Sunday, December 26, 2021

How Gentle Parenting Changed Me

 I am used to critical or malicious interactions being mistaken for “tough love.” 

And at first it seemed like my tough love upbringing paid off. I got awards, scholarships, stayed out of trouble, and was self-motivated and self-reliant. But there was a dark side to all of those “good on paper” achievements. Emotionally unhealthy situations were not a red flag as they should be each and every time. And I did not learn to be assertive until my mid-twenties. 

Now as a parent myself, I dove into gentle parenting methods, different early childhood education techniques, healthy discipline techniques, I must have listened to countless podcasts, read books and articles, and am constantly trying to provide a reality for my family that makes emotionally healthy households. It takes a village and lots of resources, only then does it become a choice. 

And it changed me for the better. In a way that’s better than I ever imagined. I started being gentle on myself. 

I realized my inner voice and inner monologue that I reserved for myself echoed emotional abuse and devaluing. Talk about bad boundaries. 

And that voice was definitely not good enough for my children. I developed a gentle parenting voice, with reason, concrete examples, and logic. This voice breathed in and exhaled slowly instead of getting angry. Is this my permanent voice? No. I sometimes regret speaking with fear instead of the tools above. So it’s a journey, but one that I’m happy with right now. 

This new mom voice is now how I’m starting to talk to myself in the inner monologue too. I’m being gentle because the previous voice wasn’t doing any good for me. This new inner voice reminds me that I shouldn’t waste my time to impress people committed to being disappointed in me. This inner voice has also taught me to value my effort instead of it’s efficiency or results.  


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