Nov 6, 2011

Thoughts over Tea; "Unconditional Parenting"

Sunday is the perfect day for us to read, drink tea and to reflect on the events of the past week. It was quite a confronting week for me. Not only did I discover that a lot of my parenting techniques were not working for me and (more important) not working for M. But also I've read a highly confrontational book by Alfie Kohn "Unconditional Parenting" that gave me many insights into my well-meant, but as it turned out to be, conditional parenting behavior.
For example; We (my man and me) used to praise M a lot while he was playing. But I noticed that he would turn away from his activities as soon as I was interfering with my 'Well done!'.
I did not understand why. Everybody kept on telling me how important it was to constantly praise your child but it simply wasn't working for the both of us. After reading Kohn's book we tried a less judgmental approach. Instead of giving M unasked value judgments, we let him be and when he involved us we showed interest and asked questions. And it works! He plays longer, is better focused and tries things out again.
I am so happy with these insights despite the fact that they were very confronting. I discovered that although I thought my love for M was unconditional, my parenting behavior obviously was not. Strange how I've listened to everything and everybody except to my own inner voice. Quite a lesson!
After reading this refreshing blogpost 'Acceptance' on Ape Zen I felt much better. This was exactly what I was dealing with. Ha, two steps forward!


  1. It is difficult the task of a mother ... but always succeeds, always ...
    Your story is beautiful photography.
    A hug.

  2. So true. As parents we feel so much is expected of us and are expected to constantly be involved rather than accepting the moment and just letting our children 'be'. Thank you for that insightful link.

    Blessings and hugs to you from England

  3. You have the most difficult job in the world Sas! But I am sure you are wonderful at it!...

  4. One of the best parenting advice I was ever given was by an older lady who whispered in my ear...Trust your instinct and follow your heart. You are the best mother your child can ever have. I often think this simple advice should be given to any new parent, it would solve lots of problems.
    I am sure you are the best parents M could ever wish yourselves :-)

  5. Love your post; we always want to do our best as parents... but what is "best"??
    Excellent reading in Ape Zen, thank you :)

  6. lovely insight.....
    missy from the bayou

  7. Long time since I´ve been in here...but now I´m enjoy myself and also...or espesially, taking a deep breath of air and start to reflect about your thougts about life and lifes beeing.
    All thougts illustrated with very special pictures...with great feeling!

  8. Adoro gli aceri giapponesi e il thé, bellissimo post, molto colorato! ciao Cri : )

  9. Beautiful thoughts... and the photo of your tea - stunning!
    x Katherine


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