Are you wondering if Unparenting has the answer to your problem?
Read reviews from parents who have found it helpful
Here are the first 100 reviews about how Unparenting has helped families from all over the world. We have thousands of responses like this, and we’re working on translating them so you can find some inspiration for handling whatever situations you’re facing and read the opinion of someone who was facing the same issues you are not long ago.
These are authentic reviews reporting parents’ experience with the course and specific situations they got a handle on.
I’m so glad that’s ending with you, Mommy. You know what I mean?
As I was giving her a goodnight kiss, my 8-year-old daughter Johana asked me what Unparenting means. What is it, anyway? And do I really do homework?
I explained briefly what it was all about. How much I wanted us to stop yelling at each other. How much I wanted us to be able to say what makes us happy and what we need, to work things out and enjoy being together. How I had a lot to learn, too. Then the inquisitive questions started coming:
“What was it like when you were little? Did you really always have to do what Grandpa said? And he didn’t know how to work things out? No? Wow … And his mommy and daddy didn’t know, either? No? So they didn’t teach him?”
We talked about it from all different sides, and at last Johana said to me: “I’m so glad that’s ending with you, Mommy. That it won’t keep going through me. You know what I mean?” I did. With tears in my eyes …
I was totally opposed to Unparenting at first
I’ll be quite honest and admit that I was totally opposed to Unparenting at first. Based on the intro materials, I felt like it was pretty good, nothing special, nothing you hadn’t heard before if you read books about respectful parenting. And so I got the impression that Unparenting was kind of like those books, only more expensive …
Then one day I found myself reading an Unparenting article that said something like, “But if all that is working for you, then why are you reading this?” And that was just it.
I had knowledge, but I wasn’t able to live it out. It was all stiff and artificial and when things got tense I’d still act like the biggest Police parent ever. My kids drove me up the wall with little things, making noise, and I felt like if they didn’t obey me right away then I didn’t have authority. Friends told me it was okay, but I didn’t feel like it was okay.
So I decided to give Unparenting a try … Five months later … I get tons of kisses and my kids tell me how much they love me … My husband says Unparenting is great, too. He’s started learning it from me and he’s always telling me what a great mom I am and how grateful he is. I’m a happy mama, and when I hear the “old me” coming from the other moms at the playground, in the doctor’s office, or on the bus, I see how much progress we’ve made. I was even able to go back to work without feeling like I wouldn’t be as good of a mom, and it went great … both kids adjusted to preschool well and I am a happy mama.
Whenever something comes up, we work our way through it in a few minutes and apologize. Plus my son (4) and daughter (2 1/2) have started playing together so nicely. He helps her with a lot of things, and she helps him too. They say things like, “How much time do you need to play with this before I can borrow it?”, “Can I borrow your toy?”, and “That’s not what I’d like to do, so what do you suggest?”
Even the pediatrician’s office has commented more than once that they could film videos about “how to act at the doctor’s office” starring my kids. The relationships with my grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law have all improved.
Our friends and their children ask how it is that our children can just agree on a time to trade toys, set a timer, and follow through when it goes off … all without a word from me. I’ve gone from totally against to enthusiastically for Unparenting. Thank you!!
I would have loved to experience this with my own mom when I was little
One night before bedtime I had a heart-to-heart with my 6-year-old daughter. I said, “You know you can tell me anything in the whole world, right? Even if it’s not nice.” She said, “I know, Mom.” We sat there in silence for a minute, me rubbing her back, her favorite. 😊 And then she said, “Sometimes when you and Dad make me mad, I say you’re stupid parents … but I don’t mean it. It’s just because I’m mad.”
I smiled and said, “That’s okay, my love, I understand. Sometimes I do the same thing. Sometimes you make me so mad I feel like giving you a spanking like my parents did to me sometimes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I always love you. It’s okay to get mad at each other, don’t worry.” 🥰 Having unburdened herself, she drifted right off to sleep …
Amazing. ❤ I just finished the week about trust in the course and I feel like we’re on the right path. Unparenting, I love you. ❤
PS: I would have loved to experience this with my own mom when I was little!!
Why am I saying no to this, anyway?
My son had an idea one night: I want to sleep on the floor. My first reaction: No way. His response: But I want to!! My train of thought: Why am I saying no to this, anyway? What am I afraid of?
I realized the only thing I was afraid of was that he would be cold. My suggestion: I’m a little worried that you’ll be cold, so I’d feel better if we put down the mattress from the travel cot. His response: Thank you, Mom.
I put down the mattress, he brought over his pillow and blanket, and five minutes later he was fast asleep. And me? Feeling good.
I used to think I was a terrible mom. But then I found my confidence as a mom …
Yesterday I overheard my grandmother telling my mother that I’m a terrible mother and should never have had children. The reasons are not particularly important; we have a very complicated relationship which will probably never get much better, and mainly we have very different views on parenting and everything else. But the reason I’m writing this …
If I had heard this almost three years ago, before I knew about Unparenting, that would have been the end. I privately agreed with her, so if I had heard it said out loud by anyone, including her, I probably would have gone off to find a noose … If I’d heard it two years ago, I would have felt the need to rush in and throw down with her right there, defending myself with dozens of solid arguments proving she was wrong.
And yesterday? All I did was sigh. Okay, you’re mad that I don’t do things your way and that I’m not the obedient little girl anymore who does whatever she’s told. You hate that you don’t understand it, but you don’t want or don’t know how to do anything about it, how to listen to what I’m saying or just let it go.
And that was it. I went about my business. No spiral. No recriminations. No need to defend myself. I wasn’t even particularly upset. I know I’m a good mom to my kids.
More importantly, I know I’m the best mom for my kids! Even though I don’t bake gluten-free muffins out of homemade kefir and I let my kids eat processed foods, even though I went back to work when they were 6 months old, even though our house is a mess sometimes, even though I have bad days sometimes … Everything I used to beat myself up about just seems silly now.
I know there’s no one model of “good mom” that everybody has to conform to. We just have to do what works for us. And lately it really is working for us. When we start struggling, we talk about it and try to do something about it.
That’s probably the biggest thing I learned from Unparenting. I still can’t believe where that self-confidence as a mom came from or that it finally did. So today I want to say thank you, Unparenting, for myself! ❤️❤️
My daughter (3) started talking about why she was crying
Encouragement for anyone just starting out with Unparenting or feeling hopeless:
After six months with Unparenting my daughter (3) started talking about why she was crying, like today she burst out crying when she played through the time she could have had a TV show (which she wanted), and I didn’t want to put on the TV after that. Since she was crying, she wanted to nurse, but I didn’t have the strength for that right then. So she cried and told me, “I’m crying because I wanted a show and milk and now I’m sad and disappointed.”
I told her I understood and asked if she wanted a hug and for me to hold her while she cried. She came, cuddled for 10 seconds, and then got up and said she was ready to dry her tears and we went right on with the bedtime rituals, with the agreement that next time we’ll try to communicate better about what to do before bedtime.
And you know what’s great? I can stay calm in moments like that, and even if the crying goes on for a while, I don’t have to make it stop as soon as possible. I’m there with her, supporting her if she needs it so she can feel her feelings, but I no longer need to feel them for her. And that’s where I’m proud of myself!
