Just Say No to Crime and Punishment Parenting [Respect and Relationships Built on Trust]
I believe that as a parent, I am a tour guide and not a jail warden. I’m relieved to see that crime and punishment parenting is becoming more and more a thing of the past. We are evolving beyond; using our neocortex to offer peaceful guidance in lieu of relying on our reactionary hindbrain in dealings with our beloved offspring.
In order to parent peacefully, it is vital that we grow conscious enough of ourselves and our own desires and reactions that we are able to put ourselves into their small, inexperienced shoes.
I come from a family culture where children are less than; not adult, so incomplete somehow.
So, naturally it is easy for me to fall back on that— I’m the grown up, you’re only a child. My needs are more important because…
Why? Are they actually more important? Is this fact?
Importance is relative.
The needs and desires of adults and children quite often sit at opposite ends of the spectrum, though one is not any more or less valid than the other. Children are onlylearning how to express their emotions, learning how to process disappointment. And dammit!, instant gratification takes too long.
I read a piece of parenting advice somewhere that said something to the effect of, “treat your children with the same respect you treat your partner.” – and it stuck with me.
I don’t deserve more respect because I’ve gone more times ’round the sun, and they don’t deserve less for being inexperienced. True respect is neither demanded nor coerced; true respect is a natural by-product of a relationship built on trust.
We can draw lines but still validate, supporting them in their feelings and attempts to deal. What can seem so silly to us can be quite important to a smaller person and it sucks to not get what we want (I remind myself of this as my five year old melts when denied access to the refrigerator for yet another snack).
I’ve got thirty-four years of learning how to process my disappointments. He’s got five.