J and I practice gentle parenting. (What is that? Check it out here.)
Well I guess I should clarify that we aim to practice gentle parenting, but instead use some gentle parenting techniques and somethings we do just to survive. We understand the reasons and why we choose gentle parenting, but it’s hard because we’re kind of angry people.
Not any more angry than other average people, but way angrier than the average social media gentle parent spoke person. And I think Little Bug is angrier than their kids.
Like they say to get down on your child’s level when they’re throwing a tantrum so they can see you and know you’re there. If I get too close to Little Bug, she’s going to start throwing punches so I just leave her screaming on the floor. I guess we kind of fail at that part.
Well, and we do time outs. We can try to sit with her to help calm her through the situation, but remember the punching? Yeah, I don’t like being beat up by a toddler. We do abandon our child in a safe environment for her to work on calming herself for a while. (Some gentle parenting advocates will explain how time outs are just abandonment. I won’t link it you can google it if you want to feel some parenting guilt. I’m not putting you through that.)
Even when Little Bug was a baby we failed at gentle parenting and had to let her cry it out at bed time. She rarely slept and by nine months I was losing my mind because of lack of sleep. J saw my deteriorating sanity and talked me into trying cry it out. I love that man. And I will admit I have told my friends that have tried every gentle technique in the book to get their little demons angels to sleep that crying it out saved us. So, I actively undermine gentle parenting in that regard.
The worst is not yelling. If you’ve been around a three-year-old recently you’ll understand how hard this is. (I mean if your and average person and not a gentle parenting magical calm person. Is it yoga? How do you guys do it?!) I yell at my kid. I try not to, but sometimes she jumps on the couch and won’t stop and she already fell off and had to get staples in her head doing it SO ITS JUSTIFIED. J is a little better at me, but oh man, come the 5th time of Little Bug sneaking out of bed at bedtime he’ll lose his cool too.
We try to be better and less angry. We talk about how we need to try and be calmer, but it continues to elude us. If we drank less caffeine maybe? But then we would a kid that sleeps, and obviously Little Bug sleeps bad from all her abandonment issues being forced to cry it out and put in time outs. So, we’ll just continue down this path as the worst gentle parents in the world. And if you need to put your kid in time out today and go scream into a pillow out of the sheer frustration of it all take solace in knowing that I’m probably doing the same thing.