Moment of Truth 

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Today I was a little distraught. I must have raised my voice a bit to my husband. Things don’t always go smoothly in life…especially about finances, big life decisions, travel and what to have for dinner… such nerve racking topics. 

My toddler was playing nearby, he must have heard the tone of my voice, because he put down his toy and came over to me and gave me a hug. He stayed on my lap for a little while. Put his head on my shoulder. And closed his arms around my neck. 

This is the reward of gentle parenting.

It is using empathy to teach empathy. 

Toxic.

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Am I in a toxic relationship?  Should I just leave? Do I need help?


So, today was an okay day. I had a long commute home; music was on in the car but I didn’t really like it. I complained a couple of times and the music was changed. Ugh… The sky is blue and the sun is shining – ugh it’s too bright and it’s in my eyes!  I just hate it in my eyes. It’s blinding! My seat belt is bothering me. I tugged at it and it is still tight. Ugh… I hate the seatbelt. I complained again. Music was changed again. I complained again; I got water this time. Anyway, we’re home. I  screamed. I didn’t want to be home. I’m tired but I want to go out, maybe Target or something, just to walk around. But no…we’re home. I may have complained a bit too much.

I’m now in my room. It’s lonely and quiet in here. My bed looks comfy, but I don’t want to be in bed. I want to go to Target! I want to walk around. I’m not tired enough for a bath or bed. He’s going to let me out soon, it’s going to be dinner soon. Oh, here he comes.

Fish? Why would you make fish on a day like this? If we go to Target, I’ll get chicken nuggets or something. Not FISH?! I don’t want fish. Oh no, I pushed it off the table. Ow. He hit my hand. I guess I deserved that.

And, I’m back in my room. I want chicken nuggets. Ugh. My eyes hurt. I’ve been crying. Why didn’t they ask me how my day was? Oh, my hand hurts. If I screamed louder, maybe she’ll let me out. Ok, that didn’t work.  Now my head hurts.

Oh, I’m supposed to say sorry when she comes. Then, I’ll get chicken nuggets.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked.  What is wrong with me? I should grow up. Stop this crying or throwing a fit. People keep telling me I’m growing up.

“I’m sorry, mama.” I said.

We got to the dining room table.  There’s chicken nuggets.  Yum…I like chicken nuggets.


If I told you that the scenario above is between my husband and me, no one would hesitate to tell me to leave him. I may even get help!  But when you learn that it’s a toddler and his parents, all of a sudden the above scenario is applauded and encouraged with comments like, “that’s what I do with mine.” Why? 

“Oh you’re being oversensitive. You don’t know anything about parenting, I have 4 kids, I think I know what I’m doing. You just wait until they’re a little older, you will wish you had listened to me. I spanked my kids, I did timeouts, my children are fine. It’s parents like you that raise irresponsible and disrespectful adults. I discipline my children because I love them. Only I love my children this much. I sacrificed so much for them. I gave them life! How could I be hurting them?”

My mother said those words to me when I told her I won’t be adopting her parenting approach. That level of put-down and negativity is what I have been used to. Her toxicity overpowers her love, but I don’t think it’s entirely her fault; her mother said those words to her too. And I’m sure her mother before her, and so on and so forth. My mother loved me in the best way she knew how.

Toxic parenting is passed down from generation to generation.

Toxic parenting is more common than the common cold.  But we don’t see it that way, do we? In fact, it can be very difficult for someone to even realize or challenge how they were brought up.  Humans don’t like dissonance, and questioning one’s upbringing creates a lot of chaos.  How we are raised and what we are taught at a young age leaves invisible traces in our lives; these childhood events and experiences shape our mindset and value system, our confidence and ego, our expectations and needs.

We think we turned out fine, because we were raised to believe so. We think spanking and discipline makes the child happy and respectful, because these thoughts were instilled in us. We were raised to believe  timeouts corrected naughty children – that by isolating them, children will somehow turn good. And we can’t question or bare the discomfort that comes with questioning our upbringing because we were raised believing that our parents are always right and there is no challenging that.

Being a parent is the most powerful role you’ll ever be.  Don’t abuse your power.

Parenting is not love. Parenting is not discipline. Parenting is a journey, an education. You would think that as a parent, this is your time in life to be the teacher; the truth is, we never stop learning. Parenting is a journey in which you help your child explore the world that you’ve come to take for granted, while your child helps you explore the depths of your inner self. If we spend more time listening to and letting our children be children, instead of correcting their behaviors and aligning them with how we see fit, we can actually enjoy this journey of self-exploration that is parenting.

Positive and gentle parenting focuses on the emotional well-being of a child.  Happiness is deeper than a smile on their face, the applause from the numbers and letters they’re able to recite, or whether or not they hug and kiss you.  Happiness is the most valuable gift you can give your children and it starts with love, grows with understanding and ends by passing on the torch. For when a child is truly happy, they develop self-reliance and resilience. They grow into confident and capable adults who believe that they have control over their lives.  How you treat your children today will affect them and the generations of children to come.

When you practice positive and gentle parenting, you’re also focusing on your emotional well-being. You can’t teach gentle unless you’re gentle. You can’t teach positive unless you’re positive.

