Sides of Pyramid:
   Yellow Side
   Blue Side
   Red Side
   Green Side
Accountability Pyramid

Each side of the Accountability Pyramid answers one of these parenting questions:
  • Yellow Side: What primary goals and maturity expectations am I accountable for helping my child learn as he/she grows? 
  • Blue Side: How does maintaining an age-appropriate view of who is accountable for immature behavior provide potential for me as a parent to increase my own brain balance and maturity?
  • Red Side: When my child displays immature behavior, how do I discipline in a way that appropriately shifts accountability from parent to child over time, according to my child's natural brain development?
And 1 important kid question that comes in handy when we're teaching these concepts to our children:
  • Green Side: What do I (the child) have to look forward to as I mature?  Or in other words, how does gradually learning to take accountability for my actions contribute to my overall peace and happiness?
Study each side of the pyramid because they all work together. 

Additional Notes:
The stages on the Accountability Pyramid overlap in years because the human brain does not typically learn new long-term behaviors after one try. Children (and adults) dabble in and out of a new skill before internalizing it as part of their new character. When stages overlap, the previous stage dictates the majority of our disciplinary efforts. We want a very solid foundation in each stage before moving on. The upcoming stage certainly receives attention, too, but in a secondary practice kind of way.

Coping with stress naturally causes regression. The body recognizes stress and must find a way to “digest it” as quickly as possible in order to return to a healthy, life-sustaining homeostasis. This usually results in crying (which can be very healthy, especially when done in the presence of an attuned caregiver) or a coping behavior. It’s important to accept regression as normal and okay…and at the same time, feel confident that greater maturity is possible and still on the horizon.

We often discipline an older child in a lower stage when temporary stress is in the picture. When our children feel our empathy and love during stressful times, they trust that we are allies in their quest toward maturity instead of enemies. If a child seems particularly needy, or is acting particularly immature…it’s probably because they are immature in a certain area (or in other words, part of their brain is hyper-active while the prefrontal cortex is under-developed). When we see this, we practice mindfulness by feeling grateful for the brain growth our child has displayed compared to their beginning infant stage as well as showing acceptance for the present moment. Then, we typically start at the bottom of the Accountability Pyramid when the child is displaying that particular immature behavior. We’re always amazed at how working on attachment first and then working upward to whatever stage the child is currently in yields such positive growth.

An older child who has been raised with lots of Present Parenting moments will respond quickly to Attachment, Following, etc. But an older child who has not been raised using the Accountability Pyramid will have many defensive walls to break down, or “un-doing” to work through as well as re-building new positive habits. We know from experience.  Helping a child fine tune their natural defense system and change negative coping behaviors into positive energy takes a long time. Patience will be tested, but gained.

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