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Thread: gentle parenting

  1. #1

    gentle parenting

    How can parents discipline their child in our generation right now?
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 15th December 2013 at 08:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Hi whiterose, I've moved your question to the 'gentle parenting' section of the forum.


  3. #3
    Dear whiterose,

    Thank you for posting this important question here.

    There are some excellent gentle discipline (and grace-based discipline) resources available online. I really believe that gentle discipline teaches our children about a way of life. Focusing on our long-term relationship with our child (rather than reacting with anger or violence about their behaviour) helps to bring up children who are well-adjusted and respectful. This gentle way of discipline teaches our children how to react in the wider world when they come across conflict situations as they grow up and, indeed, as adults. There is much research to back up this respectful way of discipline. Indeed, children's charities such as the NSPCC are now advocating this positive parenting to all parents. This is also advocated by Save the Children who state 'years of experience show that smacking doesn't work. It can have a very detrimental outcome on a child's development'.

    Dr. Sears, the famous attachment parenting doctor, writes:

    'Discipline is more about building the right relationship with your child than using the right techniques. You want to put into place a guidance system that keeps the child in check at age four and keeps his behavior on track at age forty, and you want this system to be integrated into the child's whole personality, a part of him or her.'

    In case you are interested, Dr Sears also talks about the Biblical basis for gentle discipline here.

    You can get more gentle discipline tools from the Little Hearts Books Author, who writes:

    'Drawing them close (time-in), offering words to help them express their frustrations (reflective language), and modeling coping skills and self-control for them are all ways of reconnecting with them to help them successfully navigate their present difficulty as well as cope with those they’re confronted with in the future.'

    Gentle discipline certainly does not mean no discipline. It means being attentive and always putting your relationship with your child first. Sometimes you have to be creative and often you have to be flexible. For example if your child starts throwing objects around the house a gentle response would be 'I can see you want to throw things, but no-one wants to get hurt by these objects so lets go outside and throw your balls'.

    Our children are always learning from us; they copy what they see at home in the wider world. Children naturally want to explore, create and have fun. Peggy O'Mara writes:

    'Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behaviour and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.'

    With warm wishes,

  4. #4
    My 2-year old daughter has separation anxiety and she won't even let me go to the bathroom without her. She cries when I'm out of her sight and I have to tag her along with me everywhere I go. How can I, at least, lessen this behaviour of her? Thanks

  5. #5
    Dear Leslie,

    Separation anxiety often only lasts a number of weeks or months. My first son had separation anxiety when he was around 15 months old. At the time I found it utterly exhausting; he only wanted me to do everything for him and wouldn't even accept food from my husband! However, looking back it only lasted around 2 months. I have to say that I found the most gentle way was just to go with it and let him be with me for that time. He would read books on the bathroom floor while I had a shower, we co-slept, I gave him all his food etc. So this is one approach; to just let your daughter be with you as much as is physically possible (yes he came to the loo with me too!) and know that 'this too will pass' and suddenly she will be happy to be left with other people again.

    Another method is to go out of the room for very short times at first and gradually increase this time. It may only be 20 seconds at first but it is best if she is really enjoying a game/task with another adult; slip away and come back but come back straight away if she becomes upset before this. Gradually increase the time you are out the room for. The advantage of this method is that your daughter will learn you are there for her when she is anxious but she can still have fun without you there.

    Does anyone else have any gentle methods for helping with separation anxiety?

    Best wishes,

  6. #6
    Thanks LJ. She was like this since I quit my job and stayed at home. But I will try your suggestions. Hopefully she can get over with it very soon. Thanks.

  7. #7
    It may be the change in her daily routine which has caused the separation anxiety then. Your daughter may be feeling unconfident about when you will be around because she is not used to you be around her as much. I'm sure she will adapt soon with some gentle reassurance.


  8. #8
    Thanks, LJ. I appreciate all your suggestions. They are very helpful. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    You are very welcome! Let me know how it goes

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