Peaceful Parenting Online

Module 1 – Understanding Your Relationships

Part 1 - Understanding Behaviours

Audio for Part 1


Here’s the audio file for Part 1 of this Unit.

To get the most out of this program we suggest you listen to the audio before reading the theory below and on subsequent pages.  The audio is provided to enhance the written theory and allows for a deeper understanding.   You’ll have the capacity to listen or download the audio at the beginning of each part (of a 3 part module) OR you can download the lot from the first page of this module.



Understanding Behaviour and Who Owns the Problem?


Below are three different zones in what we call the “Behaviour Window”. We use the Behaviour Window to help us categorise everyday problems into areas so that we know how to respond and use the right parenting skills and techniques for each situation.

We’re focusing on this right at the beginning of this program so you can start recognising and categorising problems and using this understanding to apply the right tools. The reality is, the majority of the time you are responding to problems in a way that don’t help you or them solve it. Identifying who owns the problem can relieve the pressure on you to always have a solution, playing umpire or going around in defensive circles.

The behaviour window is a simple concept to help you categorise or slot every day issues into areas so that you can use the right skill at the right time and get maximum effect.

The three zones in the behaviour window are:

  • Child owns the problem (or the other adult)
  • You (the parent) own the problem
  • There is no problem – The no problem zone

Some of your child’s (or other adult) behaviour will be acceptable to you and won’t cause you a problem, however, the child’s attitude and body language indicate the child has a problem.

For example, your child gets in the car after school upset or your partner has come home from work stressed out by their boss.

In this situation the behaviour would be placed above the line of acceptance, and above the No problem area (because there is a problem), and in the Child/Other owns the Problem area.



Over the next couple of weeks, we focus on developing skills such as empathy, acceptance, active listening which will help you to encourage and build skills for the child/other to resolve their own problems and become more resilient.

When there are behaviours that are acceptable to you and there are no indications that the child/other has a problem, the behaviour can be placed between the two problem areas in the Behaviour Window, known as the No Problem Area.

Throughout the Peaceful Parenting program we will show you ways to enhance your relationship with the child/other while you reside in this area.

When you feel un-accepting of the behaviour, you, (the parent/individual)own the problem, and we place this in the lower part of the Behaviour Window.

Being self-aware and clear about the problem their behaviour creates for you means you can take positive steps to change the behaviour so that it becomes acceptable to you, such as confronting the problem, using your influence and knowledge of the problem to raise the child/other’s awareness.

In module 4 of the Peaceful Parenting program we will step through an approach on how to change the unacceptable behaviour without damaging the relationship.

Here’s are some scenarios to get you thinking and help you to begin your practice for this first audio…



Expand to view feedback on the questions

Question 1 - Your child is worried about not placing in a running race.

Correct response: The child owns the problem

Reason: Your child owns the concern and worry. Many times we also feel this discomfort and want to resolve it for them or make them feel better but do this inadequately and end up prolonging their issue.

Question 2 - Your son disapproves of his sister’s new boyfriend.

Correct response: The child owns the problem

Reason: Whether your son approves or disapproves need not be our concern. He's entitled to his opinion. However, it's how we can help him really understand what is driving his feelings that can be helpful to him.

Question 3 - Your child leaves a mess in the kitchen for you to clean up.

Correct response: The parent owns the problem

Reason: This is clearly our problem as we are now cleaning up someone else's mess. Children are just children though and need to be encouraged to think of the impact of their behaviour on you and others. That is our role.

Question 4 - Your baby cries getting a vaccination

Correct response: The child owns the problem

Reason: Yes, this is a tricky one! However, it is your baby that has experienced the pain and discomfort. It is our response to this discomfort that gives us a problem with it. Ultimately, you made the decision to vaccinate (therefore no problem with it) but they will experience the pain of that decision. So in a tough way, this is their problem and we can help them with it using empathy.

Question 5 - You got a tax refund!  Your partner wants to buy a new computer, you want it to go on a car.

Correct response: Both parties own the problem

Reason: This is where negotiation and identifying competing needs will help you navigate through this problem where you both want to "win".

Question 6: Your daughter was late and you missed her dental appointment (which you have to pay for).

Correct response: The parent owns the problem

Reason: Often children are poor time managers and this is one situation where it becomes a big problem for you but not so much for them. Helping them to manage their time better and be more considerate of your time and money will help you lessen the likelihood of a repeat event.

Question 7 - Your son is learning drums and he wants you to listen to his new beat.

Correct response: There is no problem

There is no problem in this situation unless you have a competing need (such as making dinner). Often, it is these situations that help build the relationship and spend more time in the no problem area... so what's a few minutes?

Question 8 - The kids want to go the beach for a holiday but you want to visit family interstate.

Correct response: Competing needs identify this situation as you both own the problem. It's the capacity to navigate and negotiate that will help you resolve it and have peace on your holiday!



That’s it for part 1 for this module. Click NEXT to continue…

Once you click NEXT we will score how you went in the quiz.