What Do You Think About "Low Demand Parenting"?

May 19, 2023

After a lot of trial and error, we’ve centered on a parenting style that stays away from permissiveness on one end and command and demand on the other to support our autistic adults how and when they need it. We encourage, warn and collaborate to create a live we love together.

We believe that there is a the virtuous middle that encourages independence skills and practices so we increase their odds of being okay when we’re gone.

But it wasn't until I listened to The Autism and ADHD Podcast by Holly Blanc Moses, featuring Amanda Diekman that I realized that Low Demand Parenting could be a name for our approach that seems to speak to many parents today.

Low demand parenting, also known as gentle parenting or peaceful parenting, is an approach that emphasizes empathy, respect, and understanding in the parent-child relationship. It focuses on meeting the emotional needs of children and avoiding punitive measures such as punishments or rewards.

Advantages include:

  • strong emotional bond creating safety,
  • enhanced self-esteem increasing confidence,
  • improved communication skills so they can better advocate,
  • better problem solving so they will proactively collaborate to design solutions that work for all parties,
  • enhanced emotional regulation skills that improve the changes actions they take to create the outcome they want,
  • independence to make responsible decisions, and
  • seeing teaching and guiding in our actions as a model for their own behavior.

The risks and challenges I've found with this parenting approach include:

  • consistently setting boundaries,
  • navigating the world when others critique our approach,
  • consistent discipline to help them understand the consequences of their actions so they don’t deny their own responsibility to create what they want,
  • exhaustion from the significant amount of emotional investment and patience required,
  • strategies to address peer pressure to integrate with those raised with more traditional demands,
  • avoiding unrealistic expectations that the world will meet their desires or demands. 

Payoffs we've focused on creating include:

  • teaching emotional well-being skills,
  • respect of individuality and autonomy,
  • building connection,
  • promoting responsible self-discipline,
  • fostering emotional intelligence,
  • creating peace and harmony at home and
  • resisting automatic patterns of authoritarian methods and instead promote collaboration, respect and understanding.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this style of parenting. Go to our Facebook Page: The Art of Adulting Coaching and comment on any post. Or, send me a DM at Instagram @LynnCDavsion.