The Daily Groove

Don't Explain

Being on the leading edge of parenting, you may find yourself explaining to others why you parent the way you do.

This can be a good thing when someone has expressed curiosity about it and you're simply sharing information. But it's better not to explain yourself if you're trying to justify your choices.

Justifying gives away your power. It implies that you need the other person's approval. It undermines your self-confidence and distances you from your Inner Guidance.

The "need" to explain and justify your choices is based on the "need" to be right. But if your parenting choices are "right," and the other person would parent differently, then s/he must be "wrong." Once you get in that right/wrong mode, conflict or interpersonal tension is inevitable.

Instead of explaining your parenting to others, silently remind yourself that your choices are right for you, and your own approval is all you need.

Comments (closed)

answering my own question again...

Hello again -

Wondering... I have run into this quite a bit lately, mainly from old friends, which has stung. I did get past "explaining", and can usually hold a sense of peace over it all (ok, sometimes I just visit), but what is kinda hanging in the air for me is whether to persue "mutual understanding" and allowing. But they're not really asking to understand, simply giving me their opinions, so I guess that answers my question. Asking must always come first, whether with children or adults.

And you are right, trying to explain does feel disempowering. It feels much better to simply accept and allow them their own thinking.

Okay, so perhaps what I am really wanting to know is how to "be" with this "radical" way of parenting surrounded by so many that don't understand. Theoretically, I know I do not need anyone else's approval. But we do not live in a vacuum, and add to that I am very passionate about this, I am a huge child advocate, so to simply "keep quiet" is not an option. And I do want friends in my life, and in my children's. Yep... I need a 3rd option...

How about a life filled with friends that understand, respect, and share this with us? How about adding more bubbles to the happy-child community (as you put it) with my passion, rather than hitting brick walls with it? How about living with a sense of wholeness, connected to a community filled with love and commradery and affection instead of one offering lonliness and judgement and frustration?!

LOL! Gettin' there... Yep, answering my own question again!


Dawn in the World of WI
Mother of Four & More

This is so bizarre, Scott!

This is so bizarre, Scott! I was just thinking this morning that I wish you'd write something about this issue. It's so hard sometimes to relate to other parents -- and I am often much too judgemental.


Re: Don't Explain

i wish i could broadcast this article to everyone i have ever met, on all sides. the least i can do is post it on my facebook page. when i finally gave up my own personal thing about being everything to all, (feeling approved of) it was like a great weight was lifted. i am grateful to have friends of all types, and when asked about how i parent, or asked for advice, i gently tell them what works/has worked for my family. yes sometimes it is seen as a bit radical, but lots of times i have seen friends employ things they wouldn't have had we not had that conversation. people can have their own judgments but what matters to us, at the core of it, is the connection and love in our family.

Re: Don't Explain

I am so excited about my parenting style, I often do find myself explaining it to others. But I think of it as educating them. As a holistic physician, I cite research, I explain the anatomy, neurology, physiology of why this works so well. I explain that these are new discoveries, we are just developing the technology to measure these things. I don't feel like I am justifying it. But I do find myself in the right/wrong situation. And I haven't figured that out for my contemporary parents, though I have for those who were parents in the past.
My solution so far is to look for and surround myself with like-minded parents. But I have angst over the poor kids of the uneducated parents who are repeating their parent's mistakes.