity with which it is said. Sincerity is something I can demonstrate but can’t force my children to feel.

    So how can I teach my kids how to apologize sincerely?

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