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Tiny Hearts Needs Gentle Parents

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by priyabaghel, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. priyabaghel

    priyabaghel Silver IL'ite

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    Is parenting the most difficult job? Undoubtedly Yes.

    Is parenting the most rewarding job? Yes, the most.



    13 months down in motherhood, I am learning each day how to be a better parent to my son. What can I do differently, what can I do that will be the best for him? I have not had a more responsible job than this, where I feel accounted for everything I do because the little one is always watching me and I don't know what would be those tiny good/bad things he will pick up from me. I feel under the scanner all the time. So it was evident that I need to stop and think about my parenting values because this is going to affect my children. This is going to shape them, make them. Parenting is like a long term investment where we need to put more and expect very less in return. Parents are the first idol for their children, they learn crucial values of life by watching us and hence it's time to stop and ponder on our way of parenting.



    So you do a single thing differently and the world will mock you by saying, "haan bacche to bas tumne hi paale hai"(The most common one liner in many Indian households). I heard this quite a few times too when I did not allow my son to be force fed by anyone, when I did not hire a maalishwali and stopped massaging post 6 months because my son didn't enjoy it anymore, when I chose to talk to him and explain things rather than scolding him because according to logic, we turned out fine after being scolded many a times in our childhood. I wonder is that really necessary? Why do we see kids as manipulative? Why can't we respect them as individual, respect their wishes and demands? Why do we take it to our ego if a command is not obeyed? Does the child really wants to mock his parent's?



    So a little twist in the tale of parenting, it is called Gentle Parenting. The idea is not to mock traditional parenting. We turned out fine right!

    Gentle Parenting is a conscious effort to move away from the top down system and is more led by connection and mutual respect. It is more about guiding than controlling, encouraging than demanding and connecting instead of punishing.

    Gentle Parenting is a scientific, evidence based approach to raise confident and happy children. It stands firm on its 4 grounds i.e.



    • Empathy - The key to raise empathic child is to be empathic towards them. More often than not, we are quick to assume that the child is naughty and manipulative. By doing so, we are already prejudiced about the child's behaviour. Gentle parents would not get offended by the behaviour but would talk it out. And the more we talk to kids and let them open up, we will get to the root cause of the problem and the mystery would be solved. This exercise develops a trust between the child and parents.
    • Respect - This needs to be earned right? We expect our children to respect us, but shouldn't it be a two way equation? We need to respect the tiny humans equally. Our children need to feel that their uniqueness, inquisitiveness is respected. When they feel that they are respected and their opinions are considered important, they will automatically gather respect for their elders. Respect doesn't come in a day nor by coercing. It is well earned by the person who wants it.
    • Understanding - children are not Adults. They do not have the same neurological functioning as we do. It is difficult for them to assess their response to a situation. They don't understand that if they do something which will not please the elders, they might be spanked for it. They end up doing things even though every time you make sure you punish them. Isn't it visible that something somewhere is going wrong?
    It's time that adults change their expectations about what a normal and naughty behaviour is.


    Gentle Parenting is about understanding your child. If your child is not sleeping through the night yet, understand that he is not developmentally ready. If the child wants to co sleep with parents, understand that child needs more love and security. If the child doesn't want to eat, respect his wishes (He won't go hungry forever) and if your child throws tantrums, stop, think and react. May be a change of place or simply talking might help.

    • Loving and setting Boundaries - Often people think Gentle Parenting is to let kids do what they wish without disciplining them. This makes the child disrespectful and rude. But I do not agree to this. Discipline is important, but the way of doing it differs for gentle parents. Imagine Lord Buddha, he had so many disciples. Do you think he must have scolded them or threatened them to follow what he says?
    No, right? Kids learn by observing. We really don't need to parent hard. All we need is to set good example for them to follow. Boundaries are set but not by coercing but my mutual respect. Boundaries are few but are enforced regularly. Boundaries are set for the things that really matters, like not hitting someone. Boundaries makes kids feel safe when they are out exploring the world because they know what's off limits for them.


    Gentle Parenting is about being empathic. The approach should be of problem solving just like the way you would do it with your spouse or a friend. Extreme behaviour doesn't exist in vacuity. It tends to rise from some instance. As a parent, we must try to understand what must have happened to spark such a behaviour.

    Gentle Parenting is different than permissive parenting. Often, people say that gentle parenting is child centric. Well of Couse with a new-born around, everything becomes child centric for quite a brief period, but eventually it is family centric where each individual is heard and respected.



    Toddlers, tantrums, timeouts sounds synonymous, isn't it? I can go on writing about Gentle Parenting, but for now we know that punishments doesn't work the way we think it does. It might work for an instance, but the perception of right and wrong should come from within where punishments have no role to play. So the next time, you give a timeout to your toddler, I would suggest take a time out for yourself. Distance yourself from the situation and think again on the gentle ways by which you can manage the situation better. It isn't easy all the time. In fact, it's the toughest form of Parenting where you are required so much patience that by the time your child grows up you will be nearing nirvana. Jokes apart, this is truly the best gift that you can give your child. Gentle Parenting demands much more than just being there physically. It takes a lot of energy for the involvement it needs.



    So what does Gentle Parents do?

