So many of us feel that the old systems of parenting no longer work. Punishments that humiliate our children and establish our ultimate power over them may have short term effects, but in the long run they just create an ugly distance between us and our kids.
We are desperate for a new parenting paradigm but what does this look like?
I have asked myself this so many times and shared long and honest conversations with so many of our customers to understand what the best parenting practices are and how storytelling is a powerful resource that can change our daily lives immeasurably.
We now have scientific research that shows us that punishment can be very harmful to children (see Dr Margot Sunderland and Dr Marshall Rosenberg) and also to ourselves.
So, how do we teach our children responsibility and respect?
How do we establish healthy boundaries with our children and set them on the right path to adulthood?
How do we deal with our children’s difficult emotions and behaviours if we are not going to use traditional ways of discipline?
I cover all of these topics and more in my interview with Kiva Schuler, the co-founder of the Jai Institute for Parenting (US). If you haven’t watched it yet please do so today.
In The Antidote to Discipline I explain how, traditionally, children were taught life lessons through stories.
The village elders would share their wisdom on a daily basis – they were storytellers and guides who naturalised the parenting process for us.
Children were taught the value of natural consequences:
✨ If you did not do your work, there would be no food to eat.
✨ If you did not respect your neighbours, there would be no-one around to help you when you are in difficulty.
✨If you were not truthful, you would have to deal with the confusion that came into your life.
Stories were used as a way of communicating the natural order of the world and connection was prized over punishment. In fact, punishment was not needed because children had a better understanding of the role they played in the family and in the community.
Parents were respected by children because they were respected by society. Their role and value was clear.
Unfortunately, nowadays, parents are often shamed for not bringing up the perfect children with the perfect solutions for all the global problems that the world is dealing with. Roles are unclear and the level of support that we receive is low, even though the job that we are required to do is complicated and demanding.
I would like to share some valuable life experience with you…to make this modern parenting journey bearable you have to find your tribe.
Find a group of people who support you and listen to you without judgement and shame.
Nurture your connection with these people because they will nourish you and have your back.
Find a mentor – a guide who shares your values and can lead the way for you.
Lean on the knowledge and expertise of someone who has spent their life studying the new paradigm and can offer you useful tips and easy to implement systems.
If my values resonate with you and you like what you read and what you see at Lignin Stories, then by all means please join our membership programme, The Story Solution for Parents.
I would be honoured to be your guide and share what I have learnt over the past twenty years with you.