Hi everyone! Today I want to write about a few things but I am going to start with something very near and dear to me, gentle parenting! I am a strong advocate for gentle parenting and today I want to kind of explain to you all what that is and how you can incorporate it into your daily life with your children.
I do want to say that I am not totally against spanking, but in my opinion, different discipline techniques work on different personalities. In the case of my stepdaughter Brilynn, gentle parenting goes a lot farther than a swat on the butt.
Empathy, understanding, and respect are three words that I would use, to sum up this type of parenting. Gentle Parenting is not the same thing as Attachment Parenting. These two styles can at times complement each other though. The difference is that Attachment Parenting follows more specific principles whereas gentle parenting is a way of being and it it does not necessarily have any bearing on specific decisions to stay within the style. I am in no way judging anyone else’s parenting style but if you are like me, I did quite a bit of reading on styles as well as child behavior, etc. before I fully decided what type of parent I wanted to be. All I am trying to accomplish is helping someone else with that very thing. I hope that in the least, you enjoy reading what I have to say even if you may not agree.
With Gentle Parenting, you do not set strict schedules or routines and instead, you observe your child’s natural rhythms. This parenting style is more about connecting emotionally and learning about your child’s behavior and emotions rather than trying to teach them to be or react in a way that seems fit. It is all about your mindfulness. You have to teach yourself to stop seeing the things that your child is doing as bad and wrong (not in allllll cases) and instead try to figure out what made them do what they did and how they can learn and grow from it. This is a lot easier said than done. In my opinion, I do not like the way that children are raised to react and behave. They are taught that if they do one thing they get a sticker and if they do another they get hit. Not everywhere rewards or disciplines the same behaviors, however, which is why I do not deem that way of parenting to be beneficial.
Incorporating even just a little gentle parenting into your style can really help to foster and deepen the bond you have with your children. This style is about learning and growing with them. You must learn to recognize that your child is an individual meaning they have their own dislikes, likes, and emotions. I talk to Bri like another individual rather than a child and it has really improved our communication and her understanding of things. Children get mad, sad, frustrated and excited JUST LIKE WE DO. They should not be punished for it. I am not saying to let your child run rampant in a fit of rage but rather just learning to redirect the energy in a more productive way and to teach them how to cope. We have all had time to learn what helps when we are upset or anxious. Our children have not yet, it is our job as parents to help them. These things may not line up the way you would like but that is part of the thinking that needs to change. For example, at dinnertime we make Bri try one bite of the food that is made if she has not had it and if she does not like it then we make sure there is something included in the meal that we know she does like. We do not cater to her though as many people think that is what gentle parenting is. We are not babying her, but instead, we are acknowledging that just like my husband dislikes green peas, Brilynn is allowed to dislike food also.
Gentle Parenting is all about getting to know your children and respecting them as human beings. Another thing to do is to lower your expectations which will lower the pressure your child feels with wanting to please you. Even I catch myself having incredibly high expectations for Bri occasionally, she is a really smart girl, but she is only 4. She has a LOT of growing and developing left to do and rather than pushing learning deadlines on her and frustrating her I like to go at her pace. Children are taught that getting an answer wrong is bad which makes them scared to try which really hinders their learning abilities in my opinion. Teaching our children that it is okay to get an answer wrong as long as they try again can help them go a long ways I feel.
If you read this whole post then I thank you and I hope that you got at least something from my 2 cents and will subscribe to get more in the future!