Since we started living out Unparenting, my son has begun saying hello, please and thank you to everyone
Dear Unparenting families, I want to share my amazement at how Unparenting is becoming second nature and how it really works … I still can’t believe it.
The biggest thing for me lately is watching how our 3-year-old is changing the way he communicates with those around him, how he’s starting to use Unparenting principles himself and how it is working for him.
A few days ago we stopped by the playground on the way home from preschool and my son started playing with a 5-year-old boy we met there. They chased each other around and stopped near me and pretended to shoot a group of moms nearby. I told my son I didn’t like him pretending to shoot and aiming at people. He paused for a minute, surprised, and then I heard him say to his new friend, “My mom doesn’t like the shooting. Can we play something else?” His friend looked a bit disconcerted, but said okay, and they both happily ran off to play pirates.
Later my son went over to a little girl, maybe about a year old, and asked her, “Can I borrow your shovel for a minute please?” She didn’t respond, so he repeated himself, and when she still didn’t respond he tried picking it up and waiting for her response. She didn’t object, so he ran off and played with the shovel, then brought it back in a few minutes and said, “Thank you.”
It made me realize that since we started living out Unparenting, my son has begun saying hello, please and thank you to everyone, and I feel like he’s able to join in “big people” communication now in situations where he used to be too shy to speak up.
Thank you so much!
I got what I came for in the first few minutes of the course: I found out why my son was acting out
I just finished listening to the few first sessions and figured out the source of the problems we’ve been having in the last month. My son is 14 months old and since birth I’ve treated him with respect and wonder at what an amazing creature he is, and everything was going great. Around his first birthday he started expressing himself (in his own way) and wanting to explore the world more and more.
It made me nervous, and subconsciously I started to think that I should set boundaries because it’s not okay for him to just do whatever he wants. In many ways I went from a respectful parent to a “Teacher” and even “Police” when I was at the end of my rope. In any case, I wasn’t being much of a “Partner”. I was forcing my own ideas on him about how he should act and respond.
And he started acting out and didn’t want to cooperate with me. So I was thinking that this is what we get for letting him do whatever he wanted, so now he’s out of control. (Writing that I realize that this is exactly what my great-grandmother told my mother when I was little. They argued about it often.)
After finishing the “child’s-eye-view” story, I thought back to the situations where my son has been difficult recently, and they were always ones where I was acting like a “Teacher” or “Police”. Then I thought about times he was great and I had a good time, and those were ones where I was acting like a “Partner”. I can’t wait to spend the day together again tomorrow, because now I see things through different eyes.
I signed up for the course to find some trick to get him to stop throwing tantrums and do what I want (yes, that’s the honest truth - even though I told myself I wanted to understand him better, I really wanted him to understand me and do what I need him to do). And I got what I came for in the first few minutes.
I finally realized (or remembered) that I should follow my instincts and ignore other people’s scare stories, and mainly I should trust that my child knows what is best for him, so we can work things out together in a way that works for all of us. And that is possible even at that age, as I have seen many times for myself. I just didn’t realize it on a conscious level until now.
Changes thanks to Unparenting. Before, screaming and fighting. And now? I can’t even believe it.
Changes thanks to Unparenting (three girls: 4 1/2, 2 3/4 and 1 year, 2 months):
- Going from the yard into the house.
Before = lots of screaming, pouting, it was awful. Of course I tried bribing them with a cookie, apple, anything to put in their mouths and get us home somehow. (Our yard is such that the girls can’t be out there by themselves yet and you get to the house through a gate right by the big road.)
Today: I say it’s almost time to go inside and ask what they need before we go. The oldest wants to pick some flowers, the middle one wants to carry the keys, and the baby doesn’t say anything in words but reaches for another handful of dirt. All that done, we head inside and chat as we go. Yes!
- Going home from the playground, which is full of friends and their favorite swing.
Before, screaming and fighting.
Yesterday: “What would you like to do before we go?” “Can I have some more of that juice before we go? I’ll share. We jumped on the trampoline so much we need a drink so we can make it home.” Okay, that’s no problem, and we leave without a hitch. Yes!
- Time together.
Before, the baby would bring me a book (she’d crawl over holding it or drag it behind her) and let me know she would like to read together. Sure, but I was washing the dishes and then I needed to do the laundry. After a few minutes she would forget about reading with Mommy and I would have time to make dinner. Then all my work was done, but I still felt bad for blowing her off …
These days, I try to put everything aside (as long as the pot isn’t literally overflowing) and sit down to read with her for a few minutes. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s at the time that she wants it. Yes! (says the baby) :)
Before: Okay, girls, let’s get a move on, we need to leave … They crawl in wearing pajamas. Blood pressure rising (mine).
Today was a perfect example of how far we’ve come: My oldest: Mommy, shut the door and when you finish brushing your teeth, come and have a look. Three things will be different. When I go to look, my two oldest show me three things different – an empty plate, empty cup, and I don’t see the third thing … I don’t see the third thing. What’s third? The smiles on our faces!! :) My sweet children (sniff). Hugs, happiness, a great morning!
I can hardly believe it, but it looks like you really can get through this without losing it over the unending obligations. After all, many hands make light work …
My son was always unhappy and cried often … Now he’s a cheerful kid and a great brother
Before I found Unparenting, I felt like my relationship with my kids was teetering on the edge, especially with my older son. I always said I was having trouble tuning in to my child, I didn’t understand him, we were so different, and I found his displays of negative emotions totally exhausting. From infancy to about 3 years old my son was always unhappy and often cried, whined, clung to my legs, and seemed to never be happy. I couldn’t seem to do anything to change it.
With Unparenting my son became a cheerful kid, perceptive helper, great brother, and a great friend to me.
I’ve stopped doing a lot of the things I was doing before. I’ve stopped trying to motivate my son to do things I feel like he should be able to do, or I think he would like, but that only led to him being more fearful and reluctant. I’ve stopped pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do. Instead, I keep my mouth closed, eyes open, and just let him be, safe in the knowledge that I’m right there if he needs me. My son can finally entertain himself and I’ve got a brand new life.
That formerly sad, quiet boy is growing in self-confidence. He can ask for what he needs even when I’m in the middle of losing my temper. He’s started laughing, singing on the potty, and is generally so much more joyful than he used to be. He adores his little sister. Sometimes I watch them when they don’t realize it, and I see how they can brush their teeth together, get dressed, put their shoes on, or play whatever they want … and they’re only 1 1/2 and 3 1/4.
I feel motivated to work on myself, relationships in the family, and life in general. I feel confident as a mother and ready to defend my decisions if necessary. I’m thrilled at how I can observe my incredible children in their world without fearing it will all fall apart without me. I feel alive.
My son (13) talks to me now. He never used to do that.
Unparenting has helped us change our family life from the ground up. I love my child, but now I can say that I act like it, too. Even my husband has learned something from all of this, which is excellent.
I feel peace of mind, because I know how to make sure we are all happy. I don’t yell like a Police parent. I don’t repeat myself over and over, because I know it doesn’t help. I’ve handed over responsibility that doesn’t belong to me.
I’m more cheerful and I have more time. Of course there’s still room for improvement (on my part). For a long time this was not true, but I know my 13-year-old is a great kid and I trust him.
