“As an investment in easy parenting, trusting in a child’s desire to be good for us is one of the best. – Gordon Neufeld

This reminds me so much of one of my favourite peaceful parenting mindset shifts: They’re doing the best they can.

Children want to be good. We are hard-wired to seek out connection with a caregiver. That is how we kept ourselves safe from the tigers! Harmony and connection with each other is our natural state. If children aren’t being good, it’s because they can’t manage to be good in that moment. 

It’s true that children misbehave all the time, even though they want to be good:

They are curious: “What happens if I pour this soap in the sink?”

They live in the moment: “Jumping on the couch is so much fun!”

They have big feelings: “I hate sharing with my sister!”

They have poor impulse control: “I know the rule but I can’t help hitting.”

So frustrating! But if we can remember in those difficult moments, “They’re doing the best they can,” everything changes. We can respond with the patience and compassion we need to solve whatever problem is at hand and make parenting so much easier.

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