The danger for children who are trained to follow out of coercion is that they are easily misled, mistrust their inner voice and become codependent on others, making them easy victims or bullies.
Children who are listened to: learn to listen to those they trust and learn to trust themselves, making them less vulnerable to peer pressure or bullying.
Anyone can use manipulation, bribes, punishment, fear or the withholding of love to make a child comply and follow.
Almost all of us know these tricks because we’ve had them used on us as kids and in out adult relationships too. It’s primitive human behaviour.
When children are bullied by the ones meant to protect and lead them, they become susceptible to all sorts of problems.
No loving parent intentionally raises their child to be a victim or bully, yet it happens all the time.
The goal of peaceful parenting is to empower parents with better methods to lead children so they grow to honour themselves and others.
To know their worth and the worth of others.
To have a strong internal government and choose right from wrong even when no-one is looking.
To know what it feels like to be loved just as they are and to love others just as they are.
To improve and believe in themselves simultaneously.
To take responsibility for their actions and to recognise that others are responsible for their actions.
Peaceful parenting creates an environment for every family member to grow. It is the choice to lead without doing harm.
They say true leaders inspire others to become leaders, I believe that.
Peaceful parenting requires patience and faith because all the best work takes place on the inside before you see it on the outside.
True discipline isn’t something we do TO children, it’s something we do for ourselves as adults, and in turn, inspire children to do for themselves.
True discipline is developed internally, not externally. There is an external ripple effect though. As we practise, we inspire practice in our children.
To inspire any virtue in a child is to live it. Self-regulation comes with emotional maturity.
Empathy, respect, kindness, consideration and other virtues cannot be enforced, they can only be chosen.
Children choose them naturally when they’re positively modeled and continuously practised.
Children’s hearts are won through relationships, not with rules. You don’t have to use fear and unfairness to force them to follow if you choose calm and integrity to inspire them as you lead.
How we parent children today grows the adults of tomorrow.
No parent is ALWAYS conscious, gentle, positive, peaceful and authentic. We have to CHOOSE to be and practise moment by moment…day after day. The more we practise, the stronger we grow.
Synergy Parenting Resources, South Africa
Lelia Schott is a South African mother to four sons and two daughters (aged 22, 20, 18, 15, 8 and 5). Lelia is a certified parent coach, unschooler, independent researcher, writer, dreamer, peaceful parenting and child advocate, lover of nature, music and exercise. On her best days she can be found with her family in the garden, swimming or walking along the beach.