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Moms and Kids as Equals -- New Parenting Approach

by Cynthia Dermody on April 7, 2009 at 4:29 PM
consentual living

Photo by Christy.Cab

It's called Consentual Living -- it basically means that you and your toddler are equals. You are no longer the boss, and she is no longer the underling.

No more time-outs or spanks. No taking away consequences to discourage bad behavior. No, well, no more work for us moms at all!

Parent Dish goes into the Consentual Living philosophy and bit more deeply and provides a link to the movement's main site, but here's an example of how it might work in practice:

"If little Bobby hits another child on the playground, Dad might talk to him about how hitting is wrong and offer him other ways to express his anger, but he won't make him apologize. If 2-year-old Susie doesn't want to tag along with mom to her doctor's appointment, mom might cancel her appointment."

So, punishments and rewards are considered "tools of manipulation" and unnecessary when the whole family is working together toward a common goal. When parents put themselves in the role of authority, they may believe they are doing it for the child's good, but they could be missing an opportunity to have more connected relationships with their children, a spokeswoman for the movement says.

This would not work in my house. If I did this, we'd be watching the CARS movie 24/7, adopting 30 puppies, and eating brownies for dinner every night.

Question: Do you agree with the Consentual Living approach to parenting? Have you or would you try it?
  1. Yes 8%
  2. No 91%
Total Votes: 201
Voting on polls is not available on The Stir Mobile.


Filed Under: discipline


  • PamR


    April 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    Good luck with that.

  • auror...


    April 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    I'm not going to pass judgement, I'll just say with a special needs child this option isn't even on the table in my home or my child would have never made any progress.

  • LIZARD66


    April 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Who comes up with this horse shit??!! No wonder we have a generation of spoiled brats! Kids need discipline and guidance!!!!!!! A parent's job is to be a parent--not the kid's best friend. If the parents are the kids' friends, how will the kids appreciate how to relate appropriately to other figures of authority? What about a boss? They won't have a clue! Kids need rules and appreciation for the fact that the world does not stop for them or revolve around them. What a bunch of bull!!

  • MOM22QTS


    April 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    there wasn't an option for hell no. that is absurd.


  • Lakot...


    April 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    When Bobby and Susie can change their own diaper, get themselves to school, and pay some bills, then we can talk about equal. Until then, you be the child and I'll be the parent.  I pay bills and take care of you while you do what I tell you to do.

    Don't fix what works. Rules and regulations for kids. Rights and priviledges for adults.

  • Busym...


    April 7, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    Wow. I consider myself to take a much more "child-led" approach to parenting, but even I am saying NO WAY on this one. My son's toddler brain is nowhere near developed enough to make decisions for himself.

  • madam...


    April 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    I'm sure the child would just lap this up but it's absolutely ridiculous.

    Parents need to be parents. Point. Blank. Period.


  • Amber...


    April 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    no thank you. I like to be the boss in my house.

  • mellypoo


    April 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

    no offense, but this is the bottom end of stupid. if children had the mental capacity to make sound judgments, they'd be able to vote, join the military, drink and engage in legal contracts. this is like a manual for how to fail.

    i'll take the route of waiting until my children are adults to treat them like adults.

  • jeng1980


    April 7, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    God made parents for a reason.  If we were equals, then the new people would just appear and I have a feeling that they would be full grown adults when they appear.  This is retarted, rediculous, absurd, and every other word related!!!

    Go read parent in the webster dictionary!!!

1-10 of 58 comments

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