Low Demand Parenting: Foundations

getting started low demand parenting foundations Jun 21, 2023
A library filled with books, looking down the row with mid-wood colored shelves and colorful book bindings down each side.

Question: "Where does low demand parenting come from?"


Low demand parenting stands on a vibrant foundation of thought-leaders, cutting-edge research, and long-time pillars in the parenting world. 

It's so important to celebrate the giants on which we stand and to point back to seminal work that makes this approach possible.


1. Stephen Porges

The Autonomic Nervous System

According to Stephen Porges, the autonomic nervous system is the part of our body's overall nervous system responsible for automatic bodily functions and stress responses. His Polyvagal Theory highlights the role of the vagus nerve in promoting social connection and emotional regulation. 

Understanding the autonomic nervous system is crucial in parenting as it helps us recognize the impact of our own state on our interactions with our children. By fostering a regulated state within ourselves, we create a safe environment that supports our children's emotional well-being and healthy development.


2. Mona Delahooke

No more "behaviorism"

Mona Delahooke's book "Beyond Behaviors" offers a groundbreaking perspective on understanding and supporting children with challenging behaviors. She emphasizes the importance of looking beyond surface-level behaviors and instead delving into the underlying neurodevelopmental and emotional needs of the child. 

Delahooke's work is rooted in cutting edge neuroscience and relationship-based approaches. By shifting the focus from behavior management to connection and understanding, Delahooke guides readers in creating nurturing environments that promote resilience, regulation, and positive growth in children with complex behavioral challenges.


3. Ross Greene

"Kids do well if they can"

Challenging behavior in children stems from underlying skills and unmet needs. Instead of assuming that children are intentionally misbehaving, this approach focuses on collaboration, empathy, and problem-solving. In this approach, "Plan C" involves identifying the specific concerns and expectations of the caregiver and releasing them proactively so that challenging situations do not arise in the first place. 


4. Stuart Shanker


Co-regulation is the mutual regulation of emotions and behaviors between a child and their caregiver. It plays a crucial role in helping children develop their own self-regulation skills, and is based in a safe and nurturing environment. Co-regulation involves attuned responsiveness, active listening, and validating a child's feelings, a foundation for healthy emotional growth. 


5. Emily and Amelia Nagoski

Moving through the stress cycle

These ND sisters explore the underlying causes of burnout, which go beyond mere exhaustion and stress, and reveal the systemic societal and cultural factors that contribute to its prevalence. The authors provide strategies for completing the stress cycle and reclaiming one's well-being-- self-compassion, setting boundaries, and pursuing joy and fulfillment.


6. Steve Silberman

Historical context for ableism

"NeuroTribes" provides a profound exploration of the historical and cultural understanding of ableism and the emergence of the neurodiversity movement, challenging conventional perceptions and celebrating the unique strengths and contributions of individuals across the autism spectrum.


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