Whenever we used to argue, he would always stop communicating. He’d just get mad. I felt awful about it, because I knew how wrong that was. Now he’s happier, and he talks to me (which he didn’t use to do). We even played a computer game together. Such a wonderful time spent together. I know everything’s going to be okay now. I’m not going to hurt anyone. I’ve learned an excellent approach to parenting. Amazing. I had a good cry over it too. Such a relief.
Thank you all so much. Best class I ever took.
The best experience with my daughter. It really touched me.
Thanks, Unparenting! I just had the best experience with my 3-year-old daughter. She wanted to watch a show. There were some chocolates sitting on the table. Mint chocolates, the kind she doesn’t eat. I put on the show, and a few minutes later she calls me over. When I get there, I see the chocolates unwrapped on the couch. Before, I would have started yelling, like lots of other parents. Why was she unwrapping them if she doesn’t eat them and she’s supposed to be watching her show anyway, etc. But today I thought of Unparenting.
So I paused, bit off whatever I was about to snap, took a deep breath, and asked her, “You aren’t enjoying your show?” She answered, “I am, but I wanted to make you happy!” and with a smile from ear to ear (which she must have had before, but I only noticed it now) handed me an unwrapped chocolate to eat.
It brought me almost to tears and I was so grateful that I hadn’t said anything unkind to her. Thank you!
EDIT: oh and I forgot to mention that the other unwrapped chocolate was for her dad
We’ve got a more relaxed home with less yelling and more listening to others
I find Unparenting fascinating for a lot of reasons: The fact that it really works. How quickly it started working. How Unparenting can influence people around you who don’t know or want to know anything about it. How well the course is made and how it keeps building on itself.
Thanks to Unparenting I feel happier, more balanced and more open, and we’ve got a more relaxed home with less yelling and more listening to others. I’d say the biggest success with regard to the kids is how our relationship changed when we stopped acting like Teacher and Police parents and more like partners.
I had a good relationship with my kids even before Unparenting, but now it’s gotten so much deeper, especially on their side. We’re genuinely close now, we get along great, and I feel like we’re on the same team. The kids show much more trust in me now.
Our relationship is so much stronger now that we get through any brief crisis without a problem
When I started Unparenting, our oldest was just starting preschool. This fall he starts first grade … And this morning I feel like we’ve made another big step forward. I see now that for me Unparenting is about having a really good relationship with my children and myself. As a result, we can now resolve any disagreements or differences of opinion quickly and elegantly.
I’m incredibly popular right now. The kids and I really look forward to spending time together. Their first words are “Mommy-o!” and “Want to play?” Our relationship is so much stronger now that we get through any brief disillusionment or crisis without a problem.
This morning, for instance, my son was sitting on the steps, hands on his ears, insisting he wasn’t going anywhere and that he wanted to go back to bed. Three sentences later he came down without a fuss and we went about the rest of our morning.
It’s not that we never encounter situations that stress us out or throw us off our routine. But now we know how to get our groove back. It’s like when someone you love burns dinner. With all the love I feel for that person, it’s not hard to handle the situation at all, but if we don’t love each other, one problem piles on top of another.
But we’ve also worked a lot of things out that stayed that way, and the kids are in bed at 8 pm without me having to chase them there. They keep an eye on the clock themselves. We’ve got several things that work like that. But the boundary setting is never intended as “I’ll get you where I want you” but as “This is what I need, now how can we get it done?”
I felt like I couldn’t handle my kids. Now I see that they’ve relaxed and I’ve become more balanced.
Before Unparenting, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing as a mother. When I had just one child, we didn’t have any major problems, but when our second son came along relatively soon after, things started to pile up. I felt like I couldn’t handle my kids, and there were so many things I didn’t know what to do about. At the time I had a 2 ½-year-old and a 10-month-old. Each one with totally different needs at different times. After my second was born, I started paying more attention to the older one so he wouldn’t feel rejected, but it didn’t have much of an effect.
Unparenting helped me examine my conscience and realize it’s all about my mindset. I calmed down and started communicating more and giving orders less. I realized that the way I grew up, even though my parents are great, was with more of a Police and Teacher approach, and as a kid I was pretty timid and afraid to tell my parents when I had a problem. This leads me to treat my children differently, so they won’t be afraid to tell me anything, so they won’t do things they don’t want, and so they aren’t afraid to show that something scares them. So far it’s going quite well, even though I often find myself sliding into Policing, especially when I’m under stress.
I’ve started seeing my children as these amazing people, not just little kids who don’t understand anything. Our success stories definitely include the way our older son (now 3 years 4 months) communicates. He uses phrases like “I would need…”, and he doesn’t throw himself on the ground in the toy store anymore. Instead of choosing a present for his birthday, he picks out what we should buy for his little brother, and then shows it to him proudly once we get home. :) When I told him we should look at some more toys (hoping to figure out what he might want for Christmas), he answered, “That’s okay, Mommy, we don’t need to look anymore. We’ve already picked something out, so we can go home now.” A year ago he would have been on the ground kicking and screaming because he wanted everything, and now this.
Another success story is how he picks up on how I comfort his little brother when he’s crying, or him when he’s crying, and goes over to him, hugs him and says, “Don’t cry, I’m here.” Just this morning the little one was crying his eyes out and I was at my wits’ end because we were late for preschool again, and my older one hugged him and comforted him until he stopped crying and calmed down. He showed me that all it took was pausing and being there with him for a moment, and all was well.
And then there’s the cleaning up. When I say I’m going to clean up, my 3-year-old offers to do the dusting himself. He picks up his little brother’s toys, helps me fold laundry, helps me cook, and tells me what he can do and what I can do. We don’t even talk about “working things out” anymore. It just sort of happens.
When he’s watching cartoons and I need him to go take a bath, I just say so and he tells me how much longer he will watch before he goes into the bath. And he really turns it off and goes when he says he will. He does that in a lot of different situations, like “I just need to park the car and then I’ll go get dressed.” At first, I asked what he needed before he could go get dressed, but now he says it without prompting.
That’s probably the biggest change. I take an interest in what the children need, not just what I need to get done. I can still see how my husband yanked the clothes onto our son to get him ready for preschool, and the poor thing was struggling and crying. That was the last time that happened. I noticed how he was looking at his little brother, who was playing with a toy car. He wasn’t talking well yet, so I asked him if he wanted to play for a few more minutes and then get dressed. He nodded yes, a minute more. So he played for about 20 seconds, then came to me to get dressed.
My husband couldn’t believe his eyes. He admits that my methods work, but he can’t or doesn’t want to change himself, although he does use some Unparenting principles without realizing it. :) There’s still a lot I’d like to change about myself (and my husband), but the children don’t need to change a thing. The two problems I mentioned before are due to my husband’s actions, so it’s a mirror for him, and he needs to be the one who wants to change.
The children are happy now (I hope). I can see how they relax when they get home from Grandma’s, where they have to do what they’re told. Suddenly they’re jumping on the couch and running around, as if they know that at home they can be themselves. In the past I would have seen this as a sign that I can’t handle them, because at Grandma’s they behave and at home they’re climbing the walls. But now I see it quite differently. They aren’t afraid to show their feelings, their real selves, and that makes me happy (and sometimes I jump on the couch with them). :D
I feel more balanced and stable. Sometimes I catch myself falling back into Teachering and it’s like I see another me standing nearby, looking at me and saying, “What are you going on about now? Are you listening to yourself??” Then I almost start laughing at myself, talking just like my parents used to and the kids not listening. I stop and suddenly whatever was bothering me doesn’t seem as deadly important (because it hardly ever is), so I just stay quiet.
