Creative Child

Beyond Control: Finding Freedom and Peace in Parenting

by Rebecca Eanes


When you dig deeper down into positive parenting, you get to the “positive” part. Finally you will find the place where you can exhale and know that:

  • You don’t have to perfect.
  • Your child doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • When you falter, you forgive.
  • You are free to love without conditions.
  • Your child’s behavior today doesn’t define who he will be tomorrow. Neither does yours define who you will be tomorrow.

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The best thing about giving up conventional parenting and just resting in the relationship you cultivate with your child is that, through this relationship comes real influence and through your example comes discipline, and suddenly you find that parenting is joyful again. No longer bound by constricting societal rules on what you “should” do in every instance, you are finally free to parent your way, to follow your heart and own intuition.

We’ve all been conditioned to believe that parenting is so hard and that we are so self-sacrificing, but when we learn to put connection above all else, our hearts find peace.

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Am I painting a flawless picture of forever harmony here? Not at all. There will be conflict, raised voices, bad days or maybe even weeks. There will be disconnects and high emotions and low emotions. There will be struggles and misbehaviors and loss of direction at times.

But that’s okay. It’s okay. Because we’re human, and those things happen in the context of human relationships. Yes, our interactions are shaping their little brains, but this doesn’t mean that every negative interaction will damage them for life. In fact, when we come back and reconnect, when we forgive and hug and say, “Do you know how much I love you?” we are creating pathways for healthy relationships, for learning how to come back to peace after a rift, and that’s valuable real-world stuff!

Have faith in yourself. Know that you are good enough. Believe in your ability to raise your child well. Set a positive example. Yes, guide them and teach them, and above all, know that your relationship is what will make it all stick, not your “discipline methods.”

Have faith in your child. Know that she is good as is and is doing the best she can. Believe in his desire and his ability to do right. Know that a single misbehavior, or even a string of them, does not define him. Know that unconditional love has the power to pull any child (and parent) back into the light.

“If you want your children to follow along a certain path, you must lead the way as the ocean leads a river home by remaining below it. If you manipulate, coerce and bully your children, you will have no power at all. If you lead with humility, gentleness, and by example, you will need no power at all.” – William Martin

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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