Sunday, July 31, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Saturday, July 02, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
I first became committed to Gentle Parenting--parenting without threats, spanks, yelling, anger--three years ago. We always have been Attachment Parents--breastfeeding, baby wearing, cosleeping are a few of the tenets--, but I didn't understand Gentle Parenting or Peaceful Parenting, or how it could possibly "work". I even joined a Gentle Parenting board and tried to learn more, almost a decade ago, but it was not a good fit at the time.
Gentle Parenting as described eloquently by L.R. Knost "is guiding instead of controlling, connecting instead of punishing, encouraging instead of demanding. It’s about listening, understanding, responding, and communicating.” It is a concious shift away from the way I was brought up, away from what everything in my body is demanding, away from the gut center of my brain.
Gentle Parenting is, I think, a bigger challenge for me than traditional parenting because it requires more from the parent. More thought, more emotion, more connection, just more. No matter how you parent, or how many kids you have, it's hard, don't get me wrong. When I had two little daughters and I was spanking, it was hard. Now though, I have to think more about why I'm being reactive and what is going on in my child and what is the behavior trying to tell me and teach them how to problem solve at the same time I'm trying to change a diaper and spell a word and give directives and help a child and there are six of them!
I follow several Gentle Parenting pages on Facebook and it seems like they all have one or two children. It feels frustrating because they offer their good solutions, and say things like "if you...then they will..." and it just doesn't happen right away. The dynamics in a home with one or two children are very different than a home with several. I am dealing with teenagerish hormones at the same time I'm nursing a baby with four loud and active and strong children in between!
I don't think I thought this "big family thing" through very well.