I don’t get sidetracked by unnecessary, unimportant things, so I have more time for what is important. I also took the advice from Week 5 to take some time for myself, outside the house, without kids, for the first time in three years. I signed up for a two-hour sewing class every week. I always look forward to it, because that’s the only time I can focus on what we’re sewing and not what to make for dinner, what to do with the kids, and so on. “Mom” mode switches off and I can enjoy my time. :) So thank you for coming into my life!
I finally have a happy family where we all feel comfortable
I have two boys, 3 3/4 and 1. They’re my treasures and I would do anything for them, but before starting the course I felt like everything was piling up and overwhelming me.
My older son started acting jealous toward my younger one. He was always pushing him around, and I would get angry at him. Then he didn’t want to go to preschool or to see the grandparents. I had sensed for a long time that I wasn’t managing things well, and I often found myself taking it out on the kids a bit, who of course paid me back in tantrums that made people (mainly their grandmothers) criticize me and point out how spoiled they are and how they do whatever they want … of course with no helpful advice. :)
Then I found the course, and my husband and I loved it immediately. I felt like this was exactly what we had been needing. We’ve been doing the course for a month, and in all that time I haven’t had to yell or get particularly angry, and it’s working.
I’ve found this month incredibly relaxing and you can really see the change in the children. They’re happy, more affectionate, and even fighting less than before. Everything seems to be going fine. I’m so glad that I’m here and I finally have a happy family where we all feel comfortable and able to communicate. Thank you, Unparenting!!
We’re close even in an uncomfortable situation
We had a situation yesterday in which I saw two changes in my own behavior, and while it isn’t like that all the time yet, that realization really spurs you forward. I went out to get firewood and saw a stick lying next to the stack of firewood, so I broke it and put it with the rest of the wood. My 4-year-old came home from preschool and cried: who broke her stick?? (She had been walking around with it like a staff.)
Change 1: I’m just starting to unlearn what I was taught from a young age and what comes automatically now. Deny it, make up a lie (I really was raised that way, partly out of fear of speaking up and partly out of seeing other people do it, like when my mom told me not to tell grandpa this, but to tell him that instead, and I knew it wasn’t the truth. That was my mom’s fear, who grew up with it too.) So I told her I had broken the stick. Even more tears. “But Mommy … waaah …”
Change 2: Instead of “Oh, come on, it’s just a stick, don’t cry about it,” I said, “I’m sorry, it was here by the firewood and I didn’t know it was yours. What if we go out and look for another one?” Her: “But what if we don’t find one?” Me: “There’s lots of sticks outside, big ones, small ones, you just have to pick one.” Before long she was running around and laughing with a new stick, which we broke three times to be exactly the length she needed. :)
Small things, maybe, but they represent major success and progress for me, and they show me how close we are even in an uncomfortable situation. Thank you!!
Our son responded more quickly than I dared hope
Thank you for the huge amount of dedication and work that must have gone into making the beautifully cohesive concept of Unparenting as well as presenting and spreading it. I’m glad I found it. I fell in love at first sight, and I haven’t once regretted paying for the course.
Our older son responded more quickly than I dared hope. An extremely positive experience. I believe that this method of healthy communication is incredibly beneficial not just between parents and children, but between adults themselves.
When I think about how many interpersonal problems the next generation might avoid if we teach them to communicate like this now, then I really believe what Unparenting said in an audio somewhere: that this can change the world for the better.
10 success stories after Week 1 of the Unparenting course
Hi, we’re a family with our first baby (18 months). It’s all new and exhausting for us. That’s why I was looking for a new way. We’ve done Week 1 of the Unparenting course, even though it actually took us two weeks. :)
Our daughter voluntarily handed Daddy’s phone back to him. :) She didn’t run away with it, just looked it over and handed it back when asked.
I trusted her to put the bag of plastic recycling outside the door, and she was so proud of herself (and so was I).
My husband and I are talking more, both about complicated topics and about our little one. It’s incredible.
We had a bit of a crisis with a lot of tears and misunderstanding. I paused and hugged her. She hugged me back, and after a few minutes we tried again. And it worked. Thank you, Unparenting.
Dad is trying tricks from Unparenting. I’m proud of him. Because I’m the main initiator and he’s usually just along for the ride. :)
The afternoon nap wasn’t going well, so I suggested she take something to bed with her to help her fall asleep. So she brought her slippers. And fell asleep as soon as she got in bed.
We can get through things if we announce up front that something’s going to happen. I was going out for the afternoon, and we had some tears as I left. But as soon as I came back, she came over and told me all about her time with Daddy in her toddler language. :)
I think I’m more aware of what she’s doing.
I’m trying to repeat myself less. Or to say nothing at all if possible. :)
I’ve realized that I can get her involved in a lot of the things I do. I’m showing her more trust, even though she’s such a wobbly little thing. You know how it goes.
You could use Unparenting in couples therapy
I’m not a young parent anymore; I’m actually a grandfather who’s helping care for his grandchildren (now with Unparenting). I think you could use some of your Unparenting principles in couples therapy. It’s a style of communication between people, and that doesn’t tend to change much with age.
Have a great day.
P.S. And thank you. Even the youngest grandchild, who I never quite knew what to do with, is starting to understand me (according to Unparenting I’M the one starting to understand). Thank you.
The tension between us has disappeared, I don’t yell at my 3-year-old any more, and she cooperates with me …
Last week I had the biggest and most fundamental aha! moment I’ve ever had about my relationship with my daughter. Ever since she was born there’s been a certain tension between us. It’s just there. Every second of every day for the past three years and three months.
Last week I realized that I wanted so badly to be the perfect mom for my child that I had thrown myself headfirst into the role of Mom. But you can’t play a role for three years and three months. It’s impossible. I slowly transformed into a stressed-out, yelling, exhausted shell of a woman, and I joined Unparenting because that’s not what I want out of life.
And last week I realized that I was really playing a role and that it wasn’t the real me. I wasn’t being authentic.
As soon as that realization hit, it was like a load fell off me. I haven’t been yelling at my daughter, and there’s no more tension (I keep looking for it but not finding it). She cooperates with me, we laugh, and we don’t have “scenes.” Suddenly I enjoy being with her and it all seems light and easy. Our world has changed. :)
I don’t know whether it will stay like this forever, but the feeling from this past week is worth it. Thank you so much, Unparenting! It’s a great feeling.
Bedtime. Tonight it finally hit me.
Bedtime. It was taking forever again tonight. We had a chat. We snuggled. We laughed and played with the covers. I put my son in his bed and tucked him in the way he wanted. Today was another extraordinary day in which I had the right to hold in my arms this young person who trusts me so incredibly much that my very presence helps him fall asleep. Isn’t that amazing? For two years I’ve been looking at this all wrong!
