Category Archives: Parental Influence

Dialogue: The Heart of New School Parenting

Dialogue: The Heart of New School Parenting

Parent-child dialogue is the heart and soul of my New School approach to how to be a parent. The love a parent has for a child is expressed and embodied in how the parent communicates with the child, even when the child is a newborn. Obviously, dialogue entails listening as well as talking, and it includes all non-verbal communication as well. There are many skills involved in having a good dialogue, and as parents we are illustrating and teaching them to our children in everything we say and do.

In the New School approach to parenting, we recognize and accept the fact that control of children’s behavior is a delusion. We cannot control our children’s behavior. (See my “Volcano Theory.”) They have free will. We do not have a remote control to their brain. They are not robots or slaves. They talk to us when they want to talk, not necessarily when we want them to talk.

Consequently we are convinced that we are better off not even trying to control their behavior through the Old School use of power and control tactics, like our parents used (yelling, ordering, bossing, threatening, punishing, spanking, hitting, grounding, etc). We recognize these as invitations to trouble. We acknowledge that the best we can get from our children, and what we really want from them, is their cooperation, based on dialogue and agreements, rather than their obedience to rules that we impose. If they don’t want to talk, we realize we cannot force them to.

Influence Does Not Equal Control

In the New School approach to parenting, we acknowledge that while we have absolutely no control over our children’s behavior, but only over our own, we also acknowledge that we have tremendous influence on our children’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. We acknowledge that influence does not equal control. Continue reading

Parent Power: Influence Rather Than Control

Parent Power:
Influence Rather Than Control

Parents have much greater power in relation to their children than most ever realize. But it’s the power of influence, not control. While you can’t make your child do a single thing, you have far greater influence than you might think.

The Source of Your Power

The source of your power in relation to your child is the emotional attachment (emotional bond) between you and your child. One biological mother and one biological father bring each and every child into this world. They constitute the first and strongest determinants of life or death, of love and security, or loss and insecurity for the newborn. (For many newborns surrogate or adoptive parents serve in this role.) Every newborn infant depends one hundred percent for his/her physical and emotional health on the ability of the parents–especially the mother. The newborn’s parents, or other parenting figures, give what is required for physical and emotional (and to a great extent intellectual) prosperity or doom.

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