And, yeah, okay, maybe I don't have experience to back up my belief that gentle parenting is the bomb. But here's why I basically can't stop posting and talking about it...
Is there a more beautiful way to raise a child than to show him:
I fully respect you. You don't deserve less respect because you're less grown. You deserve full respect because you're a whole person. Having a lot to learn doesn't diminish your right to respect. Every single adult I know has a lot to learn too. Just like adults don't like being talked down to, belittled, embarrased, or isolated, neither do children. I'll treat you with utmost dignity.
I will take care of you. Taking care of you means your needs are filled--your need for food, shelter, clothes, affection, understanding, and safety. Not only will I never let anyone lay a hand on you to harm you (physically or emotionally), but I'll never lay a hand on you either...unless it's a pat of encouragement on your back.
I'll always love you. I'll love you when you're smiling, when you're crying, and when you act out because an emotion feels so much bigger than you. It doesn't matter if you're having the best day or the worst day or if you tell me you hate me. I love you.
Your emotions aren't bad. Don't stuff them down. Not for me. Not for anyone. Let's look at the tough emotions together. Feel them, work through them, find a way to cope with them next time.
I will teach you. I will teach you to brush your teeth, apologize, treat people with grace, bake good food, step out of your comfort zone, forgive, write a letter, ride a bike, love yourself. The best way I'll teach you is to show you by example.
I'll set limits for your safety and the safety of others. If you don't understand the limits, I'll explain them. I have no problem with your questions. Here's another learning and connection moment. And if you disagree with the limits after you understand, I'll listen to you. Because your voice matters. To me. To this family. In the world, your voice matters. You may not get your way still, but the door is always open for conversation.
I'll give you freedom. I'll give you the space to grow, play, make mistakes, fall down. I'll give you the space to find out who you are and to work through life in your own timing. I'll give you the space to not need me. And the space between my arms for when you do...any time, any place, kiddo.
The best way to change a harsh world for peace, love, and humanity caring for one another is to gently raise a generation who respects, values, and loves people because they were raised respected, valued, and loved.
Want more encouragement about Momming with faith, gentleness, and boobs? Check out the Her Arms Are Strong Facebook page!