Falling asleep is an incredibly fragile moment for anybody, and I was afraid of what problem would come up next, what might go wrong, how tired I might be, or what else I might want to be doing, like cleaning up (so dumb!). We’ve been more or less enjoying bedtime for a while now, but I always felt like my son should be falling asleep quickly and not dragging things out. Tonight it finally hit me.
I don’t see my children as misbehaving anymore. They talk with me about everything now.
I just finished the Unparenting Course and I’m pretty happy with where we’re headed. My children are older, going on 11 and 15. The course helped me see how my children feel in various situations and changed the way I see them.
I don’t see them as misbehaving anymore, or assume they’re doing things on purpose to upset me. Instead, I see them as big personalities who can discuss anything with me. They noticed themselves that things are different now, and I can tell that they feel better. They talk with me about everything and confide in me now.
I’m going through burnout. You helped me see that I don’t have to be ashamed of my needs and feelings.
Hi, I’m mom (trying to be the best mommy I can) to two amazing little boys (3 and 1). I signed up for today’s course more or less by accident, but I’m so thankful I did! I’ve been experiencing a fair amount of burnout lately. And when I needed help the most, nobody from the family could help out and I almost fell apart. I’m on the verge of tears even now …
I’m exactly the type of person who does everything for others … Up until now I always thought it was a good thing, but it really isn’t … I’ve felt for a long time that I need time to myself if I want to be any good for others, and as my dad says, to be the woman who keeps the family peace. Back in the Stone Age we took care of the literal fire, but today the fire we keep is the family peace. But you try creating a peaceful environment when you aren’t at peace yourself!
I don’t know how to take a moment for myself … I feel embarrassed and incompetent for even needing it. Plus I always feel like I’m going to miss out on something important with my kids.
While doing the course today I went through a range of emotions. First, anticipation about what was going to happen and what it would offer me, then horror at everything I’m doing wrong and all the ways it’s affecting my children and my whole family. I even wanted to turn it off, but fortunately I didn’t!
Thank you so much for this course, because it really made me stop for a minute, think, and get the point of parenting and Unparenting for a functional family life. You helped me see that I mustn’t be ashamed of my needs and feelings. Thank you again SO much!
Our girls (4 and 2) are now more independent, more confident and much less prone to angry outbursts
Before Unparenting things in our home were pretty tense. My partner, my children and I just couldn’t seem to get along. We argued frequently and we always had to repeat things a thousand times. None of us were doing all that well. However hard my partner and I tried, the kids always seemed to complicate things.
We have two extremely active little girls (4 and 2) and we knew from the start that things wouldn’t be easy. They had to touch everything, had no sense of boundaries, and we were worried about them. So we made tons of rules about what they could and couldn’t do, quaked with fear for them any time they did something dangerous, and never took any time for ourselves at all.
The kids never listened to my husband much, but I did a bit better with them, since I know how to make things fun. Still, though, I felt like they didn’t really respect me. We were always reassuring each other that they’d grow out of it at some point. Tons of yelling and arguments came down to lack of understanding on both sides and insisting on our own way.
With Unparenting we can open up to each other. We’re honest, saying what we need and learning to listen to each other. I thought we talked a lot before, but only now are we really starting to communicate. Not just say who should do what. Going to bed, getting dressed, and cleaning up are less of a problem now. The two of us aren’t responsible for the whole day anymore. Our kids pitch in too.
We’re learning to take time for ourselves as well, and the kids really do give us time to relax for a few minutes. What I really appreciate about Unparenting is how I’m learning to let go of my fear and trust my kids. To let them do things themselves, and especially their own way. I’m starting to see things clearly and look for solutions without getting swept up in emotion.
The kids have gotten noticeably better at communicating. They’re less attention-seeking, more independent, self-confident and able to state their own opinions. They have an easier time cooperating. They see that they can try out lots of different things, so they don’t find those things as enticing anymore. They lose their tempers much less often, and when they do, it only lasts a few seconds. They’re proud of themselves and I’m proud of them. They like coming up with creative ways to work things out, and they don’t want to go back to yelling. They’re always telling me they love me. I can tell they’re happy.
My partner is thrilled with the changes as well. Not just in the kids, but in me. Before Unparenting I was tired of constant talking and responsibility, I would act on emotion and I always needed to have everything perfect and the way I like it. Now I give my family more space and trust. The atmosphere in our home has changed and relaxed. To me, Unparenting means being able to live together, trust each other, and join our worlds into one.
We now have a calmer, more enjoyable family atmosphere
Thank you, Unparenting, for a great course. This whole idea and everything surrounding it is helping me create a better, calmer, more enjoyable family atmosphere. It’s helping me forgive myself for my emotional outbursts, work on myself, turn problems into projects, and enjoy my time with my children much more …
I’ve finally started seeing and speaking up about my needs. My relationship with my husband has improved. We have good moments and bad, but we’re on the right path …
Finally things are getting back in hand. I’m feeling more sure of myself and not shaking in fear.
My success stories are mostly on a personal level so far. Most of all, the fact that I can say that this is okay for me and this makes me feel uncomfortable. My children are responding to it as well, since finally they have a mother who isn’t always hesitating and uncertain about what they can and can’t do, so they usually got their own way regardless of how I felt about it.
So finally things are getting back in hand. When I say that I’m not comfortable letting him play with a gardening sickle to cut the grass on his own, then I’m not paralyzed with doubt that maybe I should let him try it out (so I don’t rob him of some important life experience) or gripped by fear and anxiety.
I stand my ground, express my concerns, ask if there’s another way to do it, and he might be mad for a bit, but five minutes later he’s forgotten about it and doesn’t try it again. You have no idea how much better I feel!!
I let up the pressure and the kids hopped on board on their own. I’m finally getting along well with them.
My successes after Week 1. We’re working things out together for real and here’s the results:
Brushing teeth and getting ready for bed without complaining. The kids suggested that they do it over the commercial break during their pre-bedtime show. (I don’t know how that’s going to go once school starts back, though.)
Overall, I’m yelling and demanding less and the kids only talk back very occasionally. They take care of some of their responsibilities on their own and others after just one reminder (they asked me to let them know if they forget something).
My daughter lets me know ahead of time how she would like her breakfast, so there’s no more handing it back to me complaining that her toast has too much crust, not enough crust, is buttered on the wrong side or cut the wrong way, or that she wanted a different plate … That completely got rid of the regular morning argument.
I don’t insist she keep her hair tied up any more – we agreed she could wear a headband to keep it out of her eyes. We also bought a detangling spray to help with brushing and she does it herself. I just run a comb through it from time to time. She stopped squealing when it pulls, and instead proudly says she can handle it because she knows I’m not doing it on purpose.
We worked out how she should dress: anything is okay as long as it’s clean and doesn’t have holes in it. If she doesn’t notice a spot and I do, she goes to change without complaining.
We’re a lot more affectionate these days, often saying things like “Thank you, sweetie” and “Of course, I’d be happy to.”
My daughter is super pleased with herself lately. She comes up and tells me proudly about what all she can do on her own and what she came up with (I’m such a big kid now, I organized my crayons all on my own and I can help you keep things tidy).
My son picked up all his stuffed animals on his own initiative and came to show me as a surprise. He said he was pleased his bedroom looks nicer now.
I feel a lot better about myself now – I’m finally getting through the day with my kids without pressuring, blackmailing, or bribing them.
