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When I first heard of this I thought, "This is what's wrong with the world today!" then I started reading up on it and I found that I actually liked a lot of ideas behind it. I do have concerns though. It feels like some really good truths blended with some half truths and even, perhaps, outright lies. Mind you, my reading up on it thus-far has been pretty scant...so my opinions might change. I know --- KNOW --- that there is bias in my on the matter that I have to look past, in that I tend to automatically feel like any new-fangled ideas are hippy claptrap.

So...I thought it would be worth discussing.

https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2015/08/20/what-is-gentle-parenting-and-why-should-you-try-it/

http://theconversation.com/gentle-parenting-explainer-no-rewards-no-punishments-no-misbehaving-kids-31678

http://www.jennifermcgrail.com/gentle-parenting-faq/

And feel free to Google (or Bing...don't want to be biased) and research.

Thoughts?

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24 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

What do you mean? 

You cannot teach a child to self soothe, you cannot teach a child to effectively parent themselves at night, they still need you to do that, just as they do during the day. Responding to a child at night with empathy, understanding, respect and boundaries is just as important as it is during daylight hours.

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Just now, Sunday21 said:

You cannot teach a child to self soothe, you cannot teach a child to effectively parent themselves at night, they still need you to do that, just as they do during the day. Responding to a child at night with empathy, understanding, respect and boundaries is just as important as it is during daylight hours.

Right. But the idea, as I've read it, is that sleep training is akin to teaching them that they cannot depend upon you. Sort of rings true to me. If it's a matter of parents getting enough sleep vs. giving the baby what is best for it, I think losing a sleep is the choice.

https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2015/05/14/ten-reasons-to-not-sleep-train-your-baby/

I really like what I'm reading on this sarahockwell-smith.com site.

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6 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Right. But the idea, as I've read it, is that sleep training is akin to teaching them that they cannot depend upon you. Sort of rings true to me. If it's a matter of parents getting enough sleep vs. giving the baby what is best for it, I think losing a sleep is the choice.

https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2015/05/14/ten-reasons-to-not-sleep-train-your-baby/

I really like what I'm reading on this sarahockwell-smith.com site.

They can depend on me when needed.  They need to learn to depend on themselves.  I won't always be here.  

I'll pass on most of this.

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2 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

We are talking about infants here, right?

I assumed so with regard to sleep training.  The OP covers a range of years, though.  My answer doesn't change.

Edited by Grunt

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They start from a place of connection and believe that all behaviour stems from how connected the child is with their caregivers.

Sounds good.

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They give choices not commands (“would you like to brush your teeth before or after you put on your pyjamas?”).

At best, this is a typical redirection strategy. A darker view would paint this as open manipulation. Because in fact, the child is required to brush his teeth and put on his pajamas (or pyjamas, or pwjamas, or pγjamas, or generally p[X]jamas where [X] is replaced with the vowel, semivowel, consonant, or other letter, symbol, rune, or emoji of your preference). The "choice" you are offering is trivial, and amounts to tricking the child into thinking he's doing things of his own volition. Why not just be honest and say, as the parent, "Do these things"?

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They take a playful approach. They might use playfulness to clean up (“let’s make a game of packing up these toys”) or to diffuse tension (having a playful pillow fight).

Sounds good.

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They allow feelings to run their course. Rather than saying “shoosh”, or yelling “stop!”, parents actively listen to crying. They may say, “you have a lot of/strong feelings about [situation]”.

To what end? Why must a child's emotions be acknowledged? Children are not short adults. They are savages. The purpose of parenting is primarily to convert these beautiful little savages into functional people capable of interacting in society.

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They describe the behaviour, not the child. So, rather than labelling a child as naughty or nice, they will explain the way actions make them feel. For example, “I get so frustrated cleaning crumbs off the couch.”

Sounds good.

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They negotiate limits where possible. If it’s time to leave the park, they might ask, “How many more minutes/swings before we leave?” However, they can be flexible and reserve “no” for situations that can hurt the child (such as running on the road or touching the hot plate) or others (including pets). They might say: “Hitting me/your sister/pulling the dog’s tail hurts, I won’t let you do that.”

I have no problem with this.

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They treat their children as partners in the family. A partnership means that the child is invited to help make decisions and to be included in the household tasks. Parents apologise when they get it wrong.

Agreed.

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They will not do forced affection. When Uncle Ray wants to hug your child and s/he says no, then the child gets to say what happens to their body. They also don’t force please or thank you.

I agree, but only with great reluctance. This is a consequence of the "boundaries" movement of the last two generations, which has some reasonable points but is defective in that one of the ways we help civilize our precious savages is by teaching them the correct forms of social expressions of affection. And yes, that might well mean giving Uncle Ray a hug, even though you barely know him and he hasn't shaved.

