Does un-raising mean you give up all structure and routine?

Family members can be very skeptical toward dropping all methods of child-rearing i.e. praise, punishment, manipulation and control. They just don’t get that those new to the world can be treated with trust and respect. Cats don’t keep kittens away from rivers by holding them back or manhandle them to eat their catnip. Would be really weird if they did.

My Mum’s main issue with a peaceful paradigm is that she enjoys a structured routine, so she told me the other day. She doesn’t want cars at the dinner table, food in the car; on the whole she doesn’t want to go alternative routes and be inconvenienced.


These are points where many people feel children must be forced into compliance. The thing is, forcing anyone to do anything brings  power struggles, victimization, anger, vengefulness and mistrust. That’s the problem about the authoritarian paradigm.


So how do we guide our children without being completely impeded; being forced to sacrifice our own wishes, needs and comforts?


First of all you can question your socialization and conditioning:


What exactly is upsetting you and why?


What are really your wishes/principles/values?


After closer examination, do you feel comfortable being flexible now (with doing your child the favor, for example)?


Can you agree to a compromise?


In most cases these steps will lead to a peaceful existence with children or any other people. You’re not giving yourself or your convictions up; you’re reflecting and questioning standing convictions, laid upon you by being raised by traditional methods.


If you have a value you do not under any circumstances want to ignore, say eating at the dinner table at set times, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t live that principle in your family life. At first it’ll be normal to the children if they’ve grown up with this ritual. Then one day they might have other things they want to be doing at that set time.


What do you do? Run around ordering everyone to the table, spreading bad feeling, disturbing your family while they’re busy, getting angry and hysterical and letting the dinner get cold? Even if it worked, does the picture fit to your fantasy family meal times?


Well you could just go eat your dinner with a smile on your face. You’ve let your family know it’s ready and served, but they are engrossed in activities and will eat later or aren’t hungry because they snacked just a half hour ago. You reassure them that’s fine and you’ll sit by them later, but will now eat your own dinner. You have your routine, your family knows the time of dinner and schedules probably usually orientate around that set time. They see this is important to you and notice you sticking to your principles and by yourself.


I have eaten by myself on many occasions. I don’t have a set time, though dinner usually falls between 4 to 5:30 pm. If I’ve prepared a meal I usually don’t wait around before eating it - my kids know that I get grumpy when I’m hungry. I practice prevention and give them an ETA so they can plan their activities around it. More often than not, one of the boys helps prepare dinner, anyway.


I remember one time my eldest son sat at the table with me, although he wasn’t hungry, just to keep me company. Sometimes he (10) is playing tablet and comes to the table a few minutes later; one time he ate later because there was some sort of tournament on one of his games. Mostly he’s at the table when dinner is served.


Sometimes my younger son and I eat on the carpet while playing a board game or he’s busy with his cars or trains; sometimes I insist on sitting at the table (if the food threatens to be easily spilled) - then he might join me, he might not.


I do not live in a large family or a community at this point in time. There’s not much my kids can observe and imitate when it comes to eating as a group with lively conversations. Situationally something like collective mealtimes at a table gets thrown overboard - I’d rather sit amid a load of toys on the carpet with my kids, rather than insist on using the table alone.


That’s not how you imagine family life to be? Everyone doing what they like? You think kids won’t learn values? You think this is madness?!


But having clear values, morals and principles is the bottom line of parenting instead of raising children by mainstream methods. Through this they have a clear outlook on how life works, something children need as growing human beings. They aren’t forced to adopt the same values and thus have an unbiased chance to figure out their own.


When you are authentically enjoying your meal at your set time at your dinner table they will join you. Probably not during the transition from an authoritarian to a peaceful paradigm, but after that they will.


What a lovely ritual you are initiating! What a great present to your family! Why would you try to drag them kicking and screaming and chain them to their chairs?



I invite you to take your liberty and join the revolution!


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Tags: attachment parenting,, peaceful parenting,, authentic parenting,

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