When I talk about peaceful parenting,
saying YES more than NO,
creating a happy and peaceful atmosphere in the home
and using communication and collaboration instead of control when raising our kids
I often hear the argument that if we make everything nice for them they will not be able to cope in the real world.
The idea that we as parents must create negative experiences for our kids or they will not learn to deal with adversity is a false one.
The World is Full of Obstacles
Kids experience hardship from the moment they are born into the world.
There is harshness and retribution all over the place.
In school, in the mall, in the playground, in school (I said school twice on purpose)
So really there is no shortage of difficult experiences for them to deal with.
My personal belief is that parents should be the guide through these experiences
and a safe haven from them,
not the source of one more in a long line.
Don’t Be A Pushover
If we ignore negative experiences,
pretend they don’t exist
and excessively shelter our kids from them,
then of course they will be unprepared for the world as it exists today.
I clearly do not advocate being a pushover in life!!
I have taught my kid to deal with the onslaughts of life in many ways over the years.
I’ve just done my best not to be one of those onslaughts myself!!
Traditional Parenting Doesn’t Teach These Skills
When I look around at the general population I see that many,
if not most people do not have the best coping mechanisms
for dealing with negative experiences in their daily lives.
People get defensive, hurt, angry, frightened,
immobilized and lacking problem solving skills
especially when there is extreme pressure…
To be honest I don’t see much evidence that the traditional approach does result in the acquisition of the skills required to deal with these kinds of situations. In fact the opposite seems to be true.
If I lived in a society of creative, responsive, well adjusted, high functioning, high self-esteem, loving, peaceful, powerful, fun loving, balanced, perceptive and … happy people – well maybe I’d re-think my position.
This is not the norm.
The norm is not great.
The normal has produced the norm.
I want more than this normal for my kid, and all kids.
This is why I advocate a new model of parenting and dealing with young people.