Sunday, January 9, 2022

Gentle Parenting Examples: Natural Consequences

 I wanted to expand on gentle parenting because a big component of it is having conversations. These conversations cannot be too complex or too minimal, there is a goldilocks zone. What has worked for my family is the use of natural consequences, or events that can or will happen if the behavior is not changed.

So much of Montessori revolves around natural consequences, and not giving more to the mind than you give to the hand. And that's why right now, with limited attention spans, natural consequences are the way to get my children engaged and cooperating. 

My toddler's word recognition is amazing, his attention span not so much. So everything must be short, sweet and uncomplicated. My eldest is starting to dabble in imaginative play as preschooler are known for. And if a conversation is not too direct, a dinosaur, an elf, or a dragon will enter the narrative.

To me, the bones of gentle parenting are boundaries, natural consequences, specific options, