August 17, 2023
As moms, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Yet we know that there is always room for improvement, especially if tension is present. Today, I’ll be sharing the 5 lessons learned while gentle parenting my four babies, and also sharing my favorite Podcast for mommas, just like you!
There seems to be this idea floating around since forever, that kids need to be perfect in order to be a reflection of ourselves. We know that’s not true, yet we constantly strive for perfection and end up completely disappointed. The biggest lesson I’ve learned while gentle parenting was to LET GO of the idea of perfection. Nobody (especially kids) can live up to that expectation, so release that from your heart. I bet you’ll find yourself way more at peace with your kids after allowing space for mistakes and learning!
We all know that it takes a village, and yet many of us moms don’t have the support we need when the going gets tough. That’s why the second lesson I’ve learned while gentle parenting is to cultivate a village that supports your parenting decisions! Surround yourself with mommas who also want to create a family life that is safe for kids to learn, make mistakes and be themselves. If you find that parents and friends are critical of your choices, start the conversation and direct them to your favorite gentle parenting resources!
This is a tough one for so many of us, since we live in such a digital age. But what If I told you that kids need that distraction-free attention from us? This lesson is a doozy but is really impactful! When we are distracted, our kids notice that we’re not fully present in the moment and therefore they have to compete for our attention. So they feel less valuable than whatever we are currently doing. Can you imagine how that must feel? Pretty awful, I’d guess. This all plays into the next point, making time for connection!
As I said before, being present and making time for connection go hand-in-hand. Why? because when parents spend quality time with their children, and are fully present in the moment, everyone’s emotional needs are being met. And that leads to calmer, gentler kids and parents. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone! Start with 15 minutes of designated quality time each day and see the difference it makes for all of you.
The last thing I learned, and probably hardest to implement, is to say yes with a boundary. Not too many kids like to hear the word no, so it’s our job as parents to come up with solutions that show the kids we are being reasonable. What might that look like? Finding ways to say yes more, and say no less. Perhaps it’s using the when-then method, which sounds like gently saying, “when you’ve put away your toys, then you may have a snack.” There’s no NO in there, but it’s implied that the snack doesn’t happen until the chore is done. Now your kiddo can move on to more fun activities
I really hope these 5 things I’ve learned while gentle parenting will help you slow down and soak up those sweet moments with your own children. After all, they only stay little for a little while! As promised, here is my current favorite podcast, which dives into all things motherhood and parenting with connection!
Shannon Roselius is a family & motherhood photographer serving Middleburg, Virginia and Beyond
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