Gentle Parenting Tools: Communicate

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I’ve talked about mutual respect, and recognizing emotions, and the importance of caring for yourself as a parent and here I want to talk about communication. When I was in the punitive parentingmindset, it was my understanding that you did not communicate with your kids. Kids were selfish and manipulative, only out to get whatever they wanted. No, you did not communicate, you dictate. As in, you tell them what to do, and you make them do it, regardless of what they are feeling or thinking. The child needs to learn that their opinion does not matter, they just need to obey. As I switched from punitive to gentle parenting, I started making an effort to recognize my children’s emotions, and I … [Read more...]

Gentle Parenting Tools: Apology

Early last year we got home after a church service, I was huge and pregnant, and tired, and feeling fried after so much religious talk. The kids were whining, and 4 year old Ms Action and 3 year old Ms Drama started fighting about something. I yelled over my shoulder at them to stop it as I waddled into the bathroom to pee. The fight continued, and as I came out of the bathroom I saw Ms Drama slap her sister. Old instincts kicked in on top of frustration, and without thinking I grabbed her arm and smacked her hand saying “don’t hit your sister!”. Her mouth dropped open in shock and she screamed. I doubt she cognitively remembers being spanked, so it may be the first time in her memory th … [Read more...]

Gentle Parenting Tools: Parental Self-care

Since I started out married life and motherhood in a very unhealthy pattern of doing it all and never taking the time to care for myself, I take parental self-care seriously. This is still a huge area of struggle for me. Despite my writing about taking care of health needs, making space in your life for doing the things you like, and spending time and money on yourself, I often feel guilty when I do those things.That said, I am miles ahead of where I was! I actually buy the supplements I need, I am going to a counsellor regularly, I don’t feel guilty for taking time to shower anymore, and despite long wakeful nights with restless babies I’ve managed to snatch an extra hour of sleep in the … [Read more...]

Gentle Parenting Tools: Recognize Feelings

Over fifty percent of the many spankings I received as a child were because of feelings, emotions, or as my parents called it “attitude”. Initially I thought that emotions in general were bad, but as time went on I realized that the fact was that children’s emotions did not matter in my home. My parents could feel angry or tired or sad and no one spanked them, but children were not allowed to have feelings. As an adult, I now realize that telling someone not to feel is as ridiculous as telling them not to be hungry. I still feel all of the emotions I felt as a child, only now I am expected to communicate them for the first time. I often find myself in denial of my emotions, fortunately I … [Read more...]

Gentle Parenting Tools: Mutual Respect

The following excerpts are taken from my favourite sourcebook for parenting to date. I cannot recommend “Discipline without Distress” highly enough. Judy Arnall addresses dilemma’s in parenting and then gives you the tools to deal with them. This book has had such an impact on me that I have already mentioned it on this blog twice before. I was desperate to find help for how to parent without spanking (which felt like such an impossible task for long months after I quit!) and this book is the one that I went on to purchase, and continue to re-read when I run into new questions or problems. I love that she does not dictate a formula for raising kids, and she does not aruge that there is only o … [Read more...]


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