We all strive to be the best parents we can be, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. It may feel like we’re constantly juggling so many tasks while trying to make our kids happy, all the while attempting to maintain our own sanity. It may seem as though we’re endlessly looking for the most effective parenting as we aim to enforce discipline and manage challenging behavior. Being mindful about how we discipline our children makes a big difference when it comes to their behavior, as well as in our relationships with our kids. This is where the importance of peaceful parenting comes in. 

“Peaceful parenting” is a phrase coined to describe the practice of raising children in an environment where parents maintain control without resorting to punishment, coercion, or violence. Peaceful parenting entails teaching kids how to make good choices by providing them with solutions, rather than telling them what not to do. It also means mastering the art of regulating our own emotions as we discipline children effectively, while also strengthening the parent-child bond. 

Unlike imposing punishment on your child, practicing peaceful parenting places an emphasis on preserving the relationship you have with your child. It will also reduce the frequency of negative behaviors your child displays. 

Read on and learn how to practice peaceful parenting as a discipline strategy in your home.

Begin with yourself

Peaceful parenting is all about learning how to regulate one’s emotions, and this is the first step.  When you find yourself upset or on the verge of exploding, the first thing you need to do is to pause and breathe. It’s not always easy, but practicing this kind of mindfulness can help you stay calm so that you don’t become overwhelmed by your own anger. It’s important that we delay taking action until our strong emotions can subside, which enables us to remain calmer. 

Focus on the connection with your child

A strong connection with your child is vital in order for a peaceful parenting approach to work effectively. Start by strengthening the bond you have with your child. Ensuring that your relationship with your child is nurturing and strong is your first priority before you can make any changes to your parenting or discipline style. 

Make time to be present and connect with your child on a personal level each day. Join your little ones during their playtime, engage in conversations over snacks, read books together, and so on. Focus on activities that promote bonding and communication, which will ensure that your child feels loved. Before you know it, your little one will be more responsive to your requests. 

Offer your child loving guidance

Parents have a tough job when it comes to teaching their youngsters how to manage their own behavior and emotions, without children feeling as though they’re being reprimanded. When you offer your children loving guidance, it will help to make your child feel more understood and loved. This helps kids learn how to focus on their own actions, and they’ll be receptive to your directions instead of resenting you. 

Set limits with empathy

Children need boundaries and limitations in order to help them learn which types of behavior are appropriate, and which are inappropriate, as they grow into responsible young adults. As a parent, it is your job to enforce rules, expectations,  limits for your child. And kids are more likely to respect these limits when they feel understood. 

An effective way to help your child understand the importance of your rules and expectations is by recognizing your child’s point of view. It will make it easier on both of you if you can try to see things from your child’s perspective before imposing punishment or laying down new rules that may leave your little one feeling helpless. Children may not be happy if they perceive your response to their behavior as unfair, but it’s important that we give them an opportunity to express themselves first, instead of taking extreme measures right away. 

In order to show your child empathy, you may say something like, “I know you’re scared to get in trouble, but it’s important that we are always honest with each other.” 

Avoid time-outs

Giving a time-out is a common method of discipline used by many parents. While this approach is far better than resorting to corporal punishment, sometimes time-out can also create more misbehavior. This method comes with its caveats. Children may become anxious during a time-out because their parents aren’t present during their isolation period to help them manage their tangled-up emotions. This isn’t helpful, especially for younger kids, but it may work with older children. 

As parents, we all strive to raise well-behaved and happy children, but it’s important that doing so doesn’t compromise our relationship with our little ones. With peaceful parenting, you can be loving, yet firm, as you work to encourage your child to exhibit appropriate behavior and make positive choices.

For more tips and resources on parenting, feel free to visit The Pillars Christian Learning Center