Perhaps you’ve heard the hype about a “new” parenting style called Gentle parenting (commonly known as Attachment Parenting, responsive, natural, instinctive, conscious or peaceful parenting) and wondered what this style of parenting entailed. Gentle Parenting is about trusting yourself and your baby (toddler, child or teenager), being empathetic and seeing things from your babies perspective – and there’s nothing new about it. This style of parenting originated with cavewomen, and has carried on for millions of years. It’s only in the late nineteenth century where women were told to detach from their children to remain “civilized.” In truth, there’s no more natural instinct than to keep your baby as close to you as possible – not crying in another room. You may have seen GirlieGirl Army’s fearless leader Chloé Jo Davis discussing this very topic with Katie Couric. To celebrate Gentle Parenting Week this year, 14th-20th March 2015 we have joined forces with @Gentle_Parenting on Instagram to join the Photo-A-Day challenge, please join us on Instagram to be entered to win amazing daily Mama-baby giveaways!
Gentle Parenting is:
– COMFORT –
• Meeting your babies needs by responding to them when they cry.
• Keeping them close and giving them a fourth trimester by babywearing, skin-to-skin, co sleeping, breastfeeding on demand, even for comfort.
– NATURAL –
• Following your intuition and your heart, as the parent. Trusting yourself and your baby/child.
• Avoiding the use of unnatural products, wherever possible.
• Enjoying nature together as often as possible.
• Allowing your child to progress through life, naturally, less forced teaching and more child-led learning.
– CONNECTION –
• Understanding your child and meeting their needs, at their level of development.
• Spending quality time together. Less presents and more presence.
• Getting to their level and respecting what’s real for them, what’s important to them.
– RESPECT –
• Meeting your child’s needs without use of harsh routines, manipulation, fear, punishment, violence (physical or verbal), and judgment.
• Guiding your child through life, with their best interests at heart, child led.
• Disciplining (teaching) in a way they understand and respond to positively.
• Setting clear boundaries, to ensure feelings of security, as opposed to feeling controlled.
• Communicating in a way that their feelings are acknowledged and responded to.
– PEACEFUL –
• Using patience, kindness and understanding as often as possible. Not reflecting your child’s anger, frustration, or negativity but bringing calm to difficult situations.
• Searching for reasons and answers, rather than blaming. Aiming to improve situations, peacefully.
• Letting go of expectations and learning to accept what is realistic.
– HAPPINESS –
• Knowing the hard work that is required as a gentle parent, is providing your child with a strong, healthy and happy future.
• Focusing on the beauty in every child and cherishing who they are, as they are.
• Happy childhood = happy adulthood!
Kirsty Soo, passionate and devoted mother of her 3 year old boy and (soon to be) baby girl, lives in Australia and runs the Gentle Parenting account on Instagram. Her aim is to #normalizegentleparenting, provide support and inspire parents wishing to guide their children gently through life.