Did you see the video floating around social media in which the mom argues that so-called gentle parents are already gentle? That one got me a little hot under the collar….
Here’s why: Most parents guided by the science of brain development were not parented that way. The hardest part about parenting is often the re-parenting we need to do of ourselves to recognize our own triggers and learn to respond differently than we were responded to. We are not all intrinsically calm people well suited to the patience-pushing job of parenting. Most of us are just trying our best to do the work and show up for kids in the ways that we now understand to be most effective. Many of us are cycle-breakers who have vowed never to hit or hurt our children. Never to have our children fear us or to demand respect from them.
We are striving to do better for our children and for ourselves. Gentle parenting isn’t the approach. It’s the result. The result of doing the work of examining our triggers, our expectations, and our values. It’s the result of committing to showing up for our kids the best way we can as much as we can. it’s also the result of falling short at times and having the opportunity to rest in the repair with our children.