Unparenting means...

  • parents and children are allies
  • they can come to an agreement even if they have different opinions
  • adaptable principles to any age and any situation – for children who can’t talk yet or have just stopped talking to you because they’re teenagers
  • they accept each other without reservation and don’t try to push each other
  • both can have what they need and remain authentically themselves
  • their time together is an adventure, not a constant struggle
How it works

Unparenting helps you understand your child – what they’re feeling, what’s bothering them, why they act the way they do

Because understanding means no more guessing what they want and why they’re crying. No yelling, threats or stress because your preschooler isn’t listening. Again. No having to drag every word out of your school kid’s mouth. No worrying about whether your teenager might have fallen in with the wrong crowd.

No coming up with tricks for how to relate. You just sit down and talk. With your little kid, or with your big kid.

The world doesn’t actually revolve around the kids. You’re important, too, Mom and Dad

Your happiness is just as important as theirs. For your sake, and for theirs. You are the most important person in your child’s life. She learns from you every second of every day: what you do, how you react, what you are going through, how you relate to her, to others, to yourself.

That’s why the parents’ happiness is so important in Unparenting

It’s not just about understanding what the kids need. Parents need to know what they themselves need, too. They need to be able to say it honestly without going on the offensive. Not to let themselves get steamrolled and have to grit their teeth. To know their own boundaries and respect them. So parenting doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle and chore.

Understanding is the key

That’s why all the parenting methods
and “manuals” don’t help

Maybe you’ve already read and tried everything. You’re doing your honest best to raise your child right. But when push comes to shove and things get tense, you still blow up. Or your child digs in his heels and there’s no moving him. For one reason or another, it just doesn’t work. And maybe it gets pretty bad sometimes.

But it’s actually simpler than you might think. You don’t actually need a parenting manual. You just need to learn how to find your own answers. Answers based on an understanding of what your child needs and what you need – making them the right fit for your family. Unparenting helps you find those answers every time.

When you understand each other, and you both have your needs met – that’s when parenting starts working

Naturally. Without the stress. Without the inconsolable crying. Without the arguing and yelling. Without the clenched teeth. Without the struggle. Even without the defiance. And without always having to resort to strategies like, “How can I distract her so she stops screaming? How can I make him take some responsibility and do what he’s supposed to?

Unparenting isn’t a parenting method.
It’s about finding your identity as a parent

It’s an opportunity to have kids who are willing to work with you and mainly for you to be successful as a parent. You can step away from the bewildering range of parenting advice and contradictory recommendations. You can even avoid repeating the habits of past generations – you know, those things you always swore you’d never do.

Unparenting helps you recognize parenting models that don’t work, gradually eliminating them and doing what works for you instead.

You’ll see the change at home. In your kids.
In yourself.

Once you start taking the first tiny steps, you’ll witness your child begin to transform into a cooperative, helpful, responsible and perceptive young person with his or her own innate wisdom. And you’ll start transforming, too. Into a happy, self-confident parent. Parenting won’t feel so exhausting any more. Because you won’t be doing it alone… you’ll have a partner helping you out along the way: your child.

And all those old questions? You know, like:

  • “Another tantrum. Why does he always act out like that?”
  • “She’s been crying all evening. How can I calm her down?”
  • “I shouldn’t have yelled like that, but what kind of a person throws sand in their brother’s eyes?”
  • “Why can’t I get him to go to bed?”
  • “She made me so mad I almost spanked her. Why does she always misbehave like this?”
  • “Why does everybody else have such well-behaved kids, and I struggle with mine so much? I’m not cut out for this. I must be a bad mom.”
  • “What am I doing wrong?”

A thing of the past.

Unparenting in practice means...

...when you find yourself crying in the kitchen because you just can’t even, and it’s all too much, your child comes in and says: “Don’t cry, mommy, I’ll help you.”

