By Eliane Sainte-Marie, founder Parenting For Wholeness
There are many wonderful peaceful parenting teachings, authors, programs and coaches nowadays. Which is so exciting to me!
But many moms come to me, saying they have read every book and some having even worked with some of those teachers, and they are EXHAUSTED.
They feel like their whole life is about finding ways to peacefully manage their children’s emotions and behaviors, and their cup is completely empty.
Another common concern moms share with me is that they struggle to get their partner on board to respectfully respond to their children’s behaviors.
For many, though the dads theoretically agree with the values of peaceful parenting, they don’t see it as being effective, and are tired of their homes feeling like a free-for-all.
They therefore insist on using time-outs, consequences and punishments in an attempt to get some sense of order in their families, which breaks the moms’ hearts, and causes conflict in the family.
All this happens because there’s a missing piece in many wonderful peaceful parenting teachings.
But before I divulge what it is, I want to give you an experience of it.
Please take a moment to picture this:
You have just moved somewhere with a completely different culture.
Imagine that you’re there alone, not knowing the language and not knowing any of the local customs. Not knowing what is considered rude or might upset people or possibly even make them want to harm you. Not knowing how to operate any of their technology or how to operate in their society, organizations, businesses, etc.
How would that feel?
And now imagine that you have a local guide who is there to help you acclimate. Would you do whatever you want, or would you check with that trusted person to find out what's appropriate? Would that person be controlling you or helping you adapt to the culture?
As far as that guide goes, would you prefer someone who is afraid to control you, afraid to give you information, who is apologetic and who avoids giving you directions as much as possible? Or would you want someone who knows you well, knows what you already know and what you haven’t encountered yet, and matter-of-factly presents you with the information you need when you need it?
This clear, confident and benevolent leadership piece is what I find is missing from many otherwise wonderful teachings.
Here are 5 resources that dive deeply into what that clear benevolent leadership is or demonstrate it (and a video of my daughter demonstrating it toward the end of this article:)
Here are 2 more which will likely also be important ones for you, if you resonate with everything else in this article so far:
You can also request my FREE Report:
"The Almost Magical Formula For Surprising Ease and Harmony in
Your Family While Fully Honoring Your Children’s Spirits."
Developing this clear benevolent leadership is one of the most powerful things you can do to move you toward the ease and harmony I promise you is possible in your family.
It took me quite a while to figure how to implement this in my parenting, after learning about it in my parenting bible, The Continuum Concept.
And I find that it’s one of the hardest things to develop, in my intensive work with parents in my Clean Parenting™ program.
But oh the difference that happens once it is embodied!
(And a bonus is that our children then develop that skill that serves them in many aspects of their lives, particularly at work once they are in charge of other people! You can see my oldest daughter demonstrating Clear Benevolent Leadership in this video. I'm such a proud mama! ♥ )
One of my core messages in my work is that parenting can be easy. Because it truly is how I experienced it. Not that life with children was always easy, but the parenting piece was.
ONCE I figured out how to embody that clear benevolent leadership stance that The Continuum Concept described, I felt like I wasn’t really parenting, but just living my life with my children. (You can read about my experience here.)
And I’ve found this to be replicable in the families I work with, again, once that leadership piece clicks into place.
(I want to note that though I’m a huge proponent of unschooling and it’s what we did in my family until my daughters each chose to attend school, I find that this leadership piece is also lacking in many unschooling families, to the detriment of all family members. The parents so want to give their children freedom over their own choices that they don’t set limits or boundaries on things that impact the whole family, and generally the main caretaker in particular.)
Here’s what 2 moms have shared with me once that happened for them:
“My kids used to have big feelings almost daily, certainly at least weekly. This has changed immensely. My being matter of fact and holding out positive expectation and being a leader has shifted this. My kids TALK to me and with each other during challenging times, things that used to explode don't anymore...we breeze through them calmly. My life doesn't revolve around my kids unless I decide I want it to at any given moment. My kids respect my time and space and they play well on their own. I feel much more relaxed around things that caused me stress before. This class should be taught to everyone - instead of birthing classes. It should be taught in schools.” Erin Reindl, child and family therapist, Denver.
“I love parenting in this very Clean way. We started seeing whole chunks of hours without any conflict, and eventually it became days! It's so satisfying, freeing, relieving. So wonderful to respect Olivia while maintaining healthy boundaries and to see her thrive.” Mona Sanei.
But you know how I say that parenting can be easy, but that the path to that ease is not necessarily easy?
I've found that the leadership stance that I teach is one of the hardest things for parents to embody. A lot of the work the moms and dads do in my Clean Parenting™ Program is to learn to parent from this stance, to find that natural leadership in themselves, and to clear what's in their way of embodying it.
If you resonate with the importance of being that leader to your children and don't trust that you can get there on your own, consider joining my next Clean Parenting™ group.
I would love to help you uncover and develop your clear benevolent leadership skills! Email me to set up a time to chat and see if this program would be the right fit for you.
With much love,