Peaceful Parenting: The Bomb in the Brain

"Pink Lily on Tranquil Lake" by ahnhnhidesign

Pink lily Thanks to catastropic failures of both my NVIDIA Shield Tablet (dead, irreplaceable battery) and my PC (Windows Update gone wrong requiring recovery) I am a bit behind on my blog entries. I will try to get both Friday’s feature and today’s out by he end of the day.

I hve been followng the work of the philosopher Stefan Molyneux for about ten years now. His work has helped me turn the philosophy minor I took in Univesity from a “thing that was on my resume” to “a useful tool that has helped me in my career” by showing me how it can be used to help people one-on-one. Stefan’s is a gateway drug into a lot of communities and ideas, because he shares so richly of his sources and inspirations.

One of the ideas that he shared that really struck me was the practice of Peaceful Parenting: a method and community dedicated to parenting kids without corporal punishment, arbitrary consequences, or the use of shame and bullying. Peaceful Parenting uses  combination of assertiveness, reason, and empathy to help kids learn to be disciplined for themselves, rather than needing to “discipline” them. It also teaches you how to build a home environment that makes kids want to behave, rather than intimidating them into doing so.

Peaceful parenting is very different from “no rules” parenting; being a peaceful parent involves means setting clear rules and strong boundaries. You try to have positive and joyous relationships with your kid, but you don’t try to be their friend. You don’t punish your kids with arbitrary penalties for bad behaviour, but you also don’t shield them from the consequences  of bad or foolish behaviour, and you trust them with privileges only as far as they have earned them.

(Here is  good starting resource for you on Peaceful Parenting from Dr. Laura Pickering.)

But while much of the peaceful parenting community is good on the How of Peaceful Parenting, Stefan Molyneux did an amazing job on the Why, as in the reason why it is so important that we parent peacefully.

First being that hitting, shaming, or manipulating children is wrong. Just as it is wrong to hit, shame, or manipulate any human being except in self defense.

The Second is that parents aren’t entitled to the love and respect of their children, just like they aren’t entitled to the love or respect of anyone else, it has to be earned if you don’t want to end up old and alone.

The Third being that Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.), and Emotional Intelligence Quotient (E.Q.) are the two greatest predictors of happiness and success for a human being aside from the presence of an engaged Father Figure in a child’s life Teching kids with reason, assertiveness, and empathy will help them develop the highest I.Q. and E.Q. that they could potentially have.

The Fourth being that children who have experienced serious violence or bullying – especially in the home –  do worse in almost every aspect of life, have lower IQs and EQs, and are far more likely to go on to abuse and bully others, including their own children. In fact, the prevalence of violent crime and even war seem to have their origin in a culture’s parenting practices. Peaceful parenting can ensure not just your own child’s success, but help build a more peaceful future.

These are bold caims, of course. And one of the things that I found truly valuable about Stefan Molyneux’s work is that he took the time to create a video series that goes over the evidence that makes the case for raising your children as peacefully as possible. The series is entitled “The Bomb in the Brain”, and I highly encourage parents to watch the whole series. And so I will provide links to it here.

If you find it compelling and want more – or if you need something a little less technical you can also try his “The Truth About Spanking” series here.  And his series on Peaceful Parenting, here.

I will be doing monthly articles on Peaceful Parenting, and will likely touch on the subject fairly often.

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