Peaceful vs Traditional Parenting

Updated on June 6, 2018
Sam Wickstrom profile image

Sam read a number of studies on the effects of various parenting styles and felt an urgency to spread the information.

The human brain and heart that are met primarily with empathy in the critical early years cannot and will not grow to choose a violent or selfish life.

— Robert Grille

What is Peaceful Parenting?

Peaceful parenting is using intentional, gentle ways to guide children using empathetic and cooperative solutions versus trying to control their behavior with bribes, yelling, and punishments. It involves working with children by listening, understanding, responding, and communicating with intention.

My father liked me, when I wasn't being an idiot. And he loved me, too ... enough to beat the daylights out of me when I was being an idiot.

— Jamie Fraser
You wouldn't hit him
You wouldn't hit him

The Benefits of Peaceful Parenting

Some call this style attachment parenting. In this style it is easier to maintain a healthy bond with the child. In a healthy parent child relationship, the parent will very rarely have to use authoritarian methods, because the bond is strong enough that the child will naturally trust the parent. Peaceful parenting is more difficult if the parent lacks patience, but the practice will build the virtue in both the parent and the child. Training children with non aggressive methods significantly reduces their temper and increases their negotiation skills. The methods of peaceful parenting don't use the child's natural amygdala, base of the brain, flight, freeze, or fight response. This actually increases their emotional stability, their long term memory functions and ability to think critically.

List of Benefits:

  • Increase in prolactin and oxytocin, hormones which calm parents and increase the bond
  • Your child will look up to you, and want to be more like you
  • Increase in emotional connection
  • Increase in child's independence and trust
  • Improved behavior
  • Improves learning and development, increase in intelligence
  • Parents will respond intuitively from knowledge of child
  • Sharp rise in child's IQ


The Negatives of Disciplinary or Aggressive Parenting

Adults know that when they are very stressed, frightened, angry, or feeling misunderstood, the frustration often impairs reasoning for a period of time. Over a long period of being stressed or anxious, one's brain actually begins to shrink. Parenting methods which harness the power of aggression, fear, and discomfort, reduce a child's cognitive capacities and leave them with an unbearable emotional load to bear, that often lasts a life time.

The emotional instability that aggressive parenting stimulates causes further complications. High levels of stress and anxiety can lead to bodily problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on. The mental complications include depression, and a notable decrease in self-control and the ability to defer gratification.

I was raised in a Christian home in which my parents fervently believed that sparing the rod spoils the child. There are so many verses in the bible teaching parents to be aggressive and authoritarian. My parent's were simply doing there best to do as God commanded them. Yet the studies are now showing that biblical child rearing is cruel, and inefficient at best.

17 Minute Video by Stefan Molyneux


Circumcision is surprisingly common, and most people have very inadequate reasons for having the operation done on their newborns. It has been said to decrease risk of penile cancer and urinary tract infection, but this is still hotly debated. People are outraged about the female genital mutilation in the middle east, but I hear almost nothing about the mainstream male genital mutilation in the west. This is important if you want to be a successfully peaceful parent, you're going to want to say no to this horrific, brutal, and barbaric operation.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers


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        Jonathan Sandahl 

        19 months ago

        The whole "biblical parenting " thing is wildly wrong...I find nowhere in the Bible where Jesus directly instructs someone to be cruel, overbearing or manipulative to coerce or force someone to do the "right thing." This viewpoint uses exactly 6 verses, taken from Proverbs, misinterpreted badly, taken out of social, historical and even moral context, and ruthlessly, relentlessly preached about in order to drive a twisted, horrifying caricature of a family. Father is the dictator of his home, be he benevolent or cruel, no one has any say in the matter. Mother is his mindless slave, and must yield to his authority no matter how ludicrous or how soul-destroying. Children are to be the mindless minions of their parents, are subhuman until they are "saved" and even then if they disobey their "salvation " is questioned. I grew up in this movement and I have to say, this is not Christian. I am a believer in God, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the teaching of Jesus but the way I was raised is still with me, the cruelty has broken my heart and my mind. I am 39 and I know from experience that this harsh treatment will scar you FOR LIFE. I am a father of 3 and I gotta get my parenting turned around or I will be just like my parents.


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