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They trust their children. What you might think of as “bad” behaviour is seen as the sign of an unmet need.

Hippy crap. Of course bad behavior is evidence of an unmet "need", where the "need" can be (and often is) as trivial or selfish as they want to do something they shouldn't or don't want to do something they should. Honestly, this is entirely self-evident to any honest adult with an IQ exceeding 75, and should not need to be explained.

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They take parental time-outs when needed. Before they crack, they step away, take a breath and regain their composure.

A very useful idea.

So my takeaway from this ten-point list is that it's a mixture of dead obvious things and stupid or even harmful crap, with perhaps an actual gem of insight thrown in at some point.

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9 minutes ago, Vort said:

A darker view would paint this as open manipulation.

Click the "like" button if you agree.  :mellow:

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3 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

When I first heard of this I thought, "This is what's wrong with the world today!" then I started reading up on it and I found that I actually liked a lot of ideas behind it. I do have concerns though. It feels like some really good truths blended with some half truths and even, perhaps, outright lies. Mind you, my reading up on it thus-far has been pretty scant...so my opinions might change. I know --- KNOW --- that there is bias in my on the matter that I have to look past, in that I tend to automatically feel like any new-fangled ideas are hippy claptrap.

So...I thought it would be worth discussing.

https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2015/08/20/what-is-gentle-parenting-and-why-should-you-try-it/

http://theconversation.com/gentle-parenting-explainer-no-rewards-no-punishments-no-misbehaving-kids-31678

http://www.jennifermcgrail.com/gentle-parenting-faq/

And feel free to Google (or Bing...don't want to be biased) and research.

Thoughts?

As soon as my child is born, I'm telling him he can either keep crying or have my respect.

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2 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I LOVE this. It sounds like the way I raised my children and I have no regrets. 

I didn't die of sleep deprivation, LOL. And my kids 22 to 11 always make me feel proud. They are fine young people. 

If you are considering this, I say go for it. You won't regret it. 

I wouldn't say I'm considering it so much as that the principles seem to ring true to me, for the most part, and fit that which I already believe. Not to say I haven't learned from what I've read so far. 

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It has been my observation as well as understanding that children learn differently than adults.  Adults are capable of complex logic as a method of learning.  Children are more see and do kind of learning.  I think the point I am trying to make is that regardless of whatever method of teaching a parent may be thinking they are utilizing – what children learn will be more what parents do and how parents behave than what parents may be thinking they are teaching – especially by lecture or force.

The adage of; do what I say and not what I do is – at least in my mind and observations – is a failed teaching method before it is finished.  I believe children are designed to learn by watching the behaviors of adults. 

The other observation is that each individual is exactly that – an individual.  No one can be forced to always behave kindly and considerate nor to always behave selfishly.   I believe that at some point a person will become what they are.

I have two older brothers that followed two very different paths of parenting.  One was very much involved in reward and punishment methods – the other as this thread somewhat recommends – gentle parenting.   In both cases the end results has been purity much indistinguishable with one caveat.  Up through adolescents the children of the reward punishment method were much better behaved and obedient.

 

The Traveler

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1 minute ago, Traveler said:

 

It has been my observation as well as understanding that children learn differently than adults.  Adults are capable of complex logic as a method of learning.  Children are more see and do kind of learning.  I think the point I am trying to make is that regardless of whatever method of teaching a parent may be thinking they are utilizing – what children learn will be more what parents do and how parents behave than what parents may be thinking they are teaching – especially by lecture or force.

The adage of; do what I say and not what I do is – at least in my mind and observations – is a failed teaching method before it is finished.  I believe children are designed to learn by watching the behaviors of adults. 

The other observation is that each individual is exactly that – an individual.  No one can be forced to always behave kindly and considerate nor to always behave selfishly.   I believe that at some point a person will become what they are.

I have two older brothers that followed two very different paths of parenting.  One was very much involved in reward and punishment methods – the other as this thread somewhat recommends – gentle parenting.   In both cases the end results has been purity much indistinguishable with one caveat.  Up through adolescents the children of the reward punishment method were much better behaved and obedient.

 

The Traveler

4

This has been my experience as well.  

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

I have two older brothers that followed two very different paths of parenting.  One was very much involved in reward and punishment methods – the other as this thread somewhat recommends – gentle parenting.   In both cases the end results has been purity much indistinguishable with one caveat.  Up through adolescents the children of the reward punishment method were much better behaved and obedient.

I believe you are mistaken about what "gentle parenting" is. I quote:

"Gentle Parenting embraces discipline as a vital part of parenting. The simple difference is that gentle discipline is age appropriate, positive, respectful, empathic and intelligent."

