written by Paige Lucas Stannard
I don’t remember the exact moment I realized that gentle parenting was for me. The idea that “children are our future” touted in public didn’t seem to be practiced in reality.
In reality, putting children on the “naughty step” and letting them cry out for comfort without any emotional response from their parent seemed to be the best advice for living with children.
I just knew that felt wrong to me. Finding a community of other parents that believed the radical idea that children are people was so comforting. Here were other parents who were letting go of power and control and parenting from a place of love.
I’ve been very blessed to be part of this movement through Parenting Gently and the annual Carnival of Gentle Discipline. Getting the word out that there is another way to parent and that it works has been very rewarding.
I’ve also been humbled by the parents who come to me for advice on how to handle situations with their children in a gentle manner. I know how much these parents love their kids so to be trusted with helping them is really an honor.
Do you remember the first time you tried a gentle discipline technique and it worked? Did you have that aha moment?
Gentle parenting is kind of like a drug. That first hit is like “wow! I had no idea parenting could be this fun!” and then you’re hooked.
But, do you sometimes feel like you are still speaking a foreign language? That your initial reaction is always punitive and you have to translate or shift gears into “gentle” mode to react like you want?
Maybe in moments of stress you revert back to your old parenting paradigm and later you feel upset about they way you handled a situation?
Plus you might be getting naysayers from all sides telling you “you’re doing it wrong!”
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the gentle response be the first response that pops into your mind? So that without even thinking about it you can handle any issue in a peaceful manner? So that regardless of the opinion of others you feel confident in your choices?
The thing I realized about gentle parenting is that it isn’t just about gentle alternatives to punishment like spanking and time out. Instead, it is a fundamental shift in how you relate to your kids. A fundamental shift in how you relate to everyone. And a shift like that doesn’t come from constantly having to translate every situation into a gentle alternative. Sometimes, that can be even more stressful!
When you can find your own authentic voice and drive your parenting from the inside out, suddenly you’re not struggling to translate each situation into a gentle framework.
You find yourself connecting with your kids more and connecting with yourself more. You smile more and feel stressed out less.
Parenting is fun. Life is fun.
It is just pure awesomeness! I want everyone to experience this personal transformation!
What if I could help you look inside and find your own authentic parenting voice and use that to make your parenting choices?
I mean most of us aren’t parenting from deep inside of us. We are parenting on the fly as situations arise. Struggling with subconscious assumptions built on our own upbringing, our own personality and fears, and the silent societal messages about what parenting should be.
You can use alternatives to time out, spanking, or other punishment everyday and never find that comfortable, joyful parenting groove.
That groove that comes from parenting that is rooted in your own values and goals. After all the best parenting is your own authentic parenting.
This is why I’m so excited to be partnering with Everyday Feminism to offer the first ever Transformative Parenting: Finding Your Authentic Parenting Voice online course.
Everyday Feminism is all about transforming your life through feminism and that fits just perfectly with this idea that through self-transformation we can become the best parents we can be.
This online course won’t be hitting you on the head with feminist theory or with gentle parenting doctrine. You don’t need more external lists of do’s and don'ts.
Instead I will walk you through a process of self-exploration that will help you align your parenting choices with your deepest core values.
We’ll look at:
- The cultural messages we receive and internalize about parenthood
- How our upbringing and personality shape our parenting
- How to break out of the cycle of parenting from a place of fear
- Finding your own core values and goals for your children and translate them into daily action
- How to communicate with compassion even in times of conflict
- How to work with your feelings and needs and help your children do the same
- And more!
All in a supportive community of fellow parents who want to break the old habits of parenting we see in our society and forge new, connected bonds with our kids.
I know that parenting is a busy task. I’ll use several different methods of delivery so you can find what works best for you. Each lesson should only take 1-2 hours a week and not all at once!
So you can break it up to fit your schedule.
I hope you’ll join me! You won’t regret the time spent on your own self-improvement and you will notice a profound change in your daily life with your kids.