The 7 Keys to Cooperation


Sura Hart & Victoria Kindle Hodson in their book, Respectful Parents Respectful Kids, stress the need for parents to establish their home as a No-Fault Zone – a place where valuing every family member’s needs equally and doing one’s best to meet them replaces fault-finding, punishment and reward.

Getting there may require a major shift in attitude and goals and a substantial investment of time and energy to develop new habits. Hart and Hodson have grouped these new practices into 7 key areas that move you toward success one essential step at a time.


Key 1 Parent with Purpose

Unless you align your deepest reasons for parenting and your deepest desires for your children, you and your children may drift apart rather than cooperating respectfully.

“The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Marilyn Ferguson, Author, Editor, Public Speaker (1938-2008)

Key 2 See the Needs Behind Every Action

Parents often wonder why children act the way they do. Hara and Hodson suggest it’s as easy as “they are trying to satisfy their needs”. Major improvements become possible when parenting is based on meeting, equally, the needs of both the child and the parents.

“When we understand the needs that motivate our own and others’ behavior, we have no enemies.”

Marshall B. Rosenberg, American Psychologist, Creator of “Non-violent Communications” (1934- )

Key 3 Create Safety, Trust, & Belonging

Physical and emotional safety are critical in child development. It’s crucial for parents to provide a safe and trusting home that welcomes all, all the time.

“I never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love.“

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Swiss Psychiatrist, Author (1926-2004)

Key 4 Inspire Giving

Identify your child’s gifts, receive them gracefully, and encourage a mutual flow of giving and receiving.

“The greatest gift we can give to our children is not just to share our riches with them, but to reveal their riches to themselves.”

Swahili proverb

Key 5 Use a Language of Respect

Replace criticism and blame with useful and respectful expression of needs

“The way of attentive love suggests listening to and talking with children – living with them instead of guiding their lives by remote control.”

Nel Noddings, American Feminist, Educationalist, Philosopher (1926- )

Key 6 Learn Together as You Go

There are many ways to satisfy each others’ needs. Enjoy discovering them by exploring, investigating, and co-creating with your children.

“We never do anything wrong. We never have. We never will. We do things we wouldn’t have done if we knew then what we are learning now.”

Marshall B. Rosenberg

Key 7 Make Your Home a No-Fault Zone

Once the true source of conflict is understood, it becomes more obvious how to get on the path that transforms it into respectful connections.

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”


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