Gentle parenting and feeling alone

(16 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Mon 29-Jun-15 22:26:40

How do you manage when family members just don't feel the same with this. Especially your partner at times. We try our best and always have done (I hate labels) but gentle/ Ap approach of parenting. But then in laws or family members just try to implement there 'old says' it's so frustrating !

littleraysofsunshine Mon 29-Jun-15 22:27:14

Whoops it said error not sent

PlumFairy2014 Tue 30-Jun-15 09:17:09

It is hard. I smile, nod, pretend to listen to the advice and continue parenting how I feel I should. I used to take everyone's comments to heart, but really I couldn't change my ways even if I wanted to.

I found my mil difficult. After a week on holiday with her, and lots of barbed comments, she admitted that slings are a good idea and actually my little girl is a delight (so clearly not too much damage is being done!)

Depending on the circumstances sometimes I point out all the benefits and facts regarding how I parent MY child.

Where are you based? I'm SW and there's a good fb group for ap/gentle parenting (though I also don't like being labelled) which is supportive and reassuring. No judgey pants people either, so it doesn't matter which bits you do or don't do.

PlumFairy2014 Tue 30-Jun-15 09:18:04

Which particular bits does your partner not agree with? Could it maybe be family pressure rather than his views.

TheOddity Tue 30-Jun-15 09:28:02

Me too with DH. Really hoe someone comes with advice. We disagree about extended breastfeeding, discipline methods, boundaries. New baby coming next year and really don't want to start from the beginning again.

MarianneSolong Tue 30-Jun-15 09:37:10

I think if you are convinced you are right and there is no room for compromise you just have to cope with a certain amount of isolation, and difficulties in terms of friendships, relationships etc.

I had a friend with a similar approach - though I wasn't aware of that label. We were visiting her and my partner and I found it a bit wearing when her child - about 3 - kept interrupting about nothing in particular and my friend spent ages and ages explaining to her and answering her questions, and being 100% child-centred with 0% to spare for friends who had traveled many miles to see her. My own small daughter also seemed a bit reluctant to let the grown ups spend any time talking and after a bit I said, 'No, I'm not answering your questions any more. I want to have ten minutes talking to my friend. Go away and play for a bit'

My friend looked completely and absolutely horrified.

Later that weekend he partner told us that he found my friend's way of parenting quite different. Earlier on he'd had two children who were now almost grown up. He'd said no to them and told them off from time to time if they'd transgressed agreed boundaries. But now he wasn't allowed to do that.

Heels99 Tue 30-Jun-15 09:45:48

Marianne how will your friends child manage when they start school? In a class of 30 the teacher doesn't have time to listen to the witterings of every child and children will be told, in the nicest possible way, that teacher is talking and it's time to be quiet and listen. So much of reception is taken up with learning 'super sitting', listening, not shouting out, not interrupting that a child who has been the centre of the universe is really going to struggle with that. Children need to hear the word no, they need to learn resilience and to cope with disappointment. They need to learn respect for other people is the most valuable thing a child can learn! Of course people can teach their child all this is a gentle and respectful way. It doesn't sound like your friend is doing this for some ungodly reason! She does herself and her child no favours.

MarianneSolong Tue 30-Jun-15 09:51:53

I think the second time I visited I heard how one morning the child said they didn't want to go to school. So my friend said Okay. And then later, the child said they had changed their mind. So they drove her in. (It was a rural area, where there was a bus service for those who went at the right time.)

Maybe things moved on. I saw them after another gap of some years and the child - around ten - seemed pleasant and friendly. My friend and her partner was still together.

Perhaps because it was a small, rural school everything had worked out. It's likely the child accepted the school's boundaries, while realising her mother didn't really do boundaries.

But it was just not a way of being with/bring up a child - that partner and I could or would have done. Also this was an only child. I don't think it could have worked if there had been siblings that were close in age.

Heels99 Tue 30-Jun-15 11:19:26

Yes if you don't work and have no other children or major responsibilities then catering to every whim may be doable.

PlumFairy2014 Tue 30-Jun-15 14:26:48

The OP didn't really ask about catering to every whin though. I don't cater to every whim, but probably lean towards ap parenting, if labelled.

I'm all for compromise when appropriate, but the OP hasn't described the aspects she feels nagged about.

Heartofgold25 Thu 02-Jul-15 10:33:26

The beauty of motherhood ray of sunshine is that you are the main source of guidance to raise your children the way you want to. And definitely you do not need to listen to the constant stream of 'advice' from others.
Be confident in your choices.
I raised both of my dds in a gentle parenting way if it can be called that, and they are now older children they have grown into beautiful, well mannered, gentle and lovely human beings. They still have the sunshine in their eyes, I have not killed it off or punished it out of them.
I have chosen to listen to their views, given them the same status as adults (many can't bear this but have got used to it over the years) given them free rein to express themselves including anger etc, shown them ways to channel those feelings so they do not hurt others and above all I have loved them to an inch of their lives. That to me was the natural way to be a mother, and it has really worked for us. So be confident and happy, distance yourself from others who feel compelled to undermine you, you will be much happier for it. Surround yourself with friends who share the same values, and be sparing with family members whom aren't supportive. Above all enjoy your motherhood for it is over in a twinkling.

MarianneSolong Thu 02-Jul-15 10:41:53

Eighteen years is a pretty long twinkling. And it still goes on.

Heartofgold25 Thu 02-Jul-15 10:44:04

PS your dh is probably like most, he simply 'parents' as his own parents did, and hey nothing bad happened to him!! Or so he thinks. So this is not unusual. Some men are not up to date with modern parenting, they don't research new ways like we do, or discuss them. I think educating him and showing him new ways of doing things is important. Talk to him. Come to agreements on parenting so you can never be undermined as a couple. Explain that children emulate everything around them, good and bad. Shouting parents = shouty children etc. Ask him what he wants for his children and show him the best ways to do this is with kindness and respect, that way your children will go on to treat you and others with kindness and respect. Lets face it, being smacked three times a day did NOTHING but teach me how to hit other people! It is not good! And certainly the old ways did nothing at all for most of us, who just learnt to hate their parents with a passion.
My dh now is very happy with our decisions, he was not on board initially and felt at some points that he needed to be very strict and was worried about doing things differently. But over the years watching them grow, and seeing how much his dds flourished he now supports gp more than I do, and criticises the 'old' ways more fervently than I do, he also sees this own childhood was lacking in many ways. It has been an eye opener for us all to be honest. Stick with your values.

Heartofgold25 Thu 02-Jul-15 10:47:47

If only Marianne, I don't think parenting ever stops certainly not at 18!! However the time when children are young does evaporate so very quickly sadly x

littleflick Thu 02-Jul-15 10:52:33

What are gentle parenting and attachment parenting? Thanks.

Heartofgold25 Thu 02-Jul-15 10:56:10

arahockwell-smith.com/2013/09/22/what-is-gentle-parenting-and-how-is-it-different-to-mainstream-parenting/

Click on the link for a full explanation.

It is generally accepted that the two are different, but share similar values.

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