...when your two-year-old is crying hysterically in the grocery store because she’s tired, but you couldn’t put off the shopping any longer, you pick her up, and she covers your ear thoughtfully with one hand: “So your ears won’t hurt when I cry, mommy.”

...when your seven-year-old finds the courage to tell a classmate when he doesn’t like something. And his teacher tells you later: “It’s great how sensitively he can express his opinion.”

...when your thirteen-year-old son tells you: “I was over the line, dad. Sorry, I was really mad. I appreciate everything you do for me. What do you think?”

...20,426 parents sign up for a webinar about tantrums, and afterwards we get 267 responses saying: “Well, that was a success. And I realized how much difference my own attitude makes, thank you.”

What parents say about Unparenting

Sibling relationships improved. We’re expecting our third, and I’m not scared any more

“Unparenting has changed a lot of things for us. Our relationship with our ten-year-old daughter has gotten better, even though I had thought we were losing her and she must be entering puberty, what with her constant backtalk and surly demeanor. But she responded really well to our new approach, and I can see how much she appreciates it. Sometimes it even brings tears to my eyes, when she says things like, ‘Mom, how did it used to be before we started working together and agreeing on things?’

I also have a four-year-old boy, who jumped on board with Unparenting principles much more quickly and easily than our daughter (who, after all, spent nine years living with “teachers” and “police”). What I’m happiest about, though, is how their own relationship has improved. They really try to find a solution together, and only rarely do they need my help to do it. It used to be constantly: ‘Mom, he...’ and ‘Mommy, she...’ and ‘Make him/her stop!’

Now we’re expecting another baby, and I’m not scared any more that we won’t be able to handle it. So thank you very much. We tell everybody how great you are, and we’re trying to spread the word. And I’m surprised how many of my friends have already heard of Unparenting or are putting it into practice.”

- Jitka

My daughter doesn’t fight me any more. Even bedtime has gotten easier


“Every day is a new adventure for me now. Sure, I’m tired – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot – but otherwise Unparenting has been a great hit with my daughter (19 months). We’re real allies now, and we always try to work things out by agreement. I love all her reactions and always look forward to her comments. Our communication has really taken off. She’s so happy when she sees I know what she’s thinking, what she needs... I feel calm and centered.

And now she doesn’t fight me any more when I’m trying to get her dressed, brush her teeth, put her in her car seat or stroller, or put her to bed at night (bedtime has been 15 to 30 minutes for the last two weeks instead of one to two hours like before). The important thing is that she knows what I want from her and why and what the plan is. I live more in the present now, too. We enjoy each other to the fullest, goof off and just have fun together. It’s amazing. I feel great.”

- Monika

We get to preschool on time and with no tears. Our home is calmer and more peaceful

“Before we did the course, we didn’t know what to do about our son Marek. I’d say that before, whatever we tried, our own ideas or advice from friends, nothing helped. I was losing hope that things could ever change for the better. Now, after just two and a half weeks in the Unparenting course, things are starting to turn around. For instance, now we head out for preschool on time and without a struggle, we’re all happier at home, and I’m finding that it’s always possible to reach an agreement. True, some things go better than others, but it’s progress. :)”

- Roman

Who is behind Unparenting?

Katie Kralova

creator of the Unparenting principles

“I had to hit rock bottom in order to bounce back.” 

An 18-year-old girl, nothing but skin and bone, is curled up on the carpet and shaking in fear.
She’s slowly losing feeling in her hands and feet.
After eight years of fighting bulimia, her body is giving out.

“Please, please, not yet,” she keeps repeating in her head.
“I promise if I get a second chance, I’ll help people wherever they need it most.
So my life will mean something. Please...”

That girl was named Katie Kralova.
Thirteen years later, she would create Unparenting.
Katie kept the promise she made all those years ago.

Once you’ve hit rock bottom, not many things in life can surprise you.

She threw herself into challenges that left others shaking their heads in hopelessness. She worked with children with profound disabilities. With the sick. With the dying. She ran the local branch of a national charity dedicated to helping at-risk children. 