The best part is that I hardly did anything. I’m just acting more like a partner and making sure that whatever we work out is really two-sided. I let up the pressure and the kids got on board on their own. That’s a huge and wonderful reward for what was really a very small amount of work.
Our son was hitting us, but with Unparenting it stopped
Thanks to Unparenting I don’t even remember the last time my son hit me. I’m more anchored in myself and I don’t get caught up in his emotional displays. I’ve learned that they’re his emotions and I’m here to support him if he needs it. Now when he needs to cry or let his anger out, it just takes a few seconds. He works through it and we move on.
I’ve learned to talk about my own emotions and realized how important that is for a child. I used to feel afraid of every thorny situation because I didn’t know how to react. Now I don’t worry about it, because I know we can handle whatever comes up.
I started seeing changes in my life immediately
On her latest visit, one of my clients thanked me enthusiastically for recommending Unparenting to her. She said,
“Unparenting is one of the best things I’ve done in the last five years, because I started seeing changes in my life immediately and I realized we can live in harmony as a family, respect each other, and work things out in a way that every member of the family enjoys.”
My client thanked me and I thank the whole team at Unparenting for teaching people through experience how to raise children with ease.
I’ve learned to talk about my needs
I feel like my 6-month-old is happier, and even my relationship with my partner is more harmonious, because Unparenting changes your attitude toward all people around you, not just your children.
I’m definitely having more success communicating with my baby and not giving up because I assume a baby can’t understand me. Now I know babies do understand. It doesn’t always look like the baby is listening to me, so I keep my comments short. But when things go right, you can see that the baby does understand me.
I’ve also learned to talk about my needs, to put them into words and say out loud how I need things to be. Another change is listening to the needs of others without calling those needs into question. I also approach tense situations more calmly. :) I feel more self-confident, full of energy, and ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.
Grandma is talking and acting differently with my daughter now. No threatening with the boogeyman.
About two years ago I sent my amazing but quite strict and conventional mother-in-law, who raised her own two sons wooden spoon in hand, a link to Unparenting so she would understand what I was doing with our daughter and why. She didn’t comment or respond at all, so I thought that was the end of it.
For quite some time I’ve been seeing big changes in how she talks and acts with my daughter now, how they work things out and get along well together, but I perhaps vainly assumed she was picking it up from me.
This past weekend my younger one spread crumbs all over Grandma’s spotless apartment, I started to apologize, and Grandma responded, “It’s totally fine, I’m not fussed about a few crumbs anymore…” Not fussed??? A few minutes later she asked, “Do you still read those Unparenting articles they send out? I signed up for them and now I get them in my email. I always like reading them. They’re interesting …”
Picking my jaw up off the floor … I would never have believed this could happen and Unparenting could make its way to this small town!
And a bonus, my husband used to be very conventional in his parenting and now has picked up Unparenting from watching me (he did about two lessons with me and then didn’t want to do it anymore). We went on a walk with his cousin and her 2 ½-year-old boy, who kept running into the street, and she told him, “I see a boogeyman over there. Watch out, he might carry you off if you don’t listen!”
I couldn’t believe she said that, but I kept my mouth shut until we were talking about it at home later and I said, “I feel like it makes more sense to tell your kid not to run in the street because a car might run them over than because a boogeyman might carry them off …” He replied, “I know, right? Why on earth would she say that? It doesn’t make any sense … and she’s a teacher!”
I thought back to several years ago when he banged on the door to pretend a boogeyman was coming so our child would quiet down, and how he told me that was the only way to get through to a child and I worried that he might be right … and now I feel such peace of mind knowing that all of that is behind us and it’s not coming back … Thank you, Unparenting!
A month ago I was totally down because I didn’t know what to do with my little one (15 months) …
I’ve been with Unparenting for five weeks and I couldn’t be more impressed. I’ve realized so many things I’ve been doing wrong, and yet it’s so simple. My 15-month-old speaks her own language and nobody understands her, but now I’m the happiest mom in the world. What a change from a month ago, when I was totally down because I didn’t know what to do with my little one and felt like I needed a break.
She was constantly throwing fits and screaming, constantly wanting something from me, she wouldn’t let me sleep at night, she got up about four times a night and I was constantly sleep deprived and thinking things couldn’t go on this way and something had to give. Then I remembered one of my husband’s friends told him about Unparenting and what a great relationship he had with his daughter. And I was thinking that I want that too, and wondered what he was doing differently that worked so well … So I went for it.
And I’m so glad I did. I started communicating with my little girl and asking what she wanted, and it really worked, so now diaper changes and feedings are no problem and all I had to do was give her space. She’s calmer, I’m calmer, she only wakes up once a night at 5 a.m. for milk and then we go back to sleep until about 8. I’m so glad I found this.
I wish I hadn’t waited so long to do the course. It would have spared us a lot of misunderstandings.
I’ve got two little girls. The younger one is 8 months and the older one is almost 3. I’ve known about Unparenting since the older one was born. I had read a lot of parenting books and the one by Naomi Aldort (Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves) was like my parenting Bible. I kept coming back to it over and over. Because of that, I thought I would be able to raise my kids without big scenes, but unfortunately that never quite became a reality.
We did manage to implement a few things in our daily lives, like shopping and helping out in the kitchen. But we still have areas that need work, like bedtime and sharing with other kids. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to do the course. I think it would have spared us a lot of misunderstandings.
We live in Switzerland and my husband is Swiss. Our kids are growing up bilingual. I should mention that Switzerland is no better than the Czech Republic about raising children. It’s all Police and Teacher parents all the way down. Must be a European thing.
The need to find other moms who feel the same way drove me to invest in the course. I’m here and I’m learning. It’s amazing. Thank you, other moms, and thank you, Unparenting. When we manage to find a workaround or solution that actually works, I get tears in my eyes and think to myself, Yes, that’s it, just like that. I can feel how healing it is not just for my children, but for me as well.
I had no idea how important it is to talk openly about your needs and what miracles it can bring. Thank you so much. It’s incredibly rewarding.
When you stop struggling, everything gets better. It did for us.
I just want to say thank you all for what you’re doing, because all everybody talks about is how every mom is amazing, juggles everything, has well-behaved kids, and what you should and shouldn’t do … But that’s not reality. We’re all trying our best, nobody’s perfect, not us or our children, and everybody struggles with something.
The interesting thing is that when you stop struggling, everything gets better. It did for us. Yelling at kids about whatever they did or didn’t do is pointless. You can always work things out, because they really do understand more than you think. You just have to show them there’s another way. :)
Thank you to all of you and to my daughter, who now has a happier mom. :)
My husband can’t say enough good things about Unparenting
We’re almost done with Week 5 and we’ve had several major success stories so far. :) The first one came before we actually started the course, after we had just done some of the content on the Unparenting site. That was the last push we needed to sign up for the full course.
In Week 1 we got a handle on food (table manners) and diaper changes. Last week we had a breakthrough with brushing teeth. Our biggest success, though, is my mental well-being.
