In the sea of parenting approaches you might have come across “Peaceful Parenting.” What is it, and how does it differ from the classic authoritative parenting style research points to as a gold standard?
Before we tell you what peaceful parenting is, we’ll start with what it’s not. Peaceful parenting often gets confused with permissive parenting. However, these two styles differ in that peaceful parenting incorporates discipline, where permissive parenting lacks it.
What is Peaceful Parenting, and How Does It Differ from Authoritative and Permissive?
Peaceful parenting is similar to authoritative parenting. Peaceful parents focus on creating harmony within their home by keeping both parents and children happy, and they do so while creating rules to keep everyone safe, healthy, and developing.
Like authoritative parents, peaceful parents:
- Encourage independence by giving children age-appropriate choices
- Focus on creating healthy parent-child bonds through everyday moments
- Empathize with children before disciplining
- Remain calm while reacting and disciplining
- Offer compassion to children when they’re angry, sad, etc.
- Coach children through teachable moments rather than control them
The primary difference between peaceful and authoritative parenting is that peaceful parenting doesn’t set a parent as the primary rule-maker. Instead, children are given equal weight in establishing rules and consequences. This is sometimes why outsiders see peaceful parenting as permissive. However, unlike permissive parenting, peaceful parenting does not:
- Allow children to get away with wrongdoings without consequences
- Let children dictate to parents what they will or won’t do
- Cause parents to “give in” when a child throws a tantrum or has challenging behavior
Although children are given the important role of working alongside parents in a peaceful parenting home, there’s still a firm understanding that rules are important and there will be consequences for breaking them.
Still, a parent or caregiver doesn’t use consequences as threats. Instead, each incident is a teachable moment in which parents connect with their child, wait for a response, and then make a request.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Peaceful Parenting
Like any parenting style, peaceful parenting may not be the right one for you and your children. Consider some of the pros and cons of peaceful parenting as you navigate your preferred parenting style:
- Children with challenging temperaments could benefit significantly from a peaceful parenting style that engages their ideas while forming emotional connections.
- Children gain some control, which can decrease the number of battles of wills in your home.
- Peaceful parenting offers secure emotional connections through empathy and compassion.
- You might find that, through the use of peaceful parenting methods, you react less and listen more.
- Some children thrive when rules are set for them. Those with autism or anxiety, for example, may benefit from you setting unambiguous, concise rules for them.
- It can be challenging to transition to this parenting style if you’ve previously used a more authoritative approach.
- Peaceful parenting can be especially tricky with toddlers; reasoning with a tantrum-throwing little one takes a lot of patience!
Your parenting style will undoubtedly take on a face of its own as you learn more about your child’s temperament and what works best. Peaceful parenting is a style to consider if you like an authoritative approach with balanced power spread between you and your children. Check out our 0-18 months and 18-24 months discipline tips for helpful advice for teaching little ones rules and consequences.