Is The New Parenting Paradigm Too Permissive?

The New Parenting Paradigm is based on parents' becoming self aware, breaking free from cultural conditioning, family patterns and liberating themselves from the past controlling their lives.

Traditional parenting resists asking, “So does this mean allowing my kid to do whatever they want, run amok and break things all day?” This approach seems too permissive. 

The new parenting paradigm has nothing to do with parents as authorities, controlling kids, or being strict. It is far different than other models of parenting. It appears permissive against the traditional way of parenting because the child takes the lead. 

In the old parenting model, the child never takes the lead. Of course, this appears permissive, easy and relaxed because it is. The parent follows the child. Observes the child. Attuning to and listening to the child.

Following the child’s lead is not what we are used to and can be mistaken for being too lenient. “Kids need to be told what to do in order for them to turn out okay”. This is the old traditional parenting mindset. One that we were raised in. “Kids must do as they are told or they will be maladaptive, misfits and deviants!”

Instead, being an attuned, aware, present, and conscious parent, who adjusts their approach, moment by moment to the needs of the child, actually raises resilient, calm and confident kids. This is foreign to parents from previous generations and often, grandparents continue to react  in traditional ways.

For example, a traditional parent makes plans with hidden agendas that they may not even be aware of. “When my child comes home today, I’m going to take them shopping, maybe see a movie, then go for dinner.” If the child balks at the parents plans, the parent gets annoyed and frustrated because the agenda comes from the parent wanting to meet their own needs, it has nothing to do with the child’s. The parent who has no idea of what kind of day the child has had at school, what they have experienced. They don’t take that into consideration. Then they make it the child’s fault when they are cranky, crabby and uncooperative while going along with the parents plan. 

The New Parenting paradigm doesn't create such agendas, because parents trust that the child will lead the way. They have awareness of their own energy and emotions and when they suggest such a schedule of the day, they are prepared to adjust to change. Traditional parents would say, “The child does what I say they do, they go where I say we will go.” Then they wonder why their children misbehave, talk back, throw tantrums and then parents punish them.

Parents love to take the lead, thinking they know what’s best for their child. They are addicted to it! Instead, when the child comes home, how about attuning to the energy of the child? Watching and gauging, “What does my child need at this moment?” The parent does away with their agendas, with their fantasies, and with their stories to relate with the child before them. Then when the child says, “You know what? I don’t want to go to a movie today.” The parent is relaxed and ready for all possibilities.There’s no conflict! There’s more harmony, and connection. The child feels heard and understood. The child doesn't feel like a puppet, and the parent has less anxiety and stress. 

Parents sometimes say to me, “This makes sense, I can do this! I’ll change my energy and allow my child to lead as long as my child and I have less conflict.” You see the trap there? They’ll do it, but there’s a condition. Parents want a prize at the end. They want a guarantee that life will be free from stress with little discomfort. 

Letting go of our attachment to how our child should be, seeing them as they are, not putting our ideas on who they should be or who we want them to be, freeing them from our expectations is the key. 

Children don’t want to be feral, and they don’t set out to misbehave. They come into life knowing what to do in order to become adults, and we just need to get out of their way! Stop imposing ourselves on them. Do we even realize that we obstruct them at every turn? How frustrating that must feel!

Children need connection to thrive. Trying to train them to obey our rules and codes of behavior using punishment to correct their disobedience actually creates disconnection and more unwanted behavior.

The New Parenting Paradigm requires us to be compassionate, conscious and self-aware to create the relationship with the child who feels seen, heard, understood, valued  and validated. This is not permissiveness, this is empowering.