Beyond Authoritarian and Permissive Parenting: How Else to Parent?By Dr. Margaret Paul
July 12, 2008
When you are open to learning with your children and with yourself, you will not need to resort to authoritarian or permissive controlling behaviors.
Parenting becomes a joy and a sacred privilege instead of a burden when you learn to be a loving role-model for your children. When you learn to be loving to yourself, you will naturally know how to be loving to your children. When you learn to be in the intent to learn with yourself, you will naturally be open to learning with your children, which is what they need. When you are open to learning with your children, you will not need to resort to the controlling behaviors of authoritarian parenting or permissive parenting. Parenting as a loving adult with an intent to learn about yourself and your children leads to totally different outucomes than parenting from your authoritarian or permissive wounded self.
Doing your inner work, practicing the Six Steps of Inner Bonding daily, is the very best thing you can do for yourself and your children. As you become a loving parent to yourself, you will become a loving parent to your children. As you learn what it means to truly see and love yourself, you will be able to truly see and love your children. As you role-model loving action toward yourself, others and them, your children will learn how to be loving to themselves, others and you.
No matter how old your children are, it is never too late to become a loving role-model. Your children will continue to learn from you, even when they are adults.
Doing your own inner work is not only the greatest gift you can give to yourself and your children, it is the greatest gift you can give to the planet. Through changing yourself and bringing up healthy children, you change the world.
Teaching children Inner Bonding
Young children learn Inner Bonding very easily because they have excellent imaginations and easy access to their feelings. However, it is best not to try to teach it to them until you are fairly proficient at it yourself. You are the role-model. They will learn it naturally when you have built it into your own life.
It is easy for children to imagine a fairly godmother or a guardian angel, or, if they are sports-minded, an inner coach. By using their imaginations, they can easily tap into their higher wisdom. You will be amazed at the wisdom they can access!
Get your child a doll or bear that represents his or her wounded self --the fear, anger, hurt, disappointment, and anxiety that your child may feel at times. Tell your child to imagine his or her Guidance (fairy godmother, angel, coach, imaginary friend, and so on) and ask the Guidance what this little wounded child needs. With a little practice, your son or daughter will begin to access truth and loving action. Helping children learn to take personal responsability for their feelings, rather than trying to control them with authoritarian parenting or permissive parenting.
A Word About Nutrition
Many children have sensitive bodies and are very reactive to sugar, pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals that are in food and water. Many behavior problems stem from brain toxicity caused by poor nutrition. Just as being a loving adult to yourself means taking good care of your body, being a loving parent means taking good care of your child's body. It is vital to educate yourself in this important area.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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It's a challenge to take responsibility for our own feelings when we are alone, and even more of a challenge when we are with others. Today, notice the various ways you make others responsible for your feelings - not speaking up, saying yes when you mean no, blaming, feeling hurt, waiting, people-pleasing, getting angry, withdrawing, numbing out, punishing, and so on. Just notice without judgment.
By Dr. Margaret Paul