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Gentle parenting is a new way of parenting for many of us, the research about the benefits of this style of parenting is still not widespread.
I consider myself a practicing gentle parent.
I’m not quite where I want, but I’m working on it. (You can read about what I do when I mess up in my Parenting with the Magic Number 5 post.)
Have you noticed how many parenting styles are out there?
It’s enough to make my head spin sometimes, especially when I was a new mom and not quite sure where I fit.
I chose to learn more about gentle parenting because I wanted to be a nurturing parent.
I read the research into effects of harsh discipline, and I felt like gentle parenting offered the best options for building a strong and loving long-term relationship.
It was also an easy transition from attachment parenting.
After building a strong attachment with my baby I didn’t feel like damaging that relationship with mainstream parenting styles.
Maybe that’s why it seems so popular in the crunchy crowd?
Technically I suppose that gentle parenting would be considered an “alternative” parenting style.
But, to me, it just feels natural – why wouldn’t I treat my child the way I want to be treated?
That doesn’t make sense for any relationship or as a good role model for my child.
Now, I’ll be honest with you – it’s exhausting being the parent I want and try to be!
Often times it would be so much easier to just enforce my will, ignore the big emotional meltdowns, and not search for the why behind the behavior.
But, I do believe that the long-term rewards are worth the minor discomfort and struggles that I’m having right now. (Find out my technique for ending most power struggles here.)
Hey, no one ever said this parenting gig would be easy! Just that it would be worth it.
A gentle parent by another name
There are so many different names for a gentle parenting style out there and it can be confusing, especially when you’re just starting on your parenting journey.
You may have heard of attachment parenting, positive discipline, positive parenting, peaceful parenting, respectful parenting…and the list goes on!
Don’t let the multiple names intimidate you – they all share the same basic philosophy and similar parenting advice.
They all share the same belief that we should treat our children the way we would like to be treated – that old, golden, rule!
Probably the way we wish adults would have treated us when we were children if we think back to our own childhoods.
Putting that in to practice, knowing what to say, how to say it, and what to do is another story.
There are so many great parenting books and advice out there that it can be difficult to take it all in or know where to start.
If you’re ready to stop yelling, create cooperation with your kids, mutual respect, and avoid the pitfalls of permissive parenting this book list is a great place to get started!
I’ve compiled a list of gentle parenting books that will help you on your journey to becoming a peaceful and gentle parent.
Ok – so that was 16! But – I love extras so I just HAD to throw one more in…
Parenting from the Inside Out is actually more personal development for parents so it’s also a little different from the ones above.
I think that it’s so important to understand our own childhood stories and triggers so that we can parent the way we want.
Because so often the way we parent has much more to do with how we’re feeling than how our child is behaving!
So, sometimes, we need to parent ourselves gently first so that we can then parent our children in a conscious, loving, and gentle way.