gentle parenting struggle(3 Posts)
I like to think we are gentle parents, always done things in an attached parent kind of way. I don't like labels but in simple form this is how we've tried to raise our littles so far. (5,3.5,2) and 34 weeks pregnant.
The thing I'm finding hard is that as much as I can try to be fun, and talk things through, patient. I find dp and I end up using bribes or eventually shouting as they just don't seem to take us seriously if we are saying they have upset us, or unacceptable behaviour.
We try to validate their emotions as ours (5 & 3.5yo)
But we get the: "you're just rubbish", they shout, scream when feeling powerless, if we try to say it's not acceptable they will just refuse to listen.
When dds are playing, and they'll dispute. We try to say we'll wait until they are finished, play together or find something else but I get told I'm a bully, or in fair, or I'm boring.
If we say it's bed time, they will refuse to go without us going up.
Miss five will refuse to go upstairs on her own. She feels the need to have someone with her each time.
I want them to respect us without us shouting. Having to ask them numerous times etc.
Tidying up and playing is another story. They will not tidy up unless nagged to do so (after being and trying to make it fun but orderly) they will leave toys out and start another again, they have a playroom but refuse to play in it. They follow me, or just make mess everywhere or ask for things constantly.
We have a good few months but all of a sudden it's gone a bit mad again!
I'm reading some books at the minut (playful parenting) and toddler calm.
I think of myself as preferring gentler parenting too - but the boundaries are firm! Yours might be too, I couldn't tell, but although I try not to raise my voice, I actively intervene if a boundary is tested, and use "time in" and natural consequences. Could your 5 yr old just be feeling in need of a big of nurture and 1:1 time with you, esp with the new baby coming soon? Is it possible to either accompany her going up at bedtime, or build in some special time for her before bedtime?
The other thing that stood out for me from your post was about you feeling they didn't take it seriously if they upset us In my view, they're too young to be able to process empathy and fully grasp emotional consequences of their actions for other people. By all means talk about their feelings and help them express them "It looks like you're feeling really angry right now, that must be really hard" - but I wouldn't expect them to be able to process yours as well.
I agree largely with neatandtidy. We are gently parents but she has strict guidelines. I find that getting agreement up front from her makes things like bedtime move more smoothly. So I will say to her "after this episode of x/game of y,it will be time for you to go up for bath and bed, agreed" and she will say yes. If she doesn't or she ignores me I repeat until she agrees. Then if she argues one the time arrives we simply say "we agreed remember" and she will go.
Dd would like for one of us to come up with her at bedtime too but again it's explaining the reasons why we can't but agreeing that we will be up to check. "Mummy needs to have her dinner now but I'll pop up and check on you once my dinner is done" ... She's always alsewp by the time I go back up.
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