Some days are hard.

Some days my children have misplaced their good attitudes and kind manners. Some days they don't want to help or participate or cooperate.

Some days are all resistance.

Sometimes as a parent it's hard to find the loving words. And the patience. Sometimes it's hard to keep my cool. To not raise my voice. To not resort to simply being the boss and choosing more old-school "because I said so" parenting energy, or inching towards punishment and reward.

Yes. Sometimes it's hard to practice what I preach.

But I'm trying everyday to keep at it and parent they way that I believe. I keep inching towards becoming the mom I want to be.

Sure, I slip. But as soon as I recognize it (or find the capacity to change my path) I return to what feels right.

Last week I was at the lake with my kids. A mom, struggling to keep up with two toddlers and two dogs in the company of an un-supportive boyfriend turned to me with an exhausted look on her face. "Why don't you have to yell at your kids to get them to do what you want?"

My heart was breaking for her. She was working so hard. I told her that my kids were older than hers and that we'd found our groove. 5 and 9 is not 3 and 4. Not by a long shot. I acknowledged that toddlers were a lot of work and then she ran off down the beach, chasing a child or a dog while her boyfriend baited his hook and smirked at her rushing about.

Before we left I told her that she deserved more respect. Because she does. She deserved to have support. Compassion. Connection.

We all deserve these things. And as mothers it is vital. If not from our partners (if we have one), if not from our extended family, if not from our community that surrouds us – at least from the communities that we find or create elsewhere.

Like here.

Last week I peeked around at the peaceful parenting conversations going on in our More Peaceful Parenting Facebook Group and was so inspired by the support and love that you are offering each other there.You are talking about big and personal struggles, and you are being met with grace and love and wisdom. I'm so glad.

As some of you have noticed, I quit the More Peaceful Parenting series her on the blog. When things got a little strained last month I felt a bit too vulnerable to write about parenting – a topic that seems to stir up a lot of energy and emotion.

And now I'm wondering if that has let you down.

Today I want you to tell me if you'd like the peaceful parenting series to continue. Was it helpful for you? Do you want more tools or have you had enough? Or do you prefer things a bit more light over here?

I've intentionally kept the subjects more superficial here during the past few weeks, but what about now? Should we dig back in? Are you wanting more?

Tell me what you think. I'm listening.

50 thoughts on “Peaceful.

  1. Stefanie says:

    I have been quietly following along drawing inspiration and wisdom from your peaceful parenting series. I would love to see it continue. Even though I may not see eye to eye with everything you say, what you say IS still inspirational and causes me to analyze my own choices and tactics. I wish everyone could just be respectful of differences and just learn to take what you can use to grow from something and accept that you have a difference of opinion for the rest…

  2. Lori says:

    Rachel, summer is coming and we that dont home school will be with our kids more so lets jump back in. I can so relate to the lady you were talking about – this is why i look so forward to reading your writting. You know my thoughts – inspirational, supportive, educational – and so much more. Keep writting my friend – and i cant wait to read your book!!!!!!

  3. Emily says:

    I’m very happy the Facebook group exists, but honestly I was finding myself “getting” more form your blog posts. (I think it has something to do with the various media.) If you have the energy in you to continue your blog-post series, then they are gratefully received. If you don’t, however, then you must most certainly do what you need to for yourself!

  4. Meg says:

    I’m interested in learning more and I’m not on FB to follow along…I think of you often after having non-peaceful parenting moments. I have a 1,3, and 7 year old. I swear they do not hear me unless I raise my voice and waive my hands. It’s ridiculous. With summer coming and all of us home together I would really like to implement some new strategies.

  5. Sharilyn says:

    Yup- I’m loving learning from you! Things have been wayyyy more peaceful since I found your blog & started instituting change in myself. So please more Peaceful Parenting posts:)

  6. Sharilyn says:

    Ps- its not just me who is parenting better because of your blog- my husband mirrors my attitudes – we are more fun to be with these days- according to our 2&4 year olds:)

  7. Lynette says:

    What may seem “superficial” to you might be inspiring to someone else. I happen to enjoy the little window into your life. There are aspects that I would like for my family one day. Just write what you feel like writing. We can take it or leave it, with gratitude.

  8. Nisa says:

    PLEASE continue the series. Please please please. Love reading all the “peaceful parenting” posts you’ve done so far and would love to read more. I feel like you and I have similar ideals/goals when it comes to how we strive to parent and it’s so great to have those moments from “OOH! ME TOO!” and “sweet- we do that!” to “I’ve never thought of it like that” or “oh, I would like try that!”
    so, I say yes, please.

  9. says:

    More please…I literally just say a FB post right before yours, saying “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e.e. cummings
    It was meant for you!
    we truly are raising ourselves as we are raising our kids (thanks, Naomi Aldort) by rewiring our own brain! Keep up the pioneering! It’s hard-a** work! I’ve got your back!

  10. Jess says:

    Your Peaceful Parenting series was the main reason why I started subscribing to your blog. While I’ve enjoyed the lighter posts, I crave the good, sometimes controversial stuff, too. I’m a new momma, and I am trying to learn all that I can to equip myself to handle toddlerhood with grace. So yes. Dig. (If you want to!)

  11. Vicki Bott says:

    I really appreciate and enjoy and learn from and feel supported by your posts. I am with you, especially on the peaceful parenting, and sometimes feel like others think I’m nuts or “too lenient.” I need and value your voice to keep me focused.

    p.s. I also appreciate hearing your honesty about feeling awful about people’s responses. You have a talent (or at least you make it look like a talent and not a ton of work) for presenting yourself and your thoughts and feelings “in print.”

  12. Monica says:

    With an almost 3 year old and an 11-month old, I am always looking to learn more effective ways of parenting through good and bad days. Your posts are inspiring to parent mindfully. Please continue!

  13. Ashley @ DaisyPedals says:

    I’d love some more ideas. If find that many of the parenting strategies out there are geared for a bit older children than my own. I have a one year old and almost three year old. I know your children are older but if there’s anything to offer for toddlers/preschoolers I’d love to hear it. I’m struggling to break the yelling cycle in our house, I work at it every day but it’s hard. I’ll get there, and hopefully not too late!

  14. Denise says:

    Dig! Dig, dig, dig! As one who only really became aware of NVC and peaceful parenting in the past 3 years (sad to say, for my 7-year-old)… and who now gets questioned consistently from extended family as to why we don’t “discipline” our daughter, because it doesn’t look like the traditional “carrot and stick” parenting style…. I SAY DIG!! I LOVE the sharing… I love finding new ideas, new words, and support.

  15. Isavoyage says:

    Dear Rachel, yes please go on with the series. It is SO helpful. Even as I wrote before, for those of us who.. are not parents!
    Because my friends who are parents do not necessarily read english, i translate your posts. Then we talk. A lot! And we are amazedat how it helps us. With every type of relationship we have, and maybe overall the relationship we have to ourselves. And in the end, we’re so much more capable of being respectful to our/their children.
    So yes, please do go on!
    Thank you 🙂

  16. Beth says:

    I’m also not on FB. I was wondering if you were saving the deeper stuff for the book? If it works for you, I really like what you have to say about parenting and the timing is really right for me now. Thanks for offering!

  17. Fleur says:

    First time commenter… don’t even have kids, but your parenting series are tremendously inspiring to me… I was raised the exact opposite way, and your parenting approach is ringing a big bell inside! I would love for you to continue the series. I think they are wonderful. Thank you!

  18. Marie says:

    I would love to hear more of your ideas and advice. I had not even heard of nvc until i came across your blog (while googling chair re-upholstering! :)) I’ve since looked into peaceful parenting a lot but you have inspired and helped me (and therefore my 2 and 3 year old boys) more than any of the books. I agree that you have a gift. To me the things you write are groundbreaking -yet when I read them I immediately ‘get it’. I also enjoy reading your posts whereas similar writing on the same subject can be a bit of a hard slog. Please keep sharing your ideas. You really do make a difference X

  19. Denise says:

    Nisa!! So, I’m reading through the comments… and I read this one, and I’m like, how many Nisas are there in this little world? And why do I hear Nisa’s voice saying “sweet – we do that”…. ha ha ha. How were we seeing each other every Friday and have never discussed this topic? 🙂

  20. Kate says:

    I would love for you to continue, but I also understand why you stopped! Your series was speaking to my soul, as the mama of a 4 y.o. and 8 month old, these posts were so very helpful, I returned to them often during the more challenging days to refuel!
    Thank you for your wisdom 🙂 it is helping my whole family.

  21. caitlinvb says:

    I personally love your advice/thoughts/stories about parenting, and as a new step-mom I find your points of view invaluable to my process. In the end you gotta do what feels right to you, but I for one would LOVE to continue to mull over your writings.

  22. Carol says:


    This past week, my husband had two unexpected knee surgeries (he’s an athlete and needs those knees for his life and work) and I caught the flu that two of my three kids had at the same time. I was a train wreck with the kids for two of my sickest days. Mean, yelling – violent, essentially. I feel a bit miserable knowing that I couldn’t do better.

    But most of the time I do do better. I’m writing because in the last few months, I’ve felt like there’s been even a real shift in my interactions with the kids. I have been following your peaceful parenting series and borrowed from the library a couple of books you referenced. Often when I read these books (and sometimes your own writing), I find myself shaking my head no in disagreement. And then I find myself employing the strategies I’ve read and don’t really agree with, with sometimes magical results.