    • Its a child led parenting so they observe the child and go with the flow
    • The uniqueness, inquisitiveness and the child's wish to have control over his life is respected wherever appropriate.
    • Gentle parents do not label their child as 'naughty' or any other adjective and do not perceive any behaviour as bad. They work on their relationship to know the reason behind such behaviour.
    • They do not expect highly from the child. They are aware of their immature neurological functioning and lower down their expectations
    • Establishing a strong bond is important for them and they understand that kids misbehave because they demand attention, seek love. It is their way of communicating that they are tired or over stimulated.
    • Parent’s realise that each child is individual, they grow at their own rate. Achieve milestones when they are ready. They encourage and do not compare.
    • Last but not the least, they know that they should take care of themselves and their relationship in order to be Happy. Because happy parents have happier kids


    Parenting is not easy. There are ups and downs just like in any other relationships. But as a parent, we have this innate responsibility to nurture them in the best way possible and there's nothing easier than loving them. There's nothing as excessive love. Love doesn't spoil them, it carves them into beautiful empathic human being. After all, we need such people around us all the time. So one more time I have to say this, let's be respectful and gentle in our approach and let's see the change. Wishing all the readers a very happy child led Parenting experiences.
     
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  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Wonderful narration!.You have almost covered the entire aspect of child upbringing.I am reminded of a small incident I recently read.

    We were getting ready to go to bed when my 7 year old daughter said in a calm tone, "Mamma tomorrow is my IEO (English Olympiad ) Exam".

    It was 10.30pm.

    She was unwell the last week,
    so we didn't practice and
    on the weekend I was busy with work.
    Amidst all this we forgot about the exam.

    Now the mother in me wanted to react...
    I wanted to give my daughter a lecture, .....maybe like this...

    "What?? You're telling me now,
    why didn't you remind me earlier.
    Why did you go to play?
    Why didn't you study?
    How can you forget?
    You're so careless.
    You can't even remember your exam dates"


    *I could have done that and maybe that's the easiest way to express OUR anxiety*
    *Or fear Or Any Big Emotion We are Going Through,*

    BUT I chose to RESPOND.......( please note the word..RESPOND..)

    I said, "Hmm both Mamma and My Little Girl Forgot about it.
    Sometimes we do forget things.
    Now we can sit for quick 15 minutes. and
    you can ask me any doubts you have."

    She quickly brought her IEO workbook and the next 15 minutes we were engrossed in solving the paper.

    What surprised me was the way the things went smoothly and today morning she even solved one more paper.

    All this happened because as a parent I chose to RESPOND....

    *When children are .....
    *anxious*
    * or scared*
    * or are facing any big emotion,*
    * they DON'T Need an adult who is yelling,*
    * lecturing*
    * or advising.*

    *They need an adult*
    * who is able to guide them*
    * to a solution*
    And
    *STAND WITH THEM*

    That's YOUR Responsibility as , 'A Better Parent.'

    Today I Want You to Think Which are Some of the Situations Where You As a Parent, React and How Can You Choose to RESPOND, Effectively.
    Jayasala 42
     
  3. priyabaghel

    priyabaghel Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you ☺️
     
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    What a delightful read this thread is! You have narrated effective parenting (even though you called it as "gentle parenting) extremely well. I am amazed by how well you have thought through parenting at this young age and your son must be very lucky. I wish I had the same level of knowledge and associated wisdom to raise my child with such qualities. I learned lessons as a parent many times from my son by watching him. He is now 28 years old and whenever I see my bad qualities in him and I regret it much.

    Every child has its own agenda and comes to this world with a purpose. The parents are only facilitators to achieve its agenda. None of them come with instruction manual and there is no one size fit all parenting method. You are so right about understanding the child better everyday by watching and listening carefully. More we watch and listen, more we learn about the children.

    The challenges become more intense when they grow up as teenagers. There will be a time when they would feel independent and capable of making decisions on their own. The earlier part of childhood should be a preparation for that latter stage of childhood. To the extent possible, when the children commit mistakes, we should never tell them what is the right thing to do. We need to ask a set of questions and make them derive the right answer themselves. A child that takes responsibility for his/her behavior becomes a person of great character in future. They need to be told the world functions in the axis of love. They have to be exposed to serving the humanity and learn to understand the struggle of people who finds it hard to make a living. Appreciation of life comes automatically to them.

    Childhood obesity is a major problem in the world now and by feeding them healthy food at a very young age, we need to make them seek healthy food. They need to be trained to play and exert themselves. Bending the body and mending the mind are two important traits they need to learn. In the information age, they need to develop good habits to seek the right kind of knowledge. Instead of teaching control of senses, we should expose them to such control by practicing it ourselves. Right living is not only about learning how to love people but using the discrimination to walk away from dangerous situations and learn to say no when necessary. Once they have learned the traits of Self-discipline, Self-sacrifice and Self-confidence, these habits die hard. They will develop a great character. Learning virtues and moral values are as important as developing secular knowledge.

    Viswa
     
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  5. priyabaghel

    priyabaghel Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you so much :)
    Loved your detail response too
     
  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    @priyabaghel

    Your thread was nominated to the FP section by @iyerviji. You may like to acknowledge her nomination in the FP section. Thank you.

    Viswa
     
  7. priyabaghel

    priyabaghel Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you so much for pointing it out. I often miss out on certain things, thanks to being a new mother.
     
  8. Larasun

    Larasun New IL'ite

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    The first story was very interesting. You are so good at writing.
     
  9. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @priyabaghel,
    A thought provoking blog on parenting. Parenting is not an easy job. It needs lot of patience and observing the child continuously to groom the child as a future good citizen.
    Long time back I have also posted a blog on this topic. I am giving the link here for your view.

    Bringing up children

    Congrats to you for getting your post nominated for FP.

    PS
     
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  10. priyabaghel

    priyabaghel Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you so much. It was indeed lovely to read your thoughts too :)
     

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