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Mom Decides To Try Low-Demand Parenting By Letting Her Homeschooled Kid Make His Own Rules

Mom Decides To Try Low-Demand Parenting By Letting Her Homeschooled Kid Make His Own Rules
Mom Decides To Try Low-Demand Parenting By Letting Her Homeschooled Kid Make His Own Rules


A mom and therapist named Gretchen Winterkorn admitted that she has transformed her parenting style with her neurodivergent son upon realizing that he requires a different approach.

In a TikTok video, Winterkorn revealed that she and her husband have completely pivoted to a “difficult” parenting technique that she brands as “low-demand parenting.” 

The mom decided to try ‘low-demand parenting’ by allowing her homeschooled child to make his own rules.

“We’re trying a new thing in my family called low-demand parenting, which is a pretty radical swing for us,” Winterkorn began in her video. 

She explained that before this shift, they were raising their kids “relatively Waldorf,” meaning extremely limited screen time and eating all meals together, among other aspects. However, she came to the conclusion that this type of parenting style wasn’t working for their son.  

She began learning more about her son and how his autism manifests, which is a form called pathological demand avoidance (PDA). PDA is a pattern of behavior in which kids go to extremes to ignore or avoid anything they perceive as a demand, and is mostly seen in people with autism. 

“I’m also seeing myself in that profile as well,” Winterkorn admitted. “So, we’ve swung to do this very difficult low-demanding parenting. We bought Amazon Fire iPads for our kids two weeks ago, they’ve never had anything like that.”

RELATED: Woman Posts Fiery Defense Of Mom Who Was Slammed For The Way She Dealt With Her Autistic Son’s Aggression

Before she only allowed an hour of screen time each day on the weekend, but now, her son can pretty much watch screens for as long as he wants without being disrupted. They don’t make him come to the dinner table anymore either.

While this type of parenting may seem unsettling, Winterkorn insisted that she has seen some major improvements in her son’s behavior. In a follow-up video, she explained that, due to her son’s autism, when she “regulates for him” and makes decisions on his behalf, “that doesn’t work, because he’s experiencing the loss of control of his autonomy and whatever choice I’m taking away from him.”

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