The Aware
Parenting Institute
www.awareparenting.com

Transforming families around the world

P.O. Box 206, Goleta, CA 93116, U.S.A.
(805) 968-1868 (phone and fax)
e-mail: info@awareparenting.com

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The philosophy of Aware Parenting

Click here for a two-page printable version for free distribution to parents.

Aware Parenting is a philosophy of child-rearing that has the potential to change the world. Based on cutting-edge research and insights in child development, Aware Parenting questions most traditional assumptions about raising children, and proposes a new approach that can profoundly shift a parent's relationship with his or her child. Parents who follow this approach raise children who are bright, compassionate, competent, nonviolent, and drug free.

Aware Parenting is based on the work of Dr. Aletha Solter. For more information, please see Dr. Aletha Solter's books, The Aware Baby, Helping Young Children Flourish, Tears and Tantrums, Raising Drug-Free Kids, and Attachment Play.

Please click on the following links for more information about the Aware Parenting philosophy.

orange ball The 3 aspects of Aware Parenting
orange ball The 10 principles of Aware Parenting
orange ball FAQ page (frequently asked questions)
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The 3 aspects of Aware Parenting

Dutch version
French version
Spanish version

Aware Parenting Consists of:

heart Attachment-style parenting
blue dotNatural childbirth and early bonding
blue dotPlenty of physical contact
blue dotProlonged breast-feeding
blue dotPrompt responsiveness to crying
blue dotSensitive attunement
heart Non-punitive discipline
blue dotNo punishments of any kind (including spanking, "time-out", and artificial "consequences")
blue dotNo rewards or bribes
blue dotA search for underlying needs and feelings
blue dotAnger management for parents
blue dotPeaceful conflict-resolution (family meetings, mediation, etc.)
heart Healing from stress and trauma
blue dotRecognition of stress and trauma (including unmet needs) as primary causes of behavioral and emotional problems
blue dotEmphasis on prevention of stress and trauma
blue dotRecognition of the healing effects of play, laughter, and crying in the context of a loving parent/child relationship
blue dotRespectful, empathic listening and acceptance of children's emotions

Copyright © 1994 by Aletha Solter

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The 10 principles of Aware Parenting

Dutch version
French version
German version
Spanish version

1. Aware parents fill their children's needs for physical contact (holding, cuddling, etc.). They do not worry about "spoiling" their children.

2. Aware parents accept the entire range of emotions and listen non-judgmentally to children's expressions of feelings. They realize that they cannot prevent all sadness, anger, or frustration, and they do not attempt to stop children from releasing painful feelings through crying or raging.

3. Aware parents offer age-appropriate stimulation, and trust children to learn at their own rate and in their own way. They do not try to hurry children on to new stages of development.

4. Aware parents offer encouragement for learning new skills, but do not judge children's performance with either criticism or evaluative praise.

5. Aware parents spend time each day giving full attention to their children. During this special, quality time, they observe, listen, respond, and join in their children's play (if invited to do so), but they do not direct the children's activities.

6. Aware parents protect children from danger, but they do not attempt to prevent all of their children's mistakes, problems, or conflicts.

7. Aware parents encourage children to be autonomous problem-solvers and help only when needed. They do not solve their children's problems for them.

8. Aware parents set reasonable boundaries and limits, gently guide children towards acceptable behavior, and consider everyone's needs when solving conflicts. They do not control children with bribes, rewards, threats, or punishments of any kind.

9. Aware parents take care of themselves and are honest about their own needs and feelings. They do not sacrifice themselves to the point of becoming resentful.

10. Aware parents strive to be aware of the ways in which their own childhood pain interferes with their ability to be good parents, and they make conscious efforts to avoid passing on their own hurts to their children.

Aware Parenting is based on the work of Dr. Aletha Solter. For more information, please see Dr. Aletha Solter's books, The Aware Baby, Helping Young Children Flourish, Tears and Tantrums, Raising Drug-Free Kids, and Attachment Play.

Copyright © 1994 by Aletha Solter

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This page was last updated on August 30, 2013. Copyright © 1994 to 2013 by Aletha Solter. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations), without written permission from Aletha Solter, with the exception of printing pages for personal use. This copyright applies to all the pages and articles from the Aware Parenting Institute web site and Shining Star Press.