    I think the more a community is exposed to ideas, the more they are absorbed, even if they meet resistance. These ideas inform us, even if we are reluctant to accept them. But it’s important to give the ideas air time, to have the difficult conversations, because they might be paving the way to positive change, possibly radical change.

    I’m not saying I’m ready to devote myself to peaceful parenting as it’s being defined here – I’m pretty sure I’m not. But your conversation has already really impacted my family for the better, and those changes will ripple outward to my community. For this I’m truly grateful, and for this I personally would love for you to continue, if you have the heart for it. For those of us who are working at conscious and loving parenting everyday, and sometimes fumbling along the way, the discussion at Clean can be a bit of a lifeline.

  23. Karen C says:

    I would love to see you continue with the posts on your blog. I don’t participate in FB groups, so I would miss out if you only did it there.

  24. Jenny Miller says:

    If it feels right for you, Rachel, I’m in! And thanks for spreading the love. I’ve been asked the same with my two boys(they are 7 and 11)in regards to parenting and I think you handled it spot-on.

  25. Mikaela says:

    Yes, please! I found your posts to the point and very helpful. There are so many varieties of parenting out there, and I haven’t yet found one author or method with which I wholeheartedly agree, leaving me to put the pieces together myself. I think you’ve done a good job of pulling some of those pieces together, and so I’m grateful for your voice and perspective here! I especially appreciate the way you balance a desire to raise respectful/competent kids with a desire to do so non-violently. I think it’s so easy to fall to one side or the other, and much harder to keep those two desires in balance.

    I do hope you have a contingency plan for the bitter comments that will surely be left at some point. I would hate for you to go through so much sadness again–and selfishly of course, I would miss you if it caused you to reconsider blogging once again. So please, if possible, prepare!

  26. P says:

    I think I’ve only lurked here before, but I wanted to say that I hope you do continue. Your perspective on parenting is something I find interesting and thought provoking. Though I don’t always have the same beliefs as you (more often I do), I find that I think about what you write often as I go through my day and do the work of raising my kid. Please continue to share your thoughts!

  27. Tammy says:

    I’m not on Facebook so I really appreciate the time you take to add peaceful parenting advice here. Let your blog be all of who you are! There will always be people who disagree – that’s what makes life so juicy I think sometimes. At any rate, really would enjoy more of your wisdom. Thanks for sharing all you do.

  28. jo says:

    yes yes yes. i loved your peaceful parenting series. i found it helpful to be reminded of how i want to parent because some days are hard and some days i have to keep bringing myself back to the present and remember the kind of mum i would prefer to be. i am only new to your blog but i kept coming back mostly for the peaceful parenting. please continue..

  29. nannergirl says:

    I really enjoy your peaceful parenting information. It’s a topic that parents struggle with. And I think you are very brave to offer this infomation. We’re all just trying to do the best we can and can each use as much information as we choose. Thank you for being willing to get back into it.

  30. Sesasha says:

    I just discovered your blog last week and I would love to read your thoughts about more peaceful parenting. From what I’ve already read, I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit in you; someone else trying hard to be the kind of parent I want to be.

  31. kara decarlo says:

    I would like to see it continue!
    I get a lot of strange looks when I’m out in public, letting my four-year-old have her meltdown–
    But those are the moments when I remind myself that parenting isn’t about what strangers think, it’s about doing what’s best for your kids and doing it in a way that feels right.
    And having you post here about parenting has helped me shrug off the peer pressure and do it my way.
    Thank you!

  32. Rachel Wolf says:

    I love the idea of you translating these posts for your friends. It gives this a much further reach that I imagined…

    I also love the idea of the ripples moving out to other relationships – friends, parents, partners, and ourselves. Wonderful!

  33. Rachel Wolf says:

    Carol, Thank you so much. Your words had a big impact on me, and on the whole idea of people feeling resistance to something I may say. Thank you for your clarity and honesty. Hope you are headed into easier days this week.

  34. Sarah says:

    This is how behind I am on my blogs! I would love for you to continue your series. I know by now that you have already decided to. I do love to read your blog. Because of your incredible open heart I don’t feel like I’m being preached to.

  35. Darcy Nimmons says:

    Definitely learning from your Peaceful Parenting Series! Every girl deserves to be respected and treated right. You did the right thing, telling her what she truly deserves. I hope she and her family’s okay now and I hope that she is being treated properly. I am a fan of peaceful parenting by the way. I mean, shouting and nagging are not necessary when it come to teaching your children lessons. It is effective and more comforting for the children if their parents calmly explain things to them. Through that, they’ll be able to gain respect, and at the same time, they’ll give a large amount of respect to their lovely children.

  36. Catherine says:

    I’ve just found this site and am really enjoying this content specifically. I really hope you feel inspired to continue. You are doing many parents and their children a great service. I’ve needed this forum and am grateful you’re prividing it. 🙂

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