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Jen Lumanlan, author of Parenting Beyond Power: How to Use Connection & Collaboration to Transform Your Family, believes there’s a direct link between parenting and social justice.
“The way that we raise our children — the daily interactions that we have with them that seem like they’re about discipline — actually support our children in learning about how power works in families and in our culture,” she says. “That shapes how they go out into the world and treat other people.
If we want to move toward a vision of society in which everyone belongs, everyone feels free to be their full, true, whole self, then the work to do that begins at home, in parenting.”
Easier Parenting + Powerful Change
All behavior is communication. Children’s “behavior that seems mysterious and overwhelming is communicating an unmet need. And when you can understand what that need is, you can support your child in meeting that need,” Jen says. Identifying and meeting your child’s needs can decrease conflict and increase family harmony.
Questioning the stories you tell yourself about your child’s behavior is also helpful, as these stories may be inaccurate. It’s more helpful to get curious, as open-minded curiosity can point the way toward solutions that meet both your child’s needs and your own.
“This is not just about meeting your child’s needs,” Jen says. “This is about seeing you, as the parent and caregiver, as a person that has needs. And seeing your child as a person with needs. We can hold those with equal thought, care, love, and attention.”
In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Jen discuss:
- Parenting & social justice
- The power of accepting our children as they are
- Identifying kids’ needs
- Meeting basic needs
- True respect
- Homework resistance
- Setting boundaries
- Rest & self-care
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
Parenting Beyond Power: How to Use Connection & Collaboration to Transform Your Family — and the World, by Jen Lumanlan
Parenting, Privilege, & Building A Just World — ON BOYS episode
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