This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.So we added a baby to the mix, another boy and for those of you keeping track that is three. Three really adorable boys with very active and different personalities. We also made the decision that I am going to be staying home this coming school year. We started looking for daycares again and no one wanted to take an infant for the timeframe we wanted, also any of the in home daycares already had two under age two, so couldn’t take another infant and I was done with hiring private sitters after our last three quit without warning because they were done being nannies. Oh and one other thing we forgot – how tiring this can be when you aren’t as young as you once were.
Here we are four months postpartum and we both feel lost as parents. My husband said to me the other day, “I don’t know why I’m angry all the time,” I didn’t know what to say to him because I felt that way too. We were both coming from places of anger in our interactions with our children and so far off the mark of where we wanted to be. Yelling had become the only means of communication. So we both needed to get back to more meaningful and peaceful connections with our kids but felt a bit lost as to how to get there.
Dr. Laura’s book presented three steps to peaceful parenting and introduced those right off the bat.
Peaceful Parents regulate their own emotions. So again that reminder is on us. We are the adults are we are responsible for setting the tone of how we respond to our children. Modeling that behavior of regulating our emotions helps our children regulate theirs.
We are still working on that part but we are each trying to find what works for us. I’ve adopted some mindful practices and also I am trying to meditate. My husband is getting back to exercising to help work off his energy and help him regulate his emotions.
A Peaceful Parents prioritizes staying warmly connected to their children. Connection between parent and child, translate to connection between siblings.
In the heat of the moment, this is hard, especially if I do not have the first part under control. But I am finding ways to prioritize connection with each child and finding that lessons the times where they are fighting and I am having to react.
A Peaceful Parent coaches instead of controls. What does that mean? Well think about it, your coach shows you how to work as a team without forcing you to.
Right back to the heart of the matter here – we want to teach our children the whys of their behavior, not just force them to blindly follow direction. Our children are unique individuals and we want to embrace their differences and help them find their strengths and appreciate each other.
Those three things seem really simple and really hard all at once. We are looking forward to learning more from Dr. Laura’s book.