Rights-Based Parenting is a parenting course with a difference, centred on children’s rights and liberation. During our six weeks together online, we will explore how we see children, start understanding adultism, and dig deep into how we can support our children’s rights through our parenting.
Parenting can be a truly radical act. The ways in which we relate to our children can have a profound impact on our families, our communities, and our world. At its heart, rights-based parenting is a social justice issue: as adults, we have more power than our children, and how we choose to use our power matters. If we want to respect children’s rights, we must move from traditional models of parental control and coercion towards new models of connection, collaboration, and freedom.
Embracing rights-based parenting and tackling adultism – the structural discrimination faced by children because of their age – is an active journey. It’s about fundamentally challenging the way we were raised, and changing the way we see and relate to children.
Maybe you’ve been practicing gentle parenting for a while now and you’re ready to start thinking more deeply about the power dynamic between you and your children. Maybe you’re new to thinking about children’s rights and you’d like some support in figuring out how to parent in a way which is aligned with your values. Maybe you already know how you want to be showing up as a parent, but you keep finding yourself defaulting back to old patterns of behaviour and need a reset.
Wherever you are in your journey, you are so very welcome.
What does the course cover?
The course includes:
- A huge PDF workbook filled with information, practical ideas, and questions for you to work through alone or with a partner.
- Weekly pre-recorded video workshops
- Mini podcasts to take your understanding and practice deeper
- Weekly live Q&A videos (recorded in case you miss them)
- Weekly drop-in office hours on Zoom (no booking needed, just log in and chat!)
- A whole lot of support and guidance from me and other like-minded parents to work through any bumps that come up in your journey
This is not a space where you will be judged for the decisions you have made, or your experiences of parenting to date. Rather, you will feel gently challenged and inspired to make positive changes – regardless of where you’re coming from – to deepen your connection with your children and build a foundation of respectful, rights-based parenting.
Module One: How we think about children
We will begin the course by considering how we think about children, how we think about adults, and the impact this has on parent-child relations. Think of this as setting the foundations for the rest of the course, as we consider:
- What makes a child?
- Exploring different childhoods
- What makes an adult? Considering our role as parents
- Being and becoming (children now and children as future adults)
Module Two: Understanding Adultism
This module takes you deep into thinking about power: who holds it, what can they do with it, and why does it matter when it comes to parenting. We will be exploring this specifically within the context of adultism (the structural discrimination children face based on their age). We’ll be taking a dive into:
- Thinking about power
- What is adultism? Some practical examples
- The impact of adultism
- A way forward: children’s liberation
Module Three : Children’s Rights and Rights-Based Parenting
Having carefully considered how childhood is constructed and the impact of adultism on all of us, this module will encourage you to explore what rights-based parenting might looks like. In this module we will cover:
- Community practice: Imagining a different world
- Introduction to children’s rights
- Parenting for children’s rights and social justice: The case for relationship-based parenting
- Some limitations of the children’s rights approach
Module Four: Rights-based parenting: the practice (part one)
In module four we move away from theory and towards practice which supports you to integrate the ideas from the first three modules into your daily life. We start by critically examining punishments, rewards, and other methods of behavioural modification. We will cover:
- Rights-based parenting
- Rethinking ‘discipline’
- The problem with punishments and praise: practical parenting without punishment and rewards
- Needs-based parenting: working together to find what works for our families
Module Five: Rights-based parenting: the practice (part two)
Module five looks at some practical rights-based parenting tools, including communication, including children in decision making, and playful parenting. In this module we will cover:
- Needs, not naughtiness: Lessons from Nonviolent Communication
- Language of dissent: Helping children understand their rights
- Power sharing: Supporting children’s participation in the home
- Joyful parenting: Embracing playfulness and pleasure
Module Six: Inner work or social change?
Sometimes we know how we want to parent, but we find ourselves reacting in ways which can feel so far removed from our ideal vision! In this final module, we look at the idea of ‘inner work’ – working on ourselves as parents – in the context of a society which devalues caring for children, and often actively makes this harder. In this module we will cover:
- Inner work
- Parenting during late-stage capitalism: self-care or community care?
- The structural challenges of rights-based parenting
- What do we change, ourselves or the system?
Is this course for me?
- You’re curious about exploring the power dynamic between you and your children in a safe, supportive space
- You want to parent in a way which supports children’s rights – even when it feels uncomfortable or challenging to be doing things differently
- You find yourself wondering why it feels so hard to parent the way you want to be parenting – you’ve read all the parenting books so why do you still find yourself yelling?
- You want to be able to confidently communicate your parenting choices to friends and family
- You want support from an experienced parent educator, and a community who will stand behind you and cheer you on
Please do not sign up if: you want parenting scripts, you want a course on child psychology or development, you want a course which will help you change your child’s behaviour or get them to act in a certain way.
Please note: you may join the course from anywhere in the world. Course participants are always international, which adds a wonderful dimension to our online community.
How is the course run?
The next course will run from 17th July 2023 for six weeks. The timing is designed to support parents who might need extra support during school holidays, whose rhythm changes during the summer months (or winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere!), or those who – like me – struggle to keep their cool when temperatures are more extreme. It also acts as a wonderful reset before the ‘back-to-school’ feeling of September!
Each week you will receive emails linking to each module, which will be filled with PDFs, audios, videos, and reading suggestions. You will have ongoing access to the course materials, so you can take your time and refer back to them. You can also join in with future runs of the course, and access any updated and new materials (and join in with future Q&As and office hours), making this brilliant value for money!
Weekly Q&A sessions will support you to deepen your knowledge and practice. These will take place on Thursday evenings at 8pm UK time, though recordings will be made available and you can submit questions in advance.
Weekly office hours will usually take place on Friday mornings between 9-10am UK time (though I will add in a couple of different times to accommodate different time zones) and are available for anyone who would like an informal chat. No need to book, just join the Zoom call.
How do I book?
BOOKING IS NOW CLOSED – PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR THE DATES OF THE NEXT RUN OF THE COURSE
The cost of the six-week course (including office hours and live Q&A sessions) is £89.
***Please note: If you already signed up to Beautiful Parenting you don’t need to purchase this course, as you will automatically be enrolled!***
Pay-what-you-can spaces are available for those who cannot afford the course at full price; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you simple instructions. No questions asked, no need to tell us any personal information – we trust that if you ask for a PWYC spot it’s because you need it.
I regret that refunds are not offered on online courses, though places are transferrable. By booking your place, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
I look forward to working with you soon.
Eloise Rickman is an author and experienced parent educator, who works with clients around the world through online courses and coaching. Her work focuses on challenging adultism (the discrimination children face based on their age), championing rights-based parenting and alternative education, and helping parents and caregivers rethink how they see children.
Her first book, Extraordinary Parenting was published in 2020 by Scribe.
Her next book, which focuses on children’s rights and the idea of children’s liberation, will be published in Spring 2024.
Eloise is currently studying for an MA in the Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights at UCL. She has a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, where she first became interested in how childhood and family practices shape society. Eloise believes that parenting can be a hopeful and radical act, and that changing the way we treat children has the potential to shape and change society for the better (as well as making the world a better place for children here and now).
She lives in London in a sunny little house full of books with her husband and daughter and their big ginger cat. Their daughter is home educated and has never been to school. When she’s not writing or studying or thinking or talking about all things children and childhood, you can find Eloise reading, cooking, swimming, and making the most of London’s art galleries.