Respectful Parenting 

I’ve been meaning to compile the following list of articles I’ve come across that, over the past few months, have inspired and affirmed many parenting techniques that Justin and I choose to parent by. 

Authoritative, not authoritarian or permissive, parenting is so quickly misinterpreted or misrepresented by so many people and it’s always nice coming across cohesive articles that mostly relate the parenting style in a clear and concise way. I offer the articles to you for your consideration and would love to hear your thoughts or responses to them. I’m sure there may be bits and pieces of each that Justin and I don’t fully support, but through my reading of them I’ve found them mostly aligning with our thoughts and perspective on parenting. We are truly intrigued by the task of parenting and are so invested in researching and understanding the purpose behind what we’re doing and also deeply desire to give Theo, and soon Claire, the respect and understanding that they deserve as human beings and provide them a place of honesty, expression and support in a home. 

Many people can accuse us of being idealistic, like we expect to be the perfect parents and have somehow solved all the parenting issues since time began, one of the many misinterpretations of authoritative parenting, however we are fully aware of our downfalls and believe there will be many mistakes made along the way, but that doesn’t change our desire to rewrite and write from our own experiences and move forward with the most optimistic outlook! 

We love parenting Theo and we love to see him thrive with the patterns we currently have in place, it’s one of the greatest gifts to see your child feel safe enough to express themselves, strong enough to face new possibilities, and secure enough to come to you when they are feeling they need you knowing that they will be received with understanding and respect specific to them and who they are and who they are growing to be.


I’ll actually start by recommending the book that ended up being the springboard into the parenting style Justin and I pursued and that book was ‘Bringing Up Bebe’ by Pamela Druckerman. As I think back on the book in its entirety I realized that there are parts we didn’t end up applying, but the foundational piece of regarding your child, from the moment of birth, as a complete and cognizant human being deserving of respect and communication was such a huge eye opening perspective to put into place and build off of that I can’t help but recommend it as one of the best parenting resources out there!

But now on to the articles! 

They Raise the Worlds Happiest Children

‘After examining the temperamental differences between babies born in the US and the Netherlands, Dutch babies were found to be more contented – laughing, smiling and cuddling more – than American babies. Dutch babies were also easier to soothe, while American babies displayed more fear, sadness and frustration. Psychologists attribute this discrepancy to the different cultural mores of child-rearing in the two countries.’


Stress in Babies

‘For instance, parents who show higher levels of sensitivity tend to have babies with lower baseline cortisol levels (Blair et al 2006). And it’s the infants born with “difficult,” easily-distressed temperaments that seem to benefit the most.’


Less Really is More

Every generation wants to give their children more than they had themselves. My intention was no different—I wanted to give my children more. More love. More protection. More opportunities. More toys.

More, more, more.

This desire for ‘more’ was rooted in love’


Christians and Spanking Culture

The idea that not spanking is some sort of easy, overly lenient parental response is baffling to me. It would be much simpler to smack my kids every time they did something wrong (especially when I’m angry at them) than it is to consistently treat them like human beings deserving of the same respect that I believe I’m entitled to.’


No Bad Kids – Toddler Discipline 

A toddler acting out is not shameful, nor is it behavior that needs punishing. It’s a cry for attention, a shout-out for sleep, or a call to action for firmer, more consistent limits. It is the push-pull of our toddler testing his burgeoning independence. He has the overwhelming impulse to step out of bounds, while also desperately needing to know he is securely reined in. There is no question that children need discipline. As infant expert Magda Gerber said, “Lack of discipline is not kindness, it is neglect.’


10 Ways Kids Appear to be Acting Bad, but aren’t

When we recognize kids’ unwelcome behaviors as reactions to environmental conditions, developmental phases, or our own actions, it lets us respond proactively, and with much more compassion.’


When Your Toddler is Stalling

She is definitely exploring her power in these situations… and I imagine she senses your annoyance, which makes this even more of an interesting experiment for her. So, I would differentiate for yourself between the times it doesn’t matter to you and the times when you don’t want to wait for her. When it’s something you don’t mind waiting for, totally let it go… and say something like, “Just let me know when you’re ready (to change her diaper, get dressed, take a bath, etc.), I’ll be here with my book (or in the kitchen, etc.)” Or you could decide to tag along with her while she dawdles, while letting go of your agenda completely. Either way, you will be very relaxed waiting, which will disempower the stalling and also give her the chance to be the one to say “I’m ready”.’


The One Thing Parents Can Do To Make the Morning Smoother

She’s on the floor, crying and flailing her arms before I can finish saying “snow boots.” We are running late (again) but I take a minute to lock the bathroom door, turn the vent on, and cry. Why is this is hard? What am I doing wrong?

According to experts, my error is obvious. I’ve forgotten to start the day with connection.

Instead of “making a deposit” in my child’s bank – in the form of cuddles, reading to her, or even asking how she slept, I’ve attempted to make a number of “withdrawals.” I’ve forgotten that my daughter’s brain is just not wired to accommodate that.’


How to Respond When Your Child is Disrespectful

As parents, we definitely need to teach our children how to treat others with kindness, and how to communicate big feelings without being disrespectful.

Unfortunately, we cannot teach them to be respectful in the heat of the moment.

I know you WANT to deal with it right then and there.

But, once your child is angry, disappointed, frustrated, or upset, the thinking part of their brain has shut down. They are in survival mode. Their body is flooded with stress chemicals and they are not able to hear and process the lessons you are trying to teach.’


Respectful Parenting is NOT a Trend

No child is going to grow up wishing they were shown less respect. No adult thinks “boy I wish I was talked down to more and treated like I was inferior“. No one is wishing they were punished for being a child and still learning. 


It’s Hard for Them Too

For starters, think about being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it — endlessly. Eat this thing that you’ve never seen before. Don’t make a rude face (what does rude mean?). It’s time to go somewhere you don’t want to go, and hurry, hurry, hurry to meet an arbitrary timeline that means nothing to you.

Imagine failing as much as a young child does. Not being able to make your hands move the right way to cut the paper, stumbling as you run across the lawn, spilling the milk you so desperately wanted to pour (and here I am, exasperated with him again).’

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