My husband can’t say enough good things about Unparenting. We even regained some lost balance between the two of us. We don’t see our little girl as some sort of obstacle anymore, but as a partner. It’s easier to talk about our feelings now. Even my husband shares how he’s feeling from time to time …
Three weeks ago my husband and I decided that he would take care of our daughter one afternoon a week. All it took was saying that I need a free afternoon to relax and get things done that I don’t want to do with her in tow. He said okay and it’s been working since then. They enjoy themselves, I feel better, I listen to Unparenting, get some cooking and cleaning done … All I had to do was say what I needed. :)
I’m proud of myself, my daughter, and my husband. Thank you, Unparenting …
We did the course and I’m incredibly grateful we did. Our kids keep asking, “What do you think? What do you suggest?”
Thanks for what you do! It helped a ton with improving my relationship with my 7-year-old. I was like a friend but also very strict, and it all turned against me. It got worse as he got older, and since my kids are incredibly important to me, I had to do something about it. I didn’t want to keep fighting with him all the time, and I was worried he would hate me in the future. He resisted anything and everything, screamed, covered his ears and so on.
I spent about six months poking around Unparenting, reading the free content, and thinking that I surely wasn’t a terrible mother and that I could manage without you. Sometimes things would start to go better, and then they would go back to how they were.
In the end, I decided it was worth a try. So many times you invest in something and it ends up a waste of money. The price tag seemed pretty high, especially since I was a stay-at-home mom at the time. My husband supported me, though, so we did the course and I’m incredibly grateful we did. It took a few months to get things to where we were all happy, but now I think it’s amazing.
We’ve been doing Unparenting for about a year and our relationship is much better. We love each other and need each other. Not every day is full of smiles, but everything has a solution and we figure it out together.
I love how kids pick everything up. They keep asking, “ What do you think? What do you suggest? What do you want, Mom?” :) They even look forward to going to school. I call that a big WIN. Thank you for everything. I always recommend you to whoever I feel like it would help.
My Unparenting fronts
I can hardly believe it, but three different friends have written me that they’re thinking about doing the Unparenting course, and they don’t know I’m already doing it. :) It always makes my heart pound, because I know that my response can encourage them to take the plunge and go for it! :) So I wrote back about how awesome the course is, and my friend asked what has changed for us since we started (last fall).
I gave a quick rundown of the most important points, but then I spent the next few hours thinking about it more, and decided that I see real change on four fronts.
MOTHER-IN-LAW: A few weeks back we came home from vacation in the mountains and my mother-in-law came over to help organize in the final phase of packing. “Put the baby in the car seat, take this bag, I’ll take this one.” I should mention that I’ve always done things slowly and people often get impatient with my tempo, but that’s just how I am. :) Yes, the good girl inside me probably wanted to do what she was told, but you know what, I guess I’m having my own Terrible Twos, so instead I heard myself say, “I’ll do it my way, Gabi.” And that was that. Wow! It’s that simple? Why did no one tell me that before?
HUSBAND: The other day he asked me an innocent, practical question. “Could you clean the baby’s eyes?” My unexpectedly irritated response: “Of course!” (in a tone that screamed “WILL YOU GIVE ME A BREAK ALREADY”). I even surprised myself. He just stood there wondering what was going on, and I took a second to pause, reflect, and realize what was going on. I said, “I’m sorry. I felt like you were accusing me somehow, like why haven’t I done it already??” He assured me that was not his intention, and we went on with our day.
BABY: The little troublemaker is 9 months old and until very recently I was complaining to practically everyone about how she’s always crying and how hard it’s been. Uh … Oh right! She cries and it’s been hard. With Unparenting I’m realizing more and more what she is teaching and reflecting to me through all of that. And maybe a “difficult” baby chose a parent who had a lot to learn. Like not fearing displays of emotion, for one. And plenty of other things.
So I’m not complaining anymore. I’m enjoying our time together and knowing that we can handle anything TOGETHER! ♥ Any time I feel otherwise, I know I need to rest and ask for help and then things will go smoothly again.
ME: All of the above, basically. I’m figuring out what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not, getting to know my boundaries, working out what I need and learning to ask for it. It’s a wild ride. Thanks for letting me share. :)
I’ve realized that I don’t know how to say what I need
Although I’ve had the course for several months, I’m only just starting Week 4. But like Unparenting says itself, that’s one of the advantages of an online course. I can come whenever I have time and am in the right mood. I’m sure I’d have finished long ago if this were an ordinary course. But Unparenting is anything but ordinary. I’m sure you already know it’s not just about our relationship with our children. The truths and insights in Unparenting take you deep into your own soul.
For instance, in Week 1 I realized that I have NO IDEA how to say what I need. I expected my partner to see and sense what I needed, because it was so obvious. So that little nugget of wisdom from Unparenting helped move my relationship with my husband forward in a big way. We had a great relationship before, but now I don’t find myself struggling with problems that don’t exist, and instead I simply say out loud what I need and ask what he needs. I’m ready to work things out. I don’t assume his needs and wishes and I don’t suppress my own.
I have a 6-month-old baby. The first time I checked out Unparenting was when she was a newborn and I felt like I had completely fallen apart and I wasn’t handling anything well … The blog posts were really helpful. :)
I also have a 9-year-old stepdaughter. My husband and I have her alternating weeks (joint custody). Everything was working and seems great on the surface. I applied some Unparenting with her because last year she started being pretty forgetful with school things. I thought I was such an amazing stepmom for explaining everything to her and that any kid would be lucky to have a stepmom like me. :) Haha, until Unparenting opened my eyes and showed me I was the biggest Teacher parent ever.
My husband listened to a few lessons and told me a couple of days ago that changing his approach had helped him work through some situations with his direct reports at work! Isn’t that amazing?
Praise for our (Un)parenting from my dad
Today I got the highest honor I could possibly ask for. My parents are here visiting us. I had a minute alone with my dad and he said,
“You know, at first I didn’t think much of how you’re doing things with Lucas. He would be climbing or doing something and I would think it was ridiculous, that no child should do a thing like that! And you two would just watch and correct him. I was really upset because it seemed like he didn’t listen to you. Today I see things differently.
I see how connected you both are with him, how aware you are of him and how you show him the way to go. Lucas is an amazing kid, and if you keep going like this, I think he’s going to grow up to be a self-confident, considerate person. And I think that’s exactly what this world needs!”
I’m really pleased 😊
I appreciate your work both as a psychologist and as a mom
I wanted to say thank you for your work. I didn’t do the full course, but both as a psychologist and as a mom I really appreciate how you encourage parents (including me) to communicate and work things out more, to respect their children’s opinions and point of view, and guide them toward taking responsibility for their own lives.
I think that even just stopping to think about how things are going in your home and getting out of the rut from your day-to-day life is so incredibly important. It helped me see certain situations through a new lens and consider where the possible solutions might lead.
Thank you as well for pointing out that we shouldn’t blame ourselves for our parenting mistakes (and that we all make plenty of them), but instead we should try to resist rushing for a quick solution. Maybe it’s the kind of solution we know from our family of origin or maybe we saw it somewhere and know it would be easy to implement, but the results are often subpar.
Thank you. It was really helpful for me.
My daughter was incredibly stubborn and if she didn’t get her way, then watch out. It didn’t matter what I did.