I was hit and I didn’t turn out fine. 

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Whenever I tell someone I practice gentle parenting, I’m met with a snicker and “I was hit as a kid and I turned out fine!”

What does that even mean? Are you happy? What does being happy mean to you?  Are you successful? Is that what being fine means?

Well, I was hit as a kid and I did not turn out fine.

No, people don’t turn out fine from being hit as a child, the cycle simply continues and overtime, we are made to believe that’s what parenting means. We attribute it to culture, traditions. We think it’s okay, it’s the right thing to do. If it’s the right thing to do, then why do you feel so guilty afterwards? Why do you need to justify the action, the discipline? And why doesn’t it take care of the problem? 

It doesn’t take care of the problem because it is not parenting. Any form of hitting, threatening, yelling, and screaming is abuse, regardless of your past and upbringing. Abuse comes in many shapes and forms: a husband who hits his wife, a man who threatens a woman, a teacher who yells at a child, or a child who smacks another child. Then why is hitting your children glorified as parenting?

If you want a child to learn how to kick a ball, you’d stand up, get a ball, place it on the ground, gently tap it with your feet so it moves, and say “look, I’m kicking the ball.” Or remember when your little one said “banana” for the first time? It might have sounded more like “baba” or “buhmama”, so you laughed and clapped and said “good job, let’s try again. Repeat after me: ba-na-na.” When you hit your child, you’re teaching him that it’s okay to resort to violence to solve problems. You’re promoting aggression. 

Children learn by observing, internalizing, understanding, and mimicking what they see and hear.

Empathize. Rather than hitting or spanking them, try to get down to their level, look them in the eye and actually ask them what’s wrong. Allow them to express their emotions.  Help them embrace their emotions.  Try to understand their side of the story; or maybe try to see if you can bring any positivity to the situation. Especially with younger children, their growing pains and limited communication skills make them absolutely miserable. Being the parent, you’re the only one they can go to for help and to vent, punishing them will just teach them they can’t come to you when they don’t feel good. Create a fostering environment: realize that the behavior is bad, not the child.

Use words they understand. Think about it, what is nice or not nice, what is good or not good. We understand because we’re adults. But children don’t get this abstract terminology. For example, if your child is hitting you, don’t say “be nice” – instead, say “Your hands are hurting me – ow. Please stop. Please be gentle.” and proceed to showing what gentle means.  Hitting your child to stop him from hitting you will only confuse your child.

Never underestimate the power of a hug. As an adult, we have bad days.  We unwind with a bottle of wine or a high-intensity workout or just by venting to our spouse and friends.  To balance our negative emotions, we look for ways to release the stress.  Like us, children have bad days and moments too.  They don’t have many options for stress relief; so, they resort to what they know: biting, hitting, lashing out, screaming, acting out, crying, etc.  All signs to show they need your attention.  What would you feel if someone punched you for being stressed or cranky?  The same logic applies to children.  Allow them to release the stress and bottled up emotions, given they are not hurting themselves or anyone else, and then offer a hug.

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Help your children grow into confident, happy, and self reliant adults by practicing gentle and positive parenting.

What does being a parent mean to you?

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I know the original video says that this video is for special needs children…while I don’t want to undermine the term “special needs children,” we should all remember that every child has special needs. No two children are the same, no two humans are the same. Growing up is a painful and scary adventure, try to be kind to your child. 

Watch the video. All these advices apply to everyday life as a parent. When you can get to your children’s level and see how important something not important is, you are being a parent. When you imagining a pirate ship sailing across your living room and knocking over anything that’s everything, you’re being a parent. When you’re hugging them after a tantrum because who doesn’t have bad days, you’re being a parent. When you’re frickin tired and you just wanna crash, but their glistening eyes invite you to another game of bumper cars, that’s parenting. When you’re humming that annoying nursery rhyme without the kids around, you’re being a parent. 

I am an advocate for non-traditional, logical, gentle, positive and mindful parenting. 

Gentle Parenting

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As adults, we work so hard to appear strong and over protect our feelings, which leads to being defensive rather than constructive, hurtful rather than meaningful, and shame rather than empathy. So much of how defensive we are come from how we were brought up. 
I strongly believe that the connection between child and parent should always be an open communication. It should not be authoritarian. It should not be a dictatorship. And I may go thru hell days and years with my children, but I strongly believe in gentle, positive, and mindful parenting. 

Some times O wants to play. Some times he wants to clean up. Some times he wants to whack things and throw stuff. And some days, he just likes to sit and cuddle up. But seeing behaviors as bad, rather than condemning him as a naughty kid, and understanding why these behaviors happen, makes a world of difference, for him and me. 

O’s confidence, enthusiasm, EQ, and open mindedness at such a young age are very good indications that gentle parenting works. It teaches empathy as well as responsibility. 

If you haven’t tried , and have read up to this point, take a few more minutes to read this lady’s journey. It is mind blowing, eye opening and stress relieving. I share bc I care. 👍☺

https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-gentle-parenting-for-a-week-heres-what-happened-4679