She got two Master’s degrees in education so she could be around children every day. But at first the reality of being a teacher didn’t quite live up to the ideal she had in her head. Her students didn’t respect her. The usual methods didn’t work on them. No matter how often or how patiently she explained things, they never seemed to get through.

But mainly Katie knew that she didn’t want to keep going down this path. Surely there had to be another way of relating to children.

She kept running up against the same thing. 

Why do children disobey and talk back?
Why don’t adults understand children, and why do they get annoyed by them?
How can that be, if both children and adults are just people? 

Not long after that, Katie faced another major challenge.
One fine day she became a stepmother of two.
Bit by bit she had to painstakingly reassemble these two children’s broken trust.

What now? Where to start, if the traditional methods had already failed her repeatedly?

Katie decided to start in her own heart. Authentically. Openly. As honestly as she possibly could. And amazing things started happening.

Those tiny, everyday miracles became the nucleus of Unparenting. Because what worked in Katie’s new family also worked with her students at school. So why couldn’t it work for other children as well?

Currently 240,000 parents are following Unparenting in the Czech Republic (where it is known as Nevýchova).

Unparenting has also attracted attention in professional circles, gaining accreditation from the Czech Ministry of Education and inclusion in teachers’ training. Katie appears in prominent media outlets, speaks at conferences for the general and professional public, and lectures on Unparenting at universities.

Unparenting is now available for all parents in English.

She has put together a team of people who believe with all their hearts that every parent and child can live together in harmony. 

That partnership and understanding between adults and children is the most wonderful and most natural thing in the world. Our team spends every day making sure you get the best of what we do, what we’ve learned, and what we feel here at Unparenting.

“Your parent’s heart can change the world. I know, because it happened to me. I’m no different from you, so if I can do it, you can too. Cross my heart. Yours, Katie”

The Unparenting Team

has been together for over three years. Currently, Unparenting is run by Katie
and 21 other passionate team members.

What we believe

The foundation of your life

Have you ever noticed everything starts in childhood? As children we learn how to get along with others, how to deal with problems, how to trust or not to trust, how to live and be happy as adults.

Childhood is the foundation for our lives, just like the family is the foundation of society. At Unparenting, we want these foundations to be as solid as possible.

We believe in families. Big or small, nuclear, divorced, blended, traditional or modern. We believe in families where everyone can be themselves. Where you’ll always find safe, loving arms, whether you’re a child, mom or dad.

And since we feel it’s important for everybody to be happy, in Unparenting families nobody should be silently suffering or covertly wiping tears on their sleeves.

We’re all in the same boat

Partnership? What is this, some sort of liberal hippie parenting?
Nope. Real partnership doesn’t spoil kids.

Partnership is, above all, balance – because it comes from respecting every family member’s needs. Yours, Emma, and mine, too.

Partnership means that your opinion counts, Jacob, right now when you’re five and later when you’re 11, 39 or 102.

Partnership is where, instead of: “Everybody put on your shoes, we’re going out, you guys are like wild animals in here,” I tell the truth: “I need to go for a walk right now, because I have a hard time when you guys run around and yell so much. I need to relax and get some fresh air.”

And partnership is when from the next room I hear: “Okay, mom, I’ll just finish this up, and we’ll go get you some fresh air.”

Partnership is understanding, love, trust and respect. And at Unparenting we believe partnership is the only way to pull together and keep the Good Ship Humanity from running aground.

And that’s why we spend every day filling the world with more partnership and love.

Open communication:
I want to understand you

You know that feeling when you’re talking to your significant other, a friend or even your mom, and it’s like talking to a brick wall?
You just can’t get through to each other, no matter what you do. You just can’t find common ground. And sometimes that really hurts.

The solution is actually simpler than you might think. It’s called open communication, and it helps prevent problems based on misunderstanding. It helps parents and children simply understand each other. Truly and deeply.

