Low Demand Parenting: Where to StartMay 01, 2023
You want to start.
You want to jump in, begin this new way of life, but you're overwhelmed and more than a little scared. You don't know where to start. Fears rattle around: What if I have to do it perfectly, or it'll all fall apart? What if this fails too like everything else? What if no one understands?
Step 1: Start where you are.
Low Demand Parenting is a journey of radical acceptance. So start now: Accept where you are, what is happening in your home and in your heart. You don't have to figure everything out, have a definitive diagnosis, convince your spouse, or understand the entire journey to start.
Step 2: Start by observing and taking notes.
The very first step is to learn to see the world with a demand lens. To see that your children do well when they can, and when they can't, something is too hard for them. Start by shifting your thinking from "He won't do it," or "She's fighting me again," to asking, "I wonder what is too hard right now…" Make a list of what might be too hard.
Step 3: Start small.
Is there a time of day that's particularly tricky, or a daily task that is constantly leading to fights or meltdowns? For us, pouring milk in the breakfast cereal bowl consistently led to a screamfest, so I started there. I dropped every piece of the breakfast routine that was too hard and created a morning ritual we could do without difficulty. It built powerful trust and confidence.
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