Before I went on maternity leave I worked as a teacher at a private preschool, so I thought that if I could handle a classroom full of other people’s children, having one of my own would be no problem at all … My little one soon set me straight on that account …
Nothing seemed to work. My daughter was incredibly stubborn and if she didn’t get her way, then watch out. It didn’t matter what I did. Good cop didn’t work and bad cop was even worse … I was starting to feel distressed and at a loss for what to do … not to mention guilty for totally failing even with all my experience.
Anyway, I feel like our children give us exactly the lessons we need to learn in order to wake up, make some essential change in our life, and become a better person. My daughter’s extreme behavior made me look for answers, I found Unparenting, and it opened my eyes so I could see …
Now everything was clear and made sense. I wish all parents could have that same realization and understand what their children’s behavior is communicating, have the desire to make changes, and not get discouraged at the first or twentieth time it goes wrong, but to keep trying, because it really is worth it!
It took us about six months to start seeing some success and believe me, it’s never too late to start. My mom is starting right now (at 63) and even did the course. She says she wants to avoid “mistakes” at least with her grandkids. :)
Before I close, I’d like to say: I used to look forward to when my daughter would finally fall asleep each evening and I’d have some peace and quiet … Now I can’t wait for her to wake up in the morning so we can spend another amazing day together. :)
Today I needed to wash the windows, and she didn’t want to let me go. After a few minutes, she said, “Mommy, one last song and you can go wash the windows, okay?” So we sang one last song and I was able to get the job done.
Unparenting saved my marriage
My husband has a highly time-consuming and mentally challenging job, and I was always pressuring him because he didn’t have time for anything. He kept making promises and not keeping them, being evasive, making excuses … I thought it was all his fault.
Your content helped me realize that it’s not entirely all his fault, but that his behavior is a response to my “Police” type behavior. Just like you describe.
I know it wasn’t your primary goal, but thank you so much, truly, because you most likely saved my marriage. At times I was at the point of considering divorce.
This is exactly how I always imagined motherhood would be
For the past month I’ve been in shock at how good life can be with my kids! It’s a miracle. :) This is exactly how I always imagined motherhood would be. After the first seven years, though, I felt like I had been naive and the only goal was to survive. Now I’m finally able to enjoy my children. (Previously I mainly enjoyed the evenings when they went to bed.)
I handed over responsibility to my son. His grades got better.
We try to work out the daily schedule with our kids. Homework used to take all afternoon, and then they still had things to finish up after 8 p.m. Now our son comes home from school, puts his things away and plays on his phone for half an hour, then gets his homework done within half an hour. IT WORKS.
The school counselor wanted to meet with my son (10) and us parents. Then I read the blog post “What the dentist didn’t tell us about brushing teeth”, which talks about handing over responsibility …
And how did it go? Once our son started doing better at school and stopped forgetting things (SINCE MOM AND DAD PASSED THE RESPONSIBILITY OVER TO HIM), his teacher and school counselor ended up canceling the scheduled session. :)
I’m really pleased that even though we’re at the beginning of the course, we already have a better relationship. I don’t have to yell or repeat myself, and sometimes my kids pitch in with housework since I’m at work.
I wouldn’t want to make the same mistakes my parents did
Dear Unparenting, I just have to say thank you. Finally, after a year and a half of looking, I’m starting to get meaningful answers to my questions and I’m finding someone who understands how I feel.
I’m a trained psychotherapist, but it was you who really put me on the right path. I had a big parenting crisis with my kids that lasted about six months and threw me into depression and anxiety. I started feeling like I must be sick. Actually I think I’m a normal mom who thinks a lot about how she raises her kids, because she cares.
I realize how much impact the way I was parented had on me. It did not make me happy, and I wouldn’t want to make the same mistakes. I want to be close to my children and understand them. I know they’re amazing, but I didn’t have any space for myself, as you talk about. It really does work. I go to my yoga class and come back a whole new person.
You are spreading an incredible message and I’m so grateful for it. It’s amazing how you’re helping thousands of people, and I plan to spread the message as well to my friends and especially my children.
I work with disadvantaged children and I wish all children could know love, intimacy and understanding. I’m sure you’ll bring us many more amazing insights.
She isn’t fighting me when I’m trying to get her dressed, brush her teeth, put her in the car seat or stroller, put her to bed at night …
Every day is different now. Of course I’m still tired, sometimes more and sometimes less, but otherwise things are going beautifully with Unparenting and my 19-month-old daughter. We’re real partners now. We work everything out together. I admire all her reactions and look forward to her insights.
Our communication has really taken off. She’s happy when she sees that I understand what she’s thinking and what she needs. I feel calm and at peace, and suddenly she isn’t fighting me when I’m trying to get her dressed, brush her teeth, put her in the car seat or stroller, and put her to bed at night (the last two weeks bedtime has taken 15-30 minutes, when it used to take 1-2 hours).
The important thing is that she knows what I want from her and what’s going to happen and why. I’m also living more in the moment; we’re enjoying each other to the fullest and coming up with games together. It’s amazing. I feel great.
I learned what an understanding and perceptive man I married
My husband and I have done the first lesson so far. I’m so happy! Thursday evening I came to him and said, “You know how I wanted to sign up for that online parenting course as my Christmas present? I’m loving it so far and really feel good about it.” He said, “That’s great! What is it about, anyway?”
I described roughly what Unparenting is all about, and he listened and asked, “How is it going so far?” I described our first success stories and those that didn’t go so well, when I accidentally went back to my old habits and then felt bad about it. Then he asked, “What can I do to help you feel okay about it? When you’re okay, the whole family works better …”
I said, “I could use some help, actually. I really want us all to do well together and I need a partner who can take over for me when I can’t go on.” He said, “Okay … so let’s have a look at it, then.”
In the end: On Friday we did the first one together and then talked about it for two hours over a glass of wine … an absolutely amazing experience for me … we haven’t talked so openly in a long time, and I learned what an understanding and perceptive man I married. We’re up for the next one today and I’m really looking forward to it.
Formerly a wild child, now you can work anything out with her
After almost two months with Unparenting, I feel like I can work practically anything out with my younger daughter (22 months). The child who always wanted to go the opposite direction … The tiny hurricane it was impossible to pick up after …
and yet it didn’t actually take much. Just tell her what I need and why, and give her space. Finally I learned that I don’t always have to get my own way, that she won’t grow up into a criminal if she gets her way sometimes. Sometimes you just forbid things or give orders to give yourself the feeling that you’re doing right but without any solid reason.
The most important thing is that now I feel calm, centered, and able to stop and look for solutions in difficult situations.
I’m a dentist. I learned that I should be asking children about what is troubling them and what they are interested in.
I’m a dentist. I’ve started communicating better with children in my office since my wife and I started doing Unparenting. I learned that I should be asking children about what is troubling them and what they are interested in, and talking to them more in general.
Often a child comes in and cries but doesn’t say anything. These days I don’t just move on anyway, but I try to calm them down and ask them questions, make eye contact, show them the “scary” instruments, let them touch the tools I’m going to be using (mirror, probe, polisher), help them rinse out their mouth …
Now I find myself having to slow down parents who I feel are embarrassed about their child crying and resisting.
Our children are also afraid of doctors, of course. One of our daughters in particular has had several uncomfortable medical procedures done. My wife did some role-playing at home with her and they took turns being the doctor. Now she holds still like a champ at the doctor’s office and tells the doctor what to do next. :) Good luck with your future projects.