Talk it out Tuesday: how can gentle parenting be effective when it is so passive?
This post is to help clear the air on what gentle parenting IS NOT, which is passivity.
Rather, gentle parenting is about recognizing our child's needs above all else.
Our children thrive with clear set boundaries. Our trust and understanding between ourselves and our children depend on clear and concise limits. Being there to inform them of something unsafe or hurtful is essential to guiding their development. By doing so, we open up the floodgates of trust and respect. What more could you want?
This may look passive on the outside when we talk about speaking to our children rather than putting them in their place, but it's not.
Critics of gentle parenting circa 1970s and earlier often carry this hogwash notion that gentle parenting is about being passive. I am here to clear the air. I aim to empower my fellow gentle parents to stand firm in their respectful approach to child rearing.
"Well back in my day, a swift kick in the butt always worked"
Well today I choose to treat my child like the person they are, honouring their position in this world as I would hope anyone, big or small, would honour mine. No I do not allow my daughter to be "bad". By virtue of me having treated her as an equal member from the beginning we have a very confident, independent and well-rounded little lady on our hands.
Teaching them safe from dangerous, right from wrong and talking to them as an individual sharing this world with us (rather than because of us) while honouring their soul is enough.
That doesn't mean when she is out exploring the world and finds a new boundary or limit I do not support her growth. Of course I protect her. I let her know what is safe and what is not. I talk to her about it rather than yelling or speaking to her like she's not fully capable of understanding a rational explanation.
By building a connection with our children filled with mutual respect and understanding, they listen to you when you talk, they take in what you explain. Having never guided them wrong yet, they listen! When mom or dad says "it is not safe to stand on the table, I won't let you get hurt" they start to think about it! That's that.
Gentle parenting is not passivity.
I hope it helps you feel even more secure in your gentle parenting choices against the naysayers or the judging eyes around you.