And beyond that, when you have multiple kids, they don’t always respond to the same type of behavior correction, which leaves us parents stymied at best, and frustrated-bordering-on-insane at the worst.
Getting kids to grow in emotionally stable and responsible people way is hard. Like, way hard. Way waaaaay hard. That’s why around here, we like to call in the experts!
I didn’t spend much time researching parenting techniques, but in the loads of reading I’ve done (most of it at 3am while up with the baby), I have come across some incredible resources that have guided me through the tough times of parenting young kids.
While this method won’t be for everyone, it is at the very least an approach worth reading about. It may not change the way you choose to parent, but it might just offer you some inspiration to take things a little easier on your child, and in turn, on yourself.
Knost addresses the big knock against gentle parenting–that it’s “too lax”–head on:
“Many people believe that gentle parenting is a form of unparenting, but nothing could be further from the truth. Gentle parenting is involved parenting–interactive, engaged, active parenting. … In a gently parented home, boundaries are focused on guiding rather than controlling children and are maintained through empathetic and creative resolutions rather than harsh punitive consequences.”
Knost has published multiple books on the topic of gentle parenting, and has incredible practical advice for tackling any of the frustrating emotional issues that are so common in parenting.
Mostly, though, her words on parenting are profound and moving; more than once they have not only moved me to tears but also helped me to re-frame otherwise frustrating moments in parenting with some centering perspective.
“Parents, choose your words wisely, carefully, thoughtfully. In the same way that violence begets violence and anger begets anger, kindness begets kindness and peace begets peace. Sow words of peace, words that build, words that show respect and belief and support.“
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
Founded by Tracy Gillette, a woman whose view on parenting is to trust your gut, and the eons of experiences that have shaped the motherhood experience, I find this site to be not only full of great practical advice for, say, dealing with a tantrum; but they’re also tremendously comforting and inspirational.
Tracy’s words and the guest posts she shares always allow me to walk away feeling like I’ve gotten a giant embrace–knowing that whatever quirk in motherhood I’m currently experiencing is likely just a phase, and that there are millions of strong women who have paved the path for me.
You are already etched into the fabric of me, you always have been since the beginning of whatever it is we stars are. And you always will be. I hope you know. I hope it’s written inside you somewhere, too. Hidden but softly glowing. An ember of indescribable truth.
Sometimes motherhood is a mountain, and at times so dark I cannot even see the path ahead of me. But moments like this one… they explode my soul wide open again and remind me that this feeling of love is the only truth I believe in with everything I am.
And this one really, really got me thinking. The title is self explanatory, and it’s worth a read if you–like me–have struggled with the concept and practice of “cry it out” methods for getting your baby to sleep.
If you’re anything like me, knowing that you’re not alone in some of the toughest moments of parenthood makes a world of a difference. I hope you take as much from these incredible resources as I do. And please, as always, let me know what you like to read on parenting!