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8 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I believe you are mistaken about what "gentle parenting" is. I quote:

"Gentle Parenting embraces discipline as a vital part of parenting. The simple difference is that gentle discipline is age appropriate, positive, respectful, empathic and intelligent."

Sure, but then they go on to describe things that aren't necessarily discipline.

Edited by Grunt

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@Vort I had typed up a point by point response, but then I lost it. Grr.

But the process really ended up helping me refine my response anyhow, so here's the refined overall response:

The core idea that is useful to me is that we parent by being instead of telling. This is particularly important in that "telling" is a form of being -- if that makes sense. So if we yell "Knock it off" when our children misbehave, we teach our children to yell "Knock it off" when something isn't as they feel it should be. And that's really what works for me. If I say, patiently, "wow, you sure feel strongly about this" when my child is throwing a fit it's less about the child and more about ME. Do I want to be the kind of person who yells or who stays patient? And if I am the type of person who is patient, does it not teach my child patience?


The idea of not viewing your unaccountable children as "bad" is also quite insightful to me. We do this naturally with newborns. When they cry they're not "bad", they are simply newborns and that's what they do when facing discomfort. Well...toddlers, when facing discomfort, throw tantrums. But for some (and even in my mind) when they begin to walk and talk we tend, I believe, in many cases to jump that consideration forward in time and interact with them as if they are capable of reasoning at adult levels on some of those things. "You're embarrassing yourself." "You're just making it worse." "If you don't stop you're going to face the consequences." Etc., etc. 

And it seems to me that it's as much about peace in the home as it is about anything. So addressing the child in ways that avoid conflict and trauma comes across to me as useful to that end as long as the end result and teaching are not harmed otherwise. So starting with a, "would you like to do this or this first?" type approach because it helps avoid the screaming fit strikes me as very useful indeed.

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11 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Like?

Choices and complaining, not direction and causation.  "I get so tired cleaning crumbs off the couch".  Really?  Then tell your kids to clean up after themselves.  Better yet, food gets eaten at the table, not on the couch.

But that's just me.

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10 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Of all the things that ring true to me of gentle parenting, this is what rings the truest:

"It is parenting without selfishness."

This I agree with, but that doesn't mean you need to lack discipline and direction.  

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59 minutes ago, Grunt said:

This I agree with, but that doesn't mean you need to lack discipline and direction.  

It strikes me that you are reading things into the idea and then criticizing those ideas. I have, for example, no intention of failing in discipline and direction in my family, in spite of the fact that doing so in a kind and careful manner registers with me as a good idea. When someone comes along and translates that desire into no discipline and direction it rings pretty hollow.

The concept seems pretty simple at it's core related to discipline -- search for methods that keep the peace. That has no bearing on the actual reality of guidance and control one maintains in the home. It is a how, not a what, as I read it. Therefore, a response that such-n-such method would be less effective would come across as legitimate in my thinking. A response that discipline and direction are being abandoned flat out ignores the concepts expressly taught within the idea. Which makes it seem like you haven't really looked at what's being suggested but are just cherry picking phrases to critique with no real understanding.

I don't doubt there are specific things worthy of critique in any idea (with the exception, of course, of Christ's Gospel), but when a concept teaches a different method of accomplishing some end, to simply write it of as a theory of abandonment of that end rather than actually discussing the method itself doesn't merit much consideration it seems.

The name "gentle parenting" is weak-sauce. It would be better name, in my opinion, "Christ-like parenting". Treat your children the way Christ would. It's really as simple as that to me. Do all the specific methods work? Who knows. Are they all perfect solutions? Most certainly not. Are the suggested examples all ideal translations of the core concepts? Doubtful at best. But to claim that a practice of generally responding and interacting with your children in a kind way, finding kind words and phrasing, showing patience and respect, and generally making strong efforts to keep the peace, equates to no discipline and direction? -- that claim does not resonate with me.

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

Choices and complaining, not direction and causation.  "I get so tired cleaning crumbs off the couch".  Really?  Then tell your kids to clean up after themselves.  Better yet, food gets eaten at the table, not on the couch.

I think looking past the specific example to the concept is worth consideration. That specific response may or may not get any certain kid to learn and/or do better at life. But the idea is to interact with your children with kindness, and "GET YOUR BUTT OFF THE COUCH!" does not suit the bill in my thinking. The passive aggressive suggestion in the specific phrase you've quoted doesn't sound ideal to me either. But that doesn't negate the entire concept.

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3 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

It strikes me that you are reading things into the idea and then criticizing those ideas. I have, for example, no intention of failing in discipline and direction in my family, in spite of the fact that doing so in a kind and careful manner registers with me as a good idea. When someone comes along and translates that desire into no discipline and direction it rings pretty hollow.

 

2

I'm not reading into anything.  I was quoting directly from one of the links you presented.

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