Advanced search

gentle parenting struggles

(48 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Tue 23-Feb-16 17:47:06

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.

MattDillonsPants Wed 24-Feb-16 02:46:37

Firstly, you're heavily pregnant with three small children so of course it's hard at the moment flowers

The bedtime thing...I really think yours are too small still to be sent up to bed without accompaniment....they need someone to take them and tuck them in at that age and for quite some time yet.

5 and 3 ...that's very young to be playing alone for any length of time still. Are they attending nursery at all?

MaryRobinson Wed 24-Feb-16 03:25:41

For us bribes are the thing that most quickly and effectively pull the rug out from under your feet.

If they are messy could you do a massive clear out of toys. So that there is much more limited capacity for destruction. link{\Maybe add this to your reading list?}

I agree that going to bed alone is unrealistic at that age and it is such a lovely time to reconnect with each other.

We would also like our kids to speak without shouting or fighting, but it takes a Long Long time. We certainly are not there yet, although they can do it outside the home. I have come to believe that (a) demonstrate the behaviour you want to see (b) actively teach them how to resolve arguments and (c) accept that this will be a work in progress for years or decades to come.

Mean/Unfair/Bully- this is where I have a mean Mammy dance. Imagine a devilish cross of Michael Jackson's I'm Bad with I'm mean, I'm nasty and finished off with rubbish moonwalking. So they know, I know and we both know the other knows that "Your unfair" is just a way of getting what they want, and that they have to be sensible.

littleraysofsunshine Wed 24-Feb-16 06:37:15

I didnt mean up to bed time alone. We are always upstairs with them.

I mean for anything. Toilet, getting a toy, socks, just to grab something. It's my 5yo who just doesn't like being in another room without someone, bless her. But for me to keep running upstairs it's tiresome at the moment.

littleraysofsunshine Wed 24-Feb-16 06:38:07

Sorry I must've worded it wrong. They never go to bed alone. smile

MattDillonsPants Wed 24-Feb-16 06:40:26

If we say it's bed time, they will refuse to go without us going up.

That seems pretty clear....

littleraysofsunshine Wed 24-Feb-16 12:48:46

Go in I meant. Not up. As in, if I'm still getting myself ready for bed or getting the toddler sorted they will just refuse the idea of bed time.

We sit and read to them most nights, it's just the whole of we say we are going to nip to get our pjs on, or see to the toddler, or go to the loo, they will want for us to stay

NickyEds Wed 24-Feb-16 14:52:21

How much time playing on their own or generally being away from you have your dc had op? If you do ap one might guess not a lot so maybe start small and gradually increase time playing alone, so have a timer/clock or whatever and say the 5 year old can play in the playroom for 4 minutes whilst you get on with something and gradually increase the time?
I think maybe you're expecting too much, both of them and yourself. Very few parents (none??)make it through toddler years without some shouting and bribing. Not in real life anyway! You say that you try to validate their emotions as yours but without wanting to sound mean their emotions aren't as valid as yours. You're emotionally mature and very small children just aren't. If my emotions were like my toddler's I'd either be insane or in jail! Their emotions are heightened and extreme so try to stay calm in the face of it. I personally think boundaries and rules help but I'm not sure how that would fit into gentle parenting?

mikado1 Wed 24-Feb-16 15:14:55

Boundaries are extremely important in gentle parenting-empathy and firmness essential imo. I find using 'when, then' helpful -when the toys are tidied then you can a/b/c. Sounds like they're almost using your gentleness against you which is hard to take. You are the one in charge and you can be understanding and patient without apologising for that fact. 're your 5yo, try going to the top of the stairs and waiting, then half way up and so on. Janet lansbury is vg on boundaries and gentle, respectful parenting, she's online and on fb. I think she's got a great balance. You're at an incredibly busy time in your life and you're probably doing much better than you realise but I the non-shouted have left out a goid few roars in recent sleep deprived months and that's with just two (and only one actually misbehaving) so be kind to yourself too.

drspouse Wed 24-Feb-16 15:46:47

I'm still getting myself ready for bed

Are you going to bed awfully early (and with three small children and heavily pregnant who would blame you!) or are they going late? Could they just be really tired if the latter?

"It's not fair" is just a hilarious part of life at this age I feel. I got it from DS this morning when there was something he didn't want to do, and I had to struggle not to laugh. I'm pretty sure DC2 (who's 21 months) wants to say it but can't when I prohibit touching the cooker etc.

Tidying up is something that nursery has definitely helped our DS with, although left to himself he would just move on to another toy, but we say "remember to tidy up that toy like at nursery, here I'll help you" and I probably do end up doing about half or a little more but he has the idea of it.

Amy214 Wed 24-Feb-16 22:01:16

I was told that you shouldnt bribe a child always reward, have you ever tried a sticker chart? You reward them with a sticker as soon as they have done the good behaviour and you can also say that if they have behaved for a full week or month then they can pick a new small toy or an outing to somewhere of there choice, ive heard it works, ive never tried it because my daughters too young at the moment

Cuttheraisins Thu 25-Feb-16 12:29:57

Who said you shouldn't bribe. And please explain to me what the difference is between a bribe and a reward. Both are a positive consequence to a positive behaviour.

