These days there seems to be many buzz words (and lots of debate) when it comes to parenting methods. Passive parenting, gentle parenting, attachment parenting, etc. Rather than place myself in one particular group, I take a little bit of what suits me from each of them and then devise my own method of parenting. Every child is different and so of course in the same way that Gina Ford won’t work for everyone, Dr. Sear’s attachment parenting will not work for everyone either.
Just to make things easier, I’ll call myself a gentle parent. But what does this actually mean? To me it means putting the needs of my child before mine. Figuring out what S needs, when he needs it and how best to give it to him. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a pushover. I have boundaries for my son and he is a routine baby because that is what works best for me but he pretty much gets to do what HE wants during “his” time.
Many people seem to think that gentle parenting is easy. You just let your child do what they want and you go along with it. Err…it’s not as easy as that! Think of it like this…your patience or tolerance level is like the engine of a car. Some people go from calm to crazy, like a Ferrari, in 2.6 seconds while others take a lot longer before they lose it. To me, the aim of gentle parenting is to be as far from a Ferrari as possible. To be able to listen to your child scream, fling themselves on the floor and often throw things and all the time, remain calm and figure out what it is your child NEEDS. Most peoples natural tendency is to scream….even though the child doesn’t understand this. STOP, DON’T, NO….these are words I hear all the time. Instead, a gentle parent will stay calm, knowing that their negative reaction is a reflection of how THEY feel and not what the child is doing. But of course, this is a work in progress. I’m not Mother Teresa!
I hope I haven’t lost you. What I am trying to say is that gentle parenting is not easy, it doesn’t make you a pushover or mean your child has you wrapped around their little finger…it just means you choose to understand why your child is throwing a tantrum, what it is they want and how you can give it to them (while not always giving in to them).
Pretty simple?! 😉 No one said this parenting malarkey was going to be easy…but it’s always worth it.
An interesting perspective and one I can resonate with: http://evolutionaryparenting.com/the-child-and-the-angry-thoughts/