“Unconditional parents want to know how to do something other than threaten and punish. They don’t see their relationship with their children as adversarial so their goal is to avoid battles, not win them.” – Alfie Kohn

What does it look like to have a non-adversarial relationship with our kids? We recognize that even if our agenda is awesome, we may still need to drop it if our child has a different idea and it’s not a health or safety consideration. When our kids aren’t meeting our expectations, we look at our expectations and see if they are reasonable. We try to tease out if something is actually really important rather than think that our kids should obey us just because we are the adults. We listen to our kids and try to work out solutions that are good for everyone. Does this mean the kids are in charge? Absolutely not! We just try to treat them like we would like to be treated and be flexible whenever we can. All of this is “money in the bank” for when we really need our child to cooperate. They learn over time that we are not power-tripping or trying to control them unnecessarily and they trust us when we say, “This is important.”

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