It means we can stop covering thorny issues up with stony silence, coded references or comments like: “You’re too young to understand.” We can tell each other and ask each other anything. We just have to find the courage to talk to each other directly.

And do you know what will happen when you start using open, Unparenting communication?

Yesterday evening Tommy (6) told me: “Mommy, when I was little, you didn’t want to know what I thought about things.” And I took exception to that: “I did, Tommy, I just didn’t know how to ask, you know?” But Tommy stood his ground: “No, you didn’t, mommy. You just wanted what you wanted. So I didn’t want to tell you what I thought. Because you weren’t interested. But now you are interested, so I like to tell you. I like talking to you now, because you really want to know me. I’m so glad I came out of your tummy and not someone else’s… I was really lucky! You’re the best mommy in the world.”
“I do my best, Tommy!” I said, wiping away tears.
“You’re the best, nicest Unparenting mommy ever.” 

- Bara 

This is the kind of miracle Unparenting was made to inspire. Thank you for working with us to inspire more miracles in your families.

I believe in you. I know who you are

Faith can move mountains. Trust can move even the most hard-headed small person.

Remember what it feels like when somebody doubts you. And what it feels like when somebody believes in you. Have you got it? Trust makes incompetent children competent, gets misbehaving children to behave, and turns liars into allies.

We believe that all healthy relationships are based on trust. Just like the human body is made mostly of water, and brownies are made mostly of chocolate. :) Maybe you can’t touch it, but you’ll always know if it’s missing. Without trust we are doomed to live a half-life of uncertainty, suspicion, fear and control.
And that’s no way to live. We think it’s always worth believing...

...that you always do the best you can.
...that I can always find something to learn from you. Even though you’re younger, smaller, less experienced, less educated, less articulate or still mastering the art of walking on two legs.

Every day we see how parents’ lack of trust leads children to uncertainty and poor self-esteem.
And how parents’ trust helps them grow, builds their self-confidence and encourages them to help others.

If you like, we can help you get started.

Uniqueness: There’s no one quite like you.
Or like me, either.

Each of us is absolutely UNIQUE. Us grown-ups and our children, too. That’s why we each need something different to motivate us to cooperate and listen, and we each need different things to help us succeed and be happy.

You know how it works. One child dives into everything head first and never meets a stranger. The next one always hangs back and refuses to leave your side. And yet you would swear you raised them both the same, right?

The answer is simple: We’re all DIFFERENT. What works for your friend might totally crash and burn at your house. That’s why Unparenting is not about one-size-fits-all advice or the One True Way to Raise Your Child Right. That approach just leads to a dead-end system of rules, precepts and how-to walkthroughs.

All you really need, in fact, is to understand yourself and your child and to create your own system to fit the UNIQUE needs of your family.

Responsibility: Live what you believe

If we want our children to be responsible, we have to treat them as responsible people. That’s what we’re all about here at Unparenting.

We can’t raise children into adults responsible for their own lives if we’re always breathing down their necks. Children need the opportunity to share in the decisions about things that affect them. And to share in the consequences of their decisions. What better time for this than now? Now, when they can still run into mommy or daddy’s arms for comfort if things don’t go as planned.

Real responsibility is like magic. It helps children find their freedom, self-confidence and stability. Our greatest responsibility is always for ourselves. But it is not about selfishness. It teaches us to take care of our own needs, so that we can take care of the needs of others with love and sincerity.

We believe that real responsibility is the key to healing our hurting, self-centered world. We believe there is value in living a life that inspires others. We believe in the strength of honesty and personal courage. And so we leave our phone number under the windshield wipers of cars we’ve accidentally scraped and work up the courage to tell others how much they mean to us.

Simply put, we believe that the only real way to pass something on to a child is to live it ourselves. Just that easy. Just that hard.

Come with us on a journey to understand yourself and your children. You’ll never look back and wish you hadn’t started...

Get started here

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