Gentle Parenting for Angry Parents

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.


  1. Louise says:

    Very interesting and important blog post! We have to be the best and biggest role models for our kiddos and show them the right ways in life. If things get to hard, I go to the gym and fill myself up with energy, get some fresh air, count to ten or do some yoga. I never yell at my kids and would never in my life let my youngest cry it out! There is no books or human who have the right recipe on how to raise your kids the right way, you have to feel it in your guts and do what is best for you. Thanks for sharing your feeling, very brave! <3

  2. Misty says:

    Louise, could you please expand on what you mean by “do some yoga”? Very interested. Thanks!

  3. Kate says:

    I laughed so hard at this- i feel the same way about gentle parenting. I want to be gentle but i have 2 toddlers and a 10 month old. I’m really good at gentle parenting during nap time… and right about the time i drop the kids at preschool… I intend to do better but if I’m not acting like a crazy, raving lunatic NO ONE listens to me.

    1. admin says:

      You are a supermom! I think with three under five I would just throw gold fish at them and leave the TV on all day.

  4. Kimberly says:

    I love this! So honest and well…true! I struggle at gentle parenting sometimes. I have 3 kids under age 4. My 3 year old likes to kick and scream too…I want to pull my hair out on those days! My Hubby is much better than me, but it’s a method that we believe in. Thanks for sharing!

    1. admin says:

      J is so much better than me too! Bedtime is his only weak point, where I feel like Little Bug found all my weak points and tries to break them some days.

  5. Yeah, I take “gentle parenting” with a grain of salt. Much of the principles are sound, but much of it is overkill also. Just love your kid and do your best, mama. It will work itself out. 🙂

  6. Nakia says:

    Gentle parenting is so hard! Especially with toddlers! I guess if we just try then that’s what really matters lol. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Hey man, I feel like we’re all just trying to do whatever we can to survive.

  8. I love this post so much! I try so hard to use gentle parenting, but sometimes, my autistic 5 year old and my rambunctious 2 year old are just too much and I slip and yell. Sigh. I’m doing my best!

    -Mama from Mama Writes Reviews

  9. Cristina says:

    Ha ha! Thanks for the chuckle, I needed that right about now, since I *just* roared at one of my kids, too! Like most (ALL) parents have done at least once, whether they choose to admit it in writing or not! But now that I’ve finished yelling, I will go kiss him goodnight and tuck him in, and may even climb in and gently snuggle with him until he drifts off…which means I think you can now count me as a card-carrying member of the Angry Gentle Parent club, too!

    1. admin says:

      Welcome to the club!

  10. Mandi says:

    I feel like my days are 50 percent trying to be gentle and 50 percent losing my effing mind. Yikes #strugglemomming

    1. admin says:

      #strugglemomming is the new hashtag to describe
      my life!

  11. Amanda says:

    Me in the a.m. “Today is a good day for a good day…and gentle parenting..”
    Me in the p.m. “Tomorrow is a good day to do better..”

    1. admin says:

      Always after she goes to sleep my brain does a recap of moments that range from “Wow you were supermom then.” to “Oh man, her therapy bills are going to be so expensive.”

  12. Melissa says:

    Keep up the great work! Toddlers are tough 🙂

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