What is Joyful Parenting?

You are a person who cares deeply about your children and who wants to support them everyday in a way that is loving, gentle and playful. You don’t want to be an authority figure who is obeyed or a stressed-out parent who yells all the time. You want to be a calm, open and available person that your child can trust with absolutely anything, knowing that they won’t be judged or lectured.

You don’t want parenting to be all hard work. You want to have fun with your children and delight in your life together. You want to learn and grow into a more relaxed and confident person, just as you hope your child does.

You are looking for ideas that are both practical and grounded in spiritual truth. You don’t want expert advice, but you are open to learning from the experience of others.

You are the sort of person who might be interested in Joyful Parenting.

What makes Joyful Parenting unique?

There are three core elements that work together to make Joyful Parenting a unique approach to raising children.

Freedom from stress

Joyful Parenting is based on the understanding that it is possible to live with your children without stress and struggle. You can have a family life that is free of worry, battles and resentment.

This does not mean that your family life will be filled with peace and quiet and that everyone will be happy all the time.

It means that you can expect to feel freedom from the burden of constant stressful thoughts and painful feelings. You can expect to experience a flow of aliveness, vitality and appreciation for the way things are. You will also know how best to support your children through the inevitable ups and downs of life.

There is a deep well of peace and wisdom within all of us. In fact, this peaceful consciousness is our true nature. It is just waiting to be recognized.

No need for discipline or limits

You can live in harmony with your child or children without using any punishments, rewards, limits or rules. Yes, that’s right; No discipline or imposed limits at all.

This does not mean that you will become a doormat who is walked all over by her children.

It means that traditional discipline and all its modern variations are unnecessary when you can guide your family through a process of problem solving that includes everybody. You can expect to find creative solutions to any type of problem – and to have your children come up with most of the solutions themselves.

You can relax into the freedom that comes with not trying to control your children all the time

Living with an open mind

Joyful Parenting is as much about unlearning your old patterns of thinking as it is about learning new ways to be with your child.

Many well-intentioned, mindful parents still get caught up in conflict with their children. They end up yelling and threatening even though they vowed they wouldn’t be that kind of parent. Often, the beliefs that we learned in childhood are unconsciously controlling our words and actions. Left unaddressed these beliefs can keep us stuck in conflict indefinitely.

The way to get free from this old conditioning is to question your thinking. The most simple and direct way to do this is to use the practice developed by Byron Katie that she calls The Work. Instead of struggling to change your child, you look within yourself and search for your deepest truth. What you will find is sure to change your perspective in dramatic ways.

There is no better way to reduce stress in your life than to question the beliefs that are causing it in the first place. This way you don’t just solve problems, you dissolve them forever.

Its about the journey, not the destination.

Joyful Parenting isn’t a recipe for turning out well behaved, responsible, high achieving children. It’s not about how your children will turn out at all. (Although it’s likely that they will be amazing!) It’s about being in the present moment and experiencing the gift of your relationship with your child;

All the adventure.

All the range of emotions.

All of the beauty and tender love.


  1. Thanks Freya! I love Byron Katie and frequently fill out her Judge Your Neighbour worksheet. I’d not thought to do The Work with my son 🙂

    • Hi Em,
      I’m so glad that you’ve found the wonderful gift of self-inquiry. Its such an amazing tool for getting clear of stress and struggle. I don’t work through the questions with my children in any systematic way. I just throw “Is that true?” into the conversation at times. Only one of my sons is open to going through all the questions and that’s a very recent thing. I did buy her book “Tiger, Tiger is that true?” which was a good way to introduce it.


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