To all the women who amidst healing from their own trauma are struggling to raise an emotionally balanced child ! I come from a household where the cane was not spared during my childhood. My mother was a teacher and that authority was carried home too. Sometimes I missed “mom” because here was a disciplinarian who constantly strived to make me a better version of myself. All I wanted to do meanwhile was be a child and make mistakes.
If you can relate to that childhood you are most probably born to Indian parents.
Power to You!
When I became pregnant my solid resolve was that I would definitely breastfeed my child and that I would be a gentle parent. As if to mock my earnest oath breastfeeding was a huge difficulty for me and Sey but we grind and strived. Then came the concept of Gentle Parenting. Imagine a messy home, a mom bun, a toddler with tantrums and throw in a splash of sleeplessness. If a woman is smiling and nodding through this she definitely had vodka at 10am.
This is where I understood how much I had misinterpreted the concept of Gentle Parenting.
My toddler sometimes bites when he gets too excited about something. I am not at all proud of it.Breaking a vicious cycle is not easy. Nevertheless you try every moment.
The very core of Gentle parenting is to stop a negative action even before it occurs so as to not have to say “No” to your child a multiple number of times. This requires undivided attention on the baby while you are at it. Is it practical to concentrate on a child 24/7? It is neither healthy nor achievable. Then I started questioning myself if gentle parenting was a myth ?
Some days you are triggered. You circle back to the programmed way of parenting that you were subjected to. You raise your voice, you loose your calm. Maybe you raised your hand too.You aren’t proud of it but at that moment it came naturally to yell. Does that mean you failed ?
Looking back at you were a pair or glassy confused eyes that don’t understand, just the way you didn’t when you were not spared of the rod !
You take a deep breathe, collect your thoughts together and try again. It’s all going to be worth it! Keep trying for that minion’s sake.
Here are some time tested tips that can help you parent more gently:
1. It’s easier to set examples of ways to live for a child rather than wait for them to make a mistake and then correct them. Show , tell , do technique. The very first time you teach a child to do anything put yourself in the level of the child and demonstrate it to them. By being a model that the child can learn from you tacitly distract them from all the wrong ways of play.
2. Use your tone of voice with your child. This is the most effective disciplinary action and when used repeatedly at the right time your child won’t need anything more. When conditioning the child- less is more. Use least amount of simple words with a stern tone and pause for them to react.
3. Usually when conditioning a child with tone they smile back and try to cajole you out of the situation. Resist the urge to respond to the smile and stay firm.
4. If the child is in a potential harmful situation such as hitting another or getting hurt themselves sit down to their eye level and tell them a soft and firm no. Physically distance them from the situation.
5. Punishment in the form of a downtown or making them stand at a punishment corner also works.
Gentle parenting is a cycle too. It’s a new one to many of us and demands more energy. Until one day it becomes a way of life. Tomorrow is another challenge. You momma are strong !