Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

In this section you will find a set of suggestions, basic principles, that can help you guide your child by supporting development and well being. Each of the seven principles is discussed in depth with suggestions for their practical application.

Summary of the Principles

The Seven Guiding Principles are key ideas for ways of living that nurture both parent and child and that create an atmosphere that supports children’s development in very effective ways. They can help you create a parent-child relationship that is strong, secure and enduring. They can also help you and your child respond skillfully to the experiences and adventures you encounter throughout life.

The section on Guiding Principles begins with a basic insight about the nature of children, noting that despite the many differences in maturity, children and adults are also very much alike. We all share a basic desire to be loved, respected and appreciated for who we are. We have similar emotions and we each want to be happy.  This is a powerful insight that has profound implications for the way we guide our child’s development.

The seven principles offer ideas that honor those shared common needs and suggest tactics that thoughtfully and effectively nurture development.

  • Love Genuinely explores the importance of offering unqualified love — love without stipulations or conditions—to your child and also to yourself.
  • Interact Respectfully lays a foundation for a parent-child relationship that is secure, honest and characterized by deep mutual respect.
  • Live Gratefully encourages you to notice and appreciate what is good, a way of being that leads to greater life satisfaction and richer interpersonal connections.
  • Grow Through Difficulties explains concrete ways for you to help your child move through challenges and sorrows effectively, enabling personal development and promoting qualities of courage, grit, resilience, compassion and empathy.
  • Scaffold Effectively describes ways to gently support your child’s efforts so that he or she can accomplish a little more than would be possible without your collaboration and explains the vital importance of withdrawing support when your child is able to act independently.
  • Set-Up Success flips our tendency to criticize and advise after the fact by instead creating situations that maximize the possibility of success. It also suggests ways to help older children and teens envision and achieve realistic goals.
  • Have Fun is a caring reminder that we feel happier and healthier when we take time to relax and play, and that your child only grows up once—don’t miss it!

The Seven Guiding Principles are were developed over many years working as a professor, conducting academic research, serving as a consultant to physicians and to parents, and most importantly, being a parent. ~ Anne Dunlea ~

Some of the articles in this section are available to everyone visiting the site.  These include:  “The Key Insight,” “Love Genuinely,” “Live Gratefully,” “Scaffold Skillfully” and “Why These Seven Principles.”  Full access to all the articles is available to members.

The Guiding Principles are available in both written and audio format so you can explore them in whatever way is best for you.

More articles are available to members.