Parenting Philosophies

Parents and parents-to-be research different parenting philosophies, such as attachment parenting, consensual living, continuum parenting, radical/whole-life unschooling, and equally shared parenting.

To learn more about parenting philosophies, take a look at the resources below. If you have specific questions about this category or know of additional resources that should be on our list, please contact us.

Parenting Philosophies Resources Topic List
Attachment Parenting
Consensual Living
Continuum Parenting
Radical/Whole-Life Unschooling
Equally Shared Parenting

Attachment Parenting

  • The 7 Benefits of Attachment Parenting, Ask Dr. Sears.com: This list highlights the emotional and intellectual benefits to attachment parenting both for the child and the parent. The list is also summarized at the end of the article with links to pages on the body chemistry of AP, how discipline is easier with AP, and how AP could possibly reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Attachment Parenting (video), Parents TV: 4 ½ minute video interviewing Dr. Erika Schwartz about the philosophy of Attachment Parenting. This short segment gives a brief overview in an easy to understand format and details the “7 Baby Bs” and the “8 Principles of Attachment Parenting.
  • Attachment Parenting Pros and Cons, Dr. Laura Markham: In this article, the scientific research behind Attachment Parenting philosophy is explored. The author points out Attachment Parenting is about theory rather than rules and as such, it can be easy to fall into the trap of “over-parenting”. She states that “individual decisions need to be based on the individual child’s needs” instead of “some idea about what Attachment Parents ‘should’ do . . .”

Consensual Living

  • It’s your call, kid,  Adriana Barton: Although the title of this article may be negatively coercive, it very neatly sums up the Consensual Living model, gives background to the movement, gives examples, and a list of the basic principles. This is a nice overview of the non-hierarchical style of Consensual Living.
  • Child Led Living = Child Centeredness?, Annie Paxye: The author discusses some common sense guidelines for putting Consensual Living into practice and avoiding pitfalls that may occur if the principles and reasoning behind this  methodology are not fully understood.
  • Consensual Living – The Internet Consensual Living Resource: This site has compiled articles, essays, reading lists (see below), discussions, and a  newsletter for anyone interested in or practicing consensual living. (Note: There is embedded music on their homepage so you may or may not want to mute the sound on your computer.)
  • Consensual Living Booklist: PDF of book resources for Consensual Living/non-violent/peaceful parenting psychology.
  • Consensual Living is a great resources and offers many thoughtful articles as well as a suggested reading list for parents practicing attachment and consensual parenting philosophies.
  • Consensual Living, by Mommy Babble: This is a great article which introduces the concept of consensual parenting and puts it into a different perspective for those who may be skeptical or resistant to the ideals it embraces.
  • The Possible and Impossible in Parenting, by the parenting pit: This is a truly enlightening article acknowledging the troubles and turmoil we as parents face in daily life, and offers alternative ways to handle these situations, encouraging parents to become learners instead of controllers.

Continuum Parenting

  • The Liedloff Continuum Network: The Internet resource for readers of Jean Liedloff’s book, The Continuum Concept: This site introduces readers to The Continuum Concept by Anthropologist Jean Liedloff. The book is based on her studies of the Yequana people, and cites humans’ evolutionary development as the foundation for her theory. She believes that the conditions for the best overall mind/body/spirit health are met if all our basic needs are fulfilled from birth.
  • The Continuum Concept, a review by Kristen Burgess: This is a great in-depth, comprehensive review of the book that discusses possible pros and cons of Jean Liedloff’s theories.
  • The Continuum Concept – Understanding Kids (video), Aviram Rozin: Aviram Rozin, director of the Sadhana Forest project discusses his child-led learning philosophy and how his daughters have learned empowerment through feeling more connected and joyful being treated as “part of the team”. One of his biggest inspirations in this regard is Jean Liedloff’s book. (For more info about Aviram Rozin check out Sadhana Forest.)

Radical/Whole-Life Unschooling

  • Radical Unschooling: Informational website authored by Sandra Dodd: If you are even toying with the idea of unschooling, you should start at Sandra Dodd’s site. Her resources make it clear that no matter what age, we are learning all the time through everyday problem solving, laughter, and play; and anything can be an  opportunity for learning and self-discovery.
  • Joyfully Rejoycing: Informational website authored by Joyce Fetterol: A compendium of the author’s responses to the question, “what is unschooling”. She proceeds with a very thoughtful discussion of how unschooling philosophy is about joyful living and require the dismissal of goal oriented or destination oriented parenting. Included on her site are answers to many potential unschooling issues.
  • Radical Unschoolers Network: Great forum for families interested in or practicing unschooling. Check out the myriad of different groups and blogs connected to the forum.

Equally Shared Parenting

  • When Mom and Dad Share it All, Lisa Belkin: In-depth article in the New York Times Magazine that examines the lives of several couples and how they divide their parenting duties, and manage their personal and professional schedules.
  • ThirdPath Institute: This is a wonderful resource for all parents but especially those who are committed to a shared parenting philosophy. This non-profit organization helps individuals to create a work-life balance and have more time to really live. The founder Jessica Degroot’s motto includes the idea that parents “shouldn’t have to choose between career aspirations and family aspirations.”
  • Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works, Francine M. Deutsch: A detailed analysis of the ups and downs of sharing all the responsibilities of family and work. This book follows couples from different backgrounds and economic levels who follow the shared parenting model and also includes couples who don’t parent equally. She discusses the solutions these parents have come up with to manage/balance their family and work life.

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