I want to start today’s blog by making sure it is clear that the thoughts and opinions expressed on this website are my own. Here I share my personal journey and experience with homeschooling, respectful & gentle parenting, and homemaking centered in faith. It is my hope that through the lessons I learn, those reading my blog may be encouraged. We are not meant to exist alone. That being said, there is no judgment here. What works for my house may not work for yours, and vice versa.
Okay, so, what is gentle parenting? Well, the way I understand it is that we raise up our children in the way they should go with respect and kindness.
That might look different from family to family. For us, it looks like a conversation instead of physical punishment, understanding instead of shaming, respecting our child as a whole person, and checking myself instead of blaming my child’s misbehavior for my misbehavior.
Before I learned about this idea of gentle parenting, I already knew that I wanted to do things a little differently as a parent. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and have a good relationship with them. However, I didn’t always agree with how they went about discipline or emotional regulation.
I would research topics on respectful parenting, attachment parenting, and faith-based parenting. Even our philosophy for homeschooling is child-directed and what we call “unschooling“. Now, gentle and respectful parenting is a “trendy” topic but I am still here for it. And when I would share how we wanted to do x,y,z, it was often met with unsupportive and unwelcomed feedback.
I believe there is a misconception that gentle parenting is permissive parent, and the truth is, it isn’t. There is still discipline in the form of setting boundaries and teaching your children appropriate responses by modeling them. The hard part is when you parent in isolation and neglect caring for yourself. This approach to parenting is emotionally and mentally demanding.
The Truth Is, Gentle Parenting…
So, as I have tried to grow and practice peaceful, gentle, and respectful parenting, I realize how incredibly hard it is. To be honest, there have been times I have held my patience and after five minutes of back-and-forth, I’ve thrown my hands up and said some pretty mean things to my child.
The truth is, gentle parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. It begins with healing your own inner child and reparenting yourself. Identifying your triggers and finding the source of said triggers. One of the hardest parts for me is allowing myself grace when I mess up. I beat myself up if I “fail” and yell. Or if out of frustration I snatch something away or use threats to gain compliance. If this is you, forgive yourself, apologize, and remember that today you are doing better than yesterday.
So, What Helps?
Honestly, if you were not parented in a gentle or respectful way, willpower alone is not enough to see you through this journey, ha. Just being real. I can want this all day long but I am not used to a reality in which children are seen as whole people and respected. I need the tools, the healing, and the encouragement that comes from a community of like-minded parents. It is hard but worth it!
Social Media Accounts to Follow
Michelle | Little Mama Shark on Instagram
Iris Chen | Untigering on Instagram
Jenny Taylor | Gentle Respectful Parenting on Instagram
Domari Dickinson | dormaridickinson on Instagram
MrChazz | MrChazz on Instagram and TikTok
Books to Read About Gentle Parenting
Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses
How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
Scriptures To Study
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” – James 1:19-20
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:7
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5
Is this a parenting style you’re familiar with? Are you practicing something different than your parents practiced? Let’s chat.