I choose to be a connective parent because flexibility and self-direction are the two top competencies needed to succeed in the 21st Century.
I choose to empathize with my child because understanding another’s point of view is paramount in establishing good relationships.
I don’t engage in power struggles with my child because a win/lose model never wins.
I don’t use time out because I don’t think it’s right to isolate a child who is having a problem.
I don’t spank or hit because I don’t want to teach my child that using physical force is a way to get what you want.
I don’t take away privileges because I don’t think that intentionally provoking my child’s anger or resentment is the way to gain cooperation.
I don’t ground my child or take away access to what is important to him because it won’t seem fair or logical, and he will assume that I don’t understand him.
I choose to problem solve with my children instead of punish or dole out consequences because it is important for them to express their feelings and work through a problem to find it’s solution and make compromises with the needs and wishes of others.
I don’t fix my child’s problems because I want to instill in him my trust that he can solve his own problems—so he will always come to me with his problems knowing I will support him and not tell him what to do.
I don’t ask my child to solve my problems and make my life easier or more convenient because I take responsibility for my own problems and feelings.
I don’t take responsibility for my child’s feelings and desires but I do take full responsibility for everything I say and do because I want to model strong boundaries for my children.
I treat my children respectfully even when setting limits because that’s how I want them to treat others.
I step into my child’s shoes to understand her perspective because I always want her to know that I accept her unconditionally.
I consider myself my child’s authority figure and guide but not his boss or director.
I take my child’s unacceptable behavior as a sign that she is having a problem, not being a problem—so I look to what may be causing her problem.
I don’t blame or criticize my child because I don’t want him to react defensively.
I allow my children to argue with me and negotiate because I want them to have the benefit of developing their own opinions and good negotiating skills.
I choose relationship above and beyond all else because in the end that is what matters most.
These are only a few reasons for using a connective approach. Please add your own in the comments.
1 thought on “The Reasons I am a Connective Parent”
Thank you for this so-beautiful piece of writing. If only every parent could have the chance to read this and realise the many ways that non-connective, traditional parenting can harm relationships and harm children’s resilience, flexibility, cooperativeness and happiness.
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