My DSs are big now, but have always bribed them with - an extra story at bedtime, extra screen time, extra helping of their favourite food, a trip to the swimming pool, extra time playing football. When playing at the park and it was time to go, I wouldn't say - let's go home kids, iknow there would have been tears. So I'd say, snack time and I have snacks ready for them to eat on the way home. I would have killed myself by now if I'd had to parent two children close in age without bribery.

And my kids are now big, 8 and 10 years old, and for what it's worth we still take them to bed, we still read them their books at bedtime, and still have a massive and very long cuddle before they go to sleep. I think I will be doing this until they are teenagers and then I will cuddle them when they are asleep! I wouldn't give that up for the world.

ShesGotLionsInHerHeart Thu 25-Feb-16 12:38:22

How gentle are we talking? grin

I have children exactly the ages of yours, and I've never been told I'm boring, or a bully, or called rubbish. Maybe there's a time to be less gentle and understanding and make it clear that you're the adult; they don't always have to understand or approve of the decisions you make, they just have to do as they're told sometimes without being cheeky.

Amy214 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:29:10

A bribe is giving them a chocolate bar to keep them quiet whilst shopping yes it does work but its actually encouraging your child to act out and they get what they want, a reward is when you say if you help me to tidy all your toys away you can have a chocolate sweet, basically a bribe is to avoid or stop bad behaviour whilst a reward is for good behaviour but you have to tell them why they are getting it and it has to be straight after the bahaviour has been displayed, a reward can be anything, it is hard at first but if your consistent it all works out for the best

Amy214 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:30:26

I forgot to add that i went to a discipline class and that went over every possible situation.

Cuttheraisins Thu 25-Feb-16 16:41:33

You are seriously over complicating things. I have always given my children something to eat (not chocolate though, but fruit, breadsticks etc) whilst food shopping as I think it's a boring task. There is nothImg wrong with that! Just like you would plan for them to have things to do (colouring, quiet game, a book) whilst waiting for food in a restaurant. It's not a bad thing, it's a good thing. There are positive ways to stop bad behaviour before it happens, why is that a bad they thing?

littleraysofsunshine Thu 25-Feb-16 17:00:21

I must say again i wrote it wrong and that we don't send them UP to bed alone, I meant IN, say if we're getting ready for bed ourselves, or on the toilet, going to get DS milk etc*

Just reading through some of the recent posts.. So need to catch up

littleraysofsunshine Thu 25-Feb-16 17:01:14

I've noticed it's since dd1 has started school that the name calling has started sometimes. Not often

littleraysofsunshine Thu 25-Feb-16 17:03:08

drspouse - I get ready in my comfy clothes yes due to pregnancy and needing to have my normal clothes off! grin

SevenSeconds Thu 25-Feb-16 17:07:30

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

To be honest I think this all sounds pretty normal at this age. Do you think maybe you're expecting too much? They are still little!

mouldycheesefan Thu 25-Feb-16 17:11:05

I think you are crediting your children with more emotional empathy than children normally have at that age. They generally don't care that it is upsetting to have to tell them to put their shoes in six times before they do it.
It all sounds v normal to be honest. Kids do want a lot of attention and the younger ones may not play in their own for long. But 4 kids under five is a challenge and there may be occasional shouting!
The attachment parenting may be the cause of your older daughter wanting you with her all the time, it seems common for attachment children to!
I wouldn't worry too much about gentle parenting and whatever else you want to call it. If you get through the day with all four kids intact, I am including the new baby here, then you are doing a good job. I would consider a mothers help in your case as well. One parent at home with four kids would make anyone shout!

mouldycheesefan Thu 25-Feb-16 17:12:24

What does "we try to validate their emotions as ours" actually mean?

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 25-Feb-16 17:22:49

I am fairly ungentle, quite strong on good behaviour. My kids were much the same age gaps as yours. My kids have never ever called me or each other nasty names; they get along fine, any nastiness was nipped in the bud at a young age.

I think they are too young to understand attempts at guilting them by saying their behaviour is making you sad: they just haven't developed that empathy. They are too young to want to play in a separate room, they often just want to be near a parent at that stage, our playroom sat empty for years. Most of all they are too young not to be doing as they are told.

Having littlies who don't do as they are told is irritating and potentially dangerous. It also limits the fun adventurous stuff you can do to quite a large extent. And, in my experience, people can start to find it quite tedious to hang out with you.

Sorry, really not trying to be mean. But gentle parenting doesn't sound like it is working for you.

littleraysofsunshine Thu 25-Feb-16 17:36:12

My mother isn't around.

But thanks for all your thoughts smile

Amy214 Thu 25-Feb-16 18:20:09

Its bad because you are bribing them to behave, they then know that oh its okay if i cry because my mums just going to shut me up with a breadstick so that i behave and dont embarrass her, when im at the shop with my daughter i tell her she needs to stay close and behave whilst we walk to the milk aisle if shes done that she gets a piece of fruit, the same again as we walk to another aisle, im not talking about giving them a toy or colouring book to keep them entertained, how is it over complicating things? I cant post a link a link as im on my phone but i recommend researching it more

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now