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7 Responses to Sometimes, gentle is not the whole answer – and it’s okay.

  1. Liz Frasier

    Thank you so much! This is sooo true. Our 8 year old son is this way. I really have to be firm with him. I have had times where I do feel guilty in thinking that my gentle parenting isn’t as “they” say it should be. Unfortunately I’ve come across some gentle parenting resources that set up an unrealistic ideal for moms. I had to get away from those and find my niche, and trust that I know my kids better than an online stranger. You’re post is what I’ve needed. Thanks again!

    • Amy W.  

      You’re welcome, mama. I’m glad that my experience speaks to other parents who are authentic and mindful in their parenting journeys. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that no one is perfect, and neither is one single parenting “system” : when we have a flexible mindset, I think it’s easier to see what kind of balance works for our families.

  2. Janine  

    Thank you for this! I feel the same way, like my stern voice is working against my gentle parenting vibes, but it is the only voice my son seems to hear as well. Or rather, it is the only voice that he takes seriously. I think that my normal voice comes across (to him) as though I’m merely offering a suggestion. I need to remember that flexibility is OK and we’re [my husband and I] far from scarring him for life. 🙂

    • Amy W.  

      I’m glad that you enjoyed my musings about “good” parenting coming not from perfection, but from observing what is working and what is not working, and adjusting appropriately. We at NPN strive to bring parents together to encourage one another and share different experiences, and I’m glad that you enjoyed reading!

  3. Amy Phoenix  

    Amy, thank you for broaching a sensitive topic in the parenting world. It reminds me that nothing is all or nothing.

    I am also finding that it’s much more about finding our way as parents and partners with our children in cultivating trusting relationships than it is about subscribing to any specific philosophy.

    In exploring the topics you describe here, I notice that it’s possible to be loving and clear when communicating boundaries so they are heard. If I am to adhere to a certain voice that doesn’t feel right for me as a parent in the moment, whether that’s calm or stern, my child feels that as essentially fake and non committed, so it’s not heard in the congruence needed to communicate effectively. I also find that a positive time out is extremely helpful for anyone in our family, and often leads the way to time in where we can reconvene to discuss problem solving. Sometimes we need space.

    Finding our groove in communicating and upholding boundaries is a process, as is choosing the presence we bring to parenting. A moment by moment journey that calls us to modify as needed. When trust is the basis we intend to grow, it’s difficult to go wrong – and if we do we can always modify from there.

    • Amy W.  

      Thanks Amy! I wanted to explore the idea that Natural Parenting is more about finding what kind of balance works for your family, not living up to ideals that don’t work for your family.

      I appreciate your comments- as always!

      • Amy  

        It is vital to live our own values, not those of someone else – or an ideal. We’ll just fight against that which doesn’t work and that won’t lead anywhere helpful. It may be a process to discover what we really value and how to implement that, but it is possible.