There’s an alternative to fear

There are two base emotions – fear and love. How do fear and love play out in your parenting?

Fear-based parenting views the child as bad, annoying, or time-consuming. Love-based parenting views your child as worthy of your love, time, and attention. Fear-based parenting views the child as “manipulative and attention seeking”. Love-based parenting recognises that all behaviour arises from a need (physical, emotional, intellectual), and sometimes behaviour is a way of attempting to make a connection with the parent.

Fear-based parenting emphasises the need for discipline and punishment. Love-based parenting emphasises the need for guidance, education, and relationship. Fear-based parenting seeks revenge or payback for a child’s behaviour. Love-based parenting seeks belonging and connection for the child.

Fear-based parenting notices “bad” behaviour. Love-based parenting notices mistaken behaviour (Dan Gartrell).

When we move from fear-based parenting to love-based parenting we move from ME (parent’s agenda) to WE (parent and child together). It is no longer us versus them.

In fear-based parenting the parent reacts. In love-based parenting the parent responds. In times of high emotion, the parent remembers to Stop-Breathe-Think-then Do.

In fear-based parenting the child’s feelings are dismissed. In love-based parenting the child’s feelings are acknowledged.

In fear-based parenting, the parent persuades, nags, begs, yells, and hits. In love-based parenting, the parent employs the “no talking, no emotion” strategy in dealing with mistaken behaviour (Dr Thomas Phelan). Fear-based parenting focuses on the person doing the wrong thing. Love-based parenting focuses on the behaviour.

Through fear-based parenting, the child experiences shame, which can last a lifetime. Through love-based parenting, the child experiences guilt, which is short-term (Dr Daniel A Hughes). In fear-based parenting, the parent feels shame, blame, and guilt. In love-based parenting, the parent tries to be real (Scott Noelle http://www.enjoyparenting.com/daily-groove/be-real).

In fear-based parenting, the parent burdens the child with his or her own feelings, demands an insincere apology, and does not apologise for his or her own inappropriate behaviour. In love-based parenting, the parent talks about OK/not OK for self and child, seeks relationship repair, admits wrongdoing, and role models saying sorry.

Fear-based parenting values the child for what he or she does. Love-based parenting values the child for who she or he is.

In fear-based parenting, the parent is operating at a head level. In love-based parenting, the parent is operating from a heart level.

“How do your words fall on your child’s heart?” – Lisa Nichols

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Narelle Smith

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cruel and heartless

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Categories: Managing Mistaken Behaviour

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