SFP 28: Respectful Parenting with Teresa Graham Brett

Respectful Parenting

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This is episode 28 and today I’m here with Teresa Graham Brett talking about respectful parenting.

Teresa lives her passion for creating social change by combining work in social justice education with parenting. After graduating from law school, she opted to serve the cause of social change as an advocate, educator, and leader at three large public universities across the United States. Her life was transformed after the births of two children. In spite of her espoused professional values, she realized that she had accepted, without question, the dominant cultural beliefs that adults have the right to control and coerce children. The children in her life have challenged her to live according to the values of liberation, freedom and respect as a parent and human being.

As a writer and consultant, she works with other parents to do inner work as a foundation for outer action that ultimately liberates individuals, groups and communities. As a university leader, she advocates for full inclusion of students in the life of the campus. Teresa believes that as individuals and a society we can create a base of love, wholeness, authenticity, and integrity that is the foundation for just and empowering relationships. And, as we are each reflections of the world, the world is changed by our commitment to wholeness, liberation, and freedom.

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Semantics: She explains why she uses the language “the children who share my life” instead of “my children.”

Mainstream Parenting: We go over what mainstream, control-based parenting is and why we stepped away from it.

Respectful Parenting: We discuss the qualities of supportive, respectful parenting.

Transformative Learning: We share what the transformative learning process has looked like for us.

Transformational Tools: She walks us through tools for that transformational learning process like guilt, acceptance, mindfulness, awareness, triggers, knowledge, and perspective taking.

Experiential Learning: We talk about how the unschooling piece fits into the broader mission of parenting for social change.

Q & A

We tackle this question from Jahaira: “Could you speak to raising entitled children? It is my assumption that children only come to feel entitled when parents don’t meet their basic needs first and foremost and instead just give and give tangible things in place of that. Then children just need more and more ‘things’ and feel complete injustice since they aren’t getting what they really need: things like unconditional love and respect. Do you agree with this? What, in your opinion, are those basic needs for young children and into the teenage years?”

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