Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why I Strive To Parent Gently

I never thought any different than how I was raised when raising Emmy... I was spanked. Then she arrived and of course I didn't want to hit her but of course I didn't want a "spoiled brat" either. I started reading. I discovered AP (attached parenting) and gentle parenting. I learned that discipline doesn't have to be painful to be effective. Children need boundaries that can see and understand. They're going to push them because they need to see those boundaries, the boundaries which show them they are surrounded and safe. 

I learned that about 99% of the time the action Emmy is taking is in response to an unmet need. Maybe she's screaming in the store for a toy. Could this be because she is hungry, or tired, or just hates shopping? Is she allowed to have these emotions? Yes. She is. Is she allowed to have the desire for a new toy? Yes. In all of these she has a valid need to be filled to her child mind and this toy can either make her forget it or answer it. 

She is a human like me. She is allowed emotions. Patience is learned with time and you cannot expect a child to just suck it up. Even we get impatient often. Would a spanking fix her issue? Teach her not to scream in the store? No. Just like us when we have an outward problem, try to find an inward issue. 

When I show her that I can meet her needs then we can talk about how to handle next time. Tell her a better way to let me know next time. This doesn't mean she always gets her way. It can simply mean us leaving for now and coming back to shop at a different time.

This is the process I put my mind through daily with Emmy. No, I don't not always keep my cool. No, I can't always keep up this mentality. That's when I apologize to myself and to her and I do better next time. I find showing this to her also shows her that everyone is wrong sometimes, we just must try harder next time. 

It takes a lot of patience to be a parent. It takes a lot more patience for them to be kids who know absolutely nothing of this world. Guide them gently so they know you will always be there with love, even when their 2, 9, 16, 25 year old world is falling apart because they broke their toy or their boyfriend broke up with them. It's all big things to them and they have to learn just like we did.

This is just bits and pieces on how I see gentle parenting. It's not the lack of boundaries or disciple, it's the use of calm words and love which doesn't hurt for little ones who are scared of this world anyway so they can understand. This shows them their safe place.


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