Gentle Parenting Success Stories and Suggestions #10

December 23rd, 2010 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Gentle Discipline Ideas, Successes, and Suggestions, Gentle/Positive Discipline, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Respond with Sensitivity

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Today’s gentle parenting post is a success story shared by Kai. Kai is a SAHM to her three cheeky monkeys, a volunteer breastfeeding peer supporter, and is heavily involved in her local sling meets.

Please share your own gentle parenting successes or questions – read the italicized text at the end of this post for more information on the series.

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I’d really like to share with you our recent gentle parenting success story. First let me introduce us. My name is Kai and I live in the UK with my husband Paul and our three beautiful children: Alex who is five years old, Olli who is three years old, and Millie-Mae who is one year old.

Alex and Olli are both special needs children. Alex has autisum and Olli, complex neuro-disability. As a result, we have a LOT of behavioral problems in our house, but my husband and I both feel that our sons’ needs make gentle parenting even more essential. Our special needs sons don’t mean to “misbehave,” sometimes life simply overwhelms them, and at those times they do not need to be pushed further through punishment or harsh discipline. They need to be accepted, embraced, and LOVED.

Two nights ago we had a real break-through. The boys were getting a bit rowdy, pushing and shoving over a toy. I was in the kitchen, and Paul was in the bedroom with Millie-Mae (we live in a flat, so we were all able to hear each other). I asked the boys to take a breath and keep calm, and they did, but the squabble still raged on. Eventually they got a bit rough and Olli accidentally hit Alex (it was truly an accident; he went to grab the toy as Alex moved). I flew into the room expecting a full-blown fight when Alex took a DEEP breath and very calmly said:

“Olli, please do not hit me. I love you very much, you are my little brother, and it makes me so very sad when you hurt me.”

I stood there mouth agape. We usually have a full blown fight over such matters, so imagine my greater shock when Olli turned around and said:

“Sorry Alex, accident,”
and hugged him.

If anyone needs to see proof that gentle parenting works, they need to come see my boys. With all their extra needs, fights are unfortunately a common occurrence. This exchange gives me fabulous hope that they DO listen and take in what we are modeling, and someday in the future, nobody will have to worry about thrown punches and scratched-out eyes!

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There are two resources that have been the most helpful to me in my own gentle parenting journey. First, reading about others’ experiences: real-life examples of challenges met with respect and compassion can be both educational and inspirational. Second, when I face a challenge of my own, I have always been able to turn to my local AP group for a fresh perspective and creative ideas.

I’d like to provide a resource like that here at Code Name: Mama, so I’ve introduced a series that will feature your stories and questions. In particular, I’d love to feature stories that build on consensual living principles or the techniques and ideas discussed in books like Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids; Playful Parenting; Unconditional Parenting; and Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves.

I am not looking for stories about parenting techniques such as time-outs, negative consequences, coercion, or punishment.

If you have a gentle parenting success story or a question on how to gently handle a challenging situation with your toddler or preschooler, please read the contributor guidelines and contact me. Let’s not go through this journey alone!

6 Responses to:
"Gentle Parenting Success Stories and Suggestions #10"

  1. Emily @ Crunchy(ish) Mama   crunchyishmama

    That’s awesome! Congratulations! It must’ve felt great to see that. I love these gentle parenting success stories. My son’s almost one and I have been thinking more and more about what AP/Natural parenting is going to mean for us as he gets older. Right now I’m just hoping if everything I do with him comes from a place of empathy, respect and consistency we can figure it out from there. Best of luck to you and your family!

  2. nikki

    Wow! How WONDERFUL to see it work firsthand. You spend your whole life hoping it will pay of someday. I’m glad you shared. :)

  3. Olivia   OliviaStreaterL

    WOW Kai! That is absolutely lovely! Well done you.

    This is why I spend so much time on the net reading gentle parenting stories – it reinforces my motivation to do it and gives me great ideas.

    Like breathing calmly with my children for example.

    It sounds like you are doing a brilliant job. Kudos and hugs to you! x

  4. Holy smokes, that brought tears to my eyes.

    FANTASTIC! Kudos to you for recognizing how essential those skills are, teaching them to your kids, and also taking a step back and appreciating what a guargantuan accomplishment small kids using them is!

  5. Lori Ann   simplyla

    Wow, what an encouraging tory. This success story series is really great for us newer-to-being-a-Mama parents!

  6. Jennifer

    Wow! That’s so great! Kudos to you both on being consistently gentle, and modeling loving respect for your kids. I, too, am seeing kindness and gentleness from my 2.5 y.o. son. How it warms the heart when I hear, “Sorry mama. Are you ok?”
    It really does work!

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