Growth or protection mode

View Marcy Axness, PhD's video on Growth or protection mode...
Growth or protection mode | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Growth or protection mode

My book, “Parenting for Peace,” is based on seven principles, but if I had to pick one, overarching, main spring, sort of the big take home, it’s this – that at every moment we are always – we humans – are always in… either we’re in growth mode or we’re in protection mode. We’re in growth mode when conditions are safe and secure and we feel safe. We’re in protection mode if even there’s a little, subtle hint of threat in our environment. You’re never in both at once – you’re only in one or the other. Now, a child’s optimal development, and particularly the brain and these areas of the social brain that are so involved in these capacities for being a peace maker that we’re wanting to foster, those are thwarted when they are in protection mode. And so many of our institutionalized parenting practices involve either subtle or not so subtle levels of threat. And so the take home – if you don’t remember anything else is – always ask yourself, before you say something or do something with your child, is this going to foster growth mode or protection mode?

View Marcy Axness, PhD's video on Growth or protection mode...


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Marcy Axness, PhD

Childhood Development Specialist

Marcy Axness, PhD, is an early development specialist, popular international speaker, and author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers. She is a top blogger at and a member of their expert panel. Featured in several documentary films as an expert in adoption, prenatal development and Waldorf education, Dr. Axness has a private practice coaching parents-in-progress. She considers as one of her most important credentials that she raised two peacemakers to share with the world -- Ian and Eve, both in their 20s. 

More Parenting Videos from Marcy Axness, PhD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter