One of the biggest hang-ups about consensual living I hear from parents is that there is no cut and dry answer. There isn’t a pre-set formula which says that the child did X so the parent must do Y. Differing from traditional authoritarian parenting, when an infraction by the child must result in a punishment by the parent, consensual living challenges the parent to observe what happened, communicate with the child, and work with the child to find a solution which is acceptable to all. For those of us who grew up with traditional American dogma concerning the treatment of children, it can be a siwtch in thinking.
I can’t remember how many times a parent has come to me, told me about a particular situation, and then asked me what they should do. Walking the parent through this new way of thinking generally begins with me asking the person to start out by asking “Why?” We always have a reason for doing the things that we do, even when we don’t consciously recognize them. If you have a problem, you have to decipher the root cause in order to rectify it. Slapping on a band-aid, or punishment, is not going to address the root cause of the problem. It’s not going to fix anything. What may work in one situation with its own unique set of variables won’t necessarily work in another.
The same is true with our relationships, regardless of whether they are relationships with another adult or someone who has yet to reach the age of majority. Life isn’t one size fits all, and we shouldn’t expect parenting or our relationships with our children to be, either. However, working to find amicable solutions with these wonderful people we are privileged to know is rewarding beyond measure.
Please join us all week, June 25-June30, 2012, as we explore the world of gentle, effective parenting. We have new posts each day by talented authors providing us with insight into why gentle parenting is worth your time and how to implement it on a daily basis. Check out all the carnival posts over on ParentingGently.com
We are also giving away several parenting book and other goodies from our sponsors this week. Please stop by and enter to win!
This year’s beautiful motherhood artwork is by Patchwork Family Art. Visit the store to see all her work.