What distinguishes TCS parenting and education from other such philosophies is that in TCS families, instead of the parents imposing their will on their children, or self-sacrificing for their children, parents and children work together to find real solutions to any problems or disagreements they have. A real solution, says Fitz-Claridge, is a common preference, a solution all parties genuinely prefer to all other candidate solutions they can think of.
Fitz-Claridge says that her philosophy is inspired by the epistemology of Karl Popper. According to TCS, Popper's epistemology is a universal theory of how knowledge grows and it has profound implications for educational theory. Fitz-Claridge says that Popper himself never made this connection.