I have decided to share how we are gentle parent and what works for us as everyone’s ways look slightly different. However, after doing a bunch of research into it and how to implement that style of parenting into daily life. I found what I was reading fit into how we want and do parent Baby bear but without our own touch. Before I get into this I want to premise that noone is perfect even us and children don’t come with a instruction manual so what works for us may not work for you and thats fine. I loose the plot and yell at Baby bear, I hit my limit and send him to his room without talking so I can gather myself before dealing with him, I’m not perfect but I’m trying and thats all that matters.
I’ll give an overview of what gentle parenting is before I go into how we gentle parent. The definition of gentle parenting is a parenting approach that encourages a partnership between you and your child to make choices based on an internal willingness instead of external pressures. Gentle parents believe that offering rewards or punishments overrides a child’s natural inclination to try. It teaches children to behave a certain way for either a reward or to avoid punishment. Advocates for gentle parenting think that rewards and punishments don’t encourage a child to display good behavior for their own sake.
I liked the idea of talking through feelings and situations other than just punishing Baby Bear and not explaining or talking about his feeling and why something is wrong. Our approach is slightly different in the sense there are still punishments for some of Baby bears actions whether that be natural consequences or something we put into place. Our punishments vary depending on the severity of his actions but never include things like smacking. We use things like taking away items, “calm time” which is when he takes himself to his room for some calm downtime, and on the rare occasion he will miss out on going somewhere. However, in most situations, we like to talk to him about why we didn’t like a certain behavior and how it was dangerous to either himself or others.
We ofcourse have rule and boundaries in place that Baby bear is expected to follow and when he doesn’t there are conquences as he has to learn. Life won’t gentle parent him and he needs to learn if he doesnt follow the rules/law there will be conquences. We also want to raise a well rounded, polite young man who it a nice citizen so we need to help shape him which is part of parenting. However the way we go about handling Baby bear when he breaks the rules and boundaries is what falls into ‘gentle parenting’.
I’ve never been a fan of smacking, shouting and harse punishments unnessary. We have found that asking him whats going on with his feelings and whats causing the issues really helps calm him and us get to the bottom of whats going on. 9 times out of 10 there is an explainable reason for his behaviour and even if there has to be a conquence we talk about his feelings and behaviour first. This gives him a chance to learn how to express himself better but to also see why his behaviour wasn’t exactable before just jumping into punishment.
As you can probably see we also don’t like to call them punishments we prefer the word concequence. This is we try to keep the outcomes to his bad behaviour either a natural concequence or a fair outcome. For example, if he doesn’t listen and stop when asked while riding his bike home from school he has to then push it the remaining way home so he can keep himself safe as he couldn’t while riding it. A natural concequence for example is refusing to eat all his dinner he then is hungry and doesn’t get to have anything else or dessert.
We aren’t perfect at this and as I said we mess up and go against what we are trying to do but as long as we see our errors and make changes I think we are on a good track. I’m interested in knowing if you ‘gentle parent’ and how you do it as we are alwasy opne to ideas on how to improve. I also want to say again if you choose to parents a different way then that is just as okay. As long as your child is loved and cared for thats what matters.