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Thread: Share Your Gentle Parenting Journey

  1. #19

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    Jan 2006
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    I think that I am mostly a gentle parent. I say mostly because I'm not sure exactly what gentle parenting involves, as in I haven't read any books on it. Mainly what I do is parent based on instinct, and that is influenced by the way I was parented myself and by what I see other people do.

    How I came to where I am is because when I first fell pregnant a friend lent me a book about babies' sleep that she said she found really helpful and she used with her two children. As I began to read I was horrified and quickly ran to my mum and said, "this book says that babies have sleeping problems and you have to leave them to cry to teach them how to sleep properly!" SHe was also shocked and said she'd never left me to cry myself to sleep and that made start to think about parenting. So I started looking things up on the internet and found out about controlled crying (never!) and then found Bellybelly which has been a great source of inspiration. I don't always agree with everything people say or do in the gentle parenting forums but at least I can understand them better than those people who treat their children like an inconvenience.

    The only time I've doubted my parenting was a few months ago when Sophia was waking up hourly or two hourly during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep and I was going out of my mind with exhaustion. DH (who has always needed to be convinced that gentle is best as that is not the way he sees friends and relatives parenting) thought that maybe we had done something wrong to turn the baby who slept for 8 hours at six months into the baby who didn't sleep at all at 12 months. Then we found out that sleeping problems are associated with Sophia's medical conditions. CHanging her medicine has already made a big difference and we'll be getting more help soon to try and give her all the rest she needs. I am so glad that even through all the tiredness and grumpyness I felt I never really thougth that leaving her to cry was an option!



    WE believe that children need boundaries so as she grows up (and so do the other children we plan to have) we intend to set boundaries and keep them but in a gentle manner.

  2. #20

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    Nov 2005
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    It's amusing how many people think that gentle parenting involves a lack of boundaries LOL! Gentle parenting is not Laissez Affair parenting, which is the term used to describe parenting where 'anything goes' - pretty much not even parenting, just spectating their kids growing up! VERY different concepts.

  3. #21

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    Jan 2006
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    I only say that because we know a couple who frequently talk about attachment parenting and how wonderful it is and whose children receive an, at best, incosistent approach to discipline. They get lots of cuddles and praise but are quite often disrespectful to other people, they also know that whining and crying will more often than not turn their parents' no into a yes.

    To be truthful I don't believe they are really attachment parents despite all their talk as a lot of the things they do are not what anybody here would call gentle and that they only use that as a way to excuse their lack of discipline. But I do know some gentle parenters (is that really a word) don't believe in saying no to their children and that is not something I agree with, that is to say not something I'm willing to do with my children.

  4. #22

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    Sep 2004
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    Melbourne
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    i remember when josh came to us, we had a little bassinet, the first night we had been snuggling and i had been breastfeeding and it was time for dp and i to go to bed. reluctantly we put him in this bassinet thingy and hopped into bed. then i looked at dp and said "we are wasting him in that bed, he should be with us". dp and i see a baby on their own and think it's wasting that lovely snuggling time. so started our journey to parent by heart, respectful parenting, gentle guidance, co sleeping, breastfeeding (saggy baggy hippy!). having been dragged up (don't like saying bought up cos it just aint true ) in a really violent, abusive disrespectful house i knew i wanted my child to feel the love and nuturing i never ever got. so we put respect for each other, our child and us as parents highest on our list (even over love because we believe you can't have love without respect) and our journey was well on the way. we had firm boundaries but never ever hit or smacked or whatever people like to call it and we always spoke with respect and understanding. sometimes i just didn't know what to do so i would take a big deep breath and ask myself if i was in that situation what would i need. we learnt then about the frustrations that children can feel and fears. we acknowledged them with respect and dignity. it became automatic to parent by heart and easier. i also found i was healing from my extreme abuse from my childhood by parenting my children in such a respectful manner. we acknowledge and rejoice in milestones such as the boys finding their own voices and disagreeing with their parents and watching their minds doing the work as they back up their arguements. i love that they had no idea about violence in other's homes until recently, that parents smack their children to make them listen - and i love that they have THEIR OWN opinion on what is right and wrong. sure at 12 & 9 it still mimics our opinions but our 12 year old is coming to his own conclusions now. i love that they are gentle with their little brother because that is what they see. oscar is starting to find his voice now and is exerting his will, we love that he is doing this, we gently guide him as necessary and talk gently and quietly to him and we do it because we know it works and that he like his older brothers will grow with dignity and self respect that only a loving responsive family can give.
    it is so worth it and in my eyes so much easier to parent like this. keep up the great work gals, we will build a better future.
    beckles

  5. #23

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    Jan 2006
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    Oh Beckles, if only there were more people in the world like you! We wouldn't have so much violence, abuse, or wars. At least all of us here are doing our bit to make this world a better place.

  6. #24

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    Beckles, thanks for sharing - what a wonderful and positive attitude you have to raising your children

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