The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids course teaches parents to coach and connect with their children while better regulating their own (parental) emotions. Both course and book provide many strategies on how to have a more positive, cooperative relationship with your children. The course offers detailed strategies and information, plus weekly audio lectures, daily meditations to help rewire your brain, and homework. Interestingly, this parenting philosophy is very compatible with Stoicism, which also seeks better emotional regulation.
In this post, I've written a full review of the course including key concepts, who will benefit from it, plus benefits and drawbacks of this parenting approach. If you're interested, but not enough to commit to a 12 week course, the key concepts are all addressed in Dr. Laura's book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting available on Amazon.*
1. Regulate Your Own Emotions
Kids learn to manage their emotions when parents model how it's done. The course teaches parents how to identify their triggers and better control their own negative emotions. If you struggle with regulating your own emotions and frequently yell, your children will feel disconnected and not always want to behave. The course can help you improve this dynamic.
2. Connect With Your Child
Kids only want to behave in order to feel connected with their parent. Fostering connection daily helps preempt undesirable behavior from kids. Dr. Laura gives many detailed strategies for how to do this.
3. Coach Instead of Control
Coach, instead of trying to control, so your child wants to cooperate with you. You need to set limits, but if you set them with empathy and respect, you’ll find your child is much more likely to comply.
The course also covers:
- Sibling Relationships
- Self Care for Parents
- How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums
- How to Help Kids Master Life Skills
- Prompts for What to Do and Say in Specific Situations
Who Is the Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Course Best For?
- People Getting Ready to Have Children
- Parents of Children Ages 1-10
- Families with Multiple Children
- Parents Who Are Struggling with Parenting/Discipline
- People Who Aren't Struggling But Want Growth and Inspiration as a Parent
- Parents Who Want Help Regulating Their Own Emotions
- Parents Who Want a Closer Relationship with Their Child
- Stoic Parents
What's Included in the Course?
- 11 weekly audio teaching sessions. This lets you hear Dr. Laura's as she gives examples of how to handle everyday parenting challenges. Transcripts of the audios are included.
- Daily Audio Inspirations, only 4 minutes long, to keep you inspired, help you develop self-regulation, and rewire your brain.
- A copy of Dr. Laura's book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, or you can request Dr. Laura's book Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings during the registration process instead. Dr. Laura will walk you through the lessons in the book to help you put them into practice in your family.
- A private forum to come together in a supportive learning community, and engage with other participants throughout the course.
- Handouts with homework assignments, exercises, journal prompts, reminders to post on your refrigerator, and more. Every week, you'll receive specific suggestions for live interactions to put these ideas into practice with your child.
- Bonuses you can choose of Dr. Laura speaking about specific parenting challenges.
- Self-paced. The beauty of this format is that you can work with this course at the time that is most convenient for you and your family. Everything is self-paced, and you have lifetime access to all of the course materials on your own page on the Aha! Parenting website.
Another benefit of the peaceful parenting method is that children successfully raised this way are less likely to end up as neurotic adults because (this is my own interpretation, Dr. Laura does not state this exactly) kids are not made to feel that their negative emotions are illegitimate, which can lead to them stuffing these emotions deep down only for them to resurface later and cause more problems.
Children's feelings, both negative and positive, are accepted and empathized with by the parent, leading the child to feel that their parent accepts them even when they are struggling with the inevitable negative emotions that life gives rise to. Children are coached over time on how to better regulate their emotions and develop more self control.
Dr. Laura also stresses that it's important to have empathy for yourself as a parent, that no one is expected to be perfect, and that you are taking the course in order to grow and improve.
The course includes daily meditations designed to enhance the parents sense of self respect, confidence, and to help rewire the brain through practice and visualization of key concepts.
This method also does not work quite as well with tweens and teens who haven't been parented this way in the past. Parents will have less influence on children in this age group unless they have spent time laying the groundwork for a peaceful and connected relationship them. Ideally, this method should be started as early as possible, but it is never too late to make positive changes in your parenting.
A better book for parenting teens in the same spirit is Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers, by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.*
One other potential drawback to Peaceful Parenting is that it is more labor intensive for parents up front, both in terms of applying the strategies and also in terms of doing the difficult work of examining and managing your own emotions. While this may be a drawback at first, the extra work will likely pay off for parent and child with fewer problems in the medium and long term as children get older.
Overall, I'm happy I took the course and I feel that I have gotten a lot of benefit from it. I definitely feel happier and more relaxed as a parent.
If you are interested in learning more, registration for the Spring 2023 Session of the Peaceful Parenting Course opens March 2, 2023. Registration for the spring session ends on April 20, and the course starts on April 27. They offer partial scholarships for every course, and scholarship applications need to be received by April 7. Dr. Laura is also offering an early bird discount for the first two weeks of registration (ends March 16). The code for 10% off is EARLYBIRD. Click here for more information.
*Affiliate links - I may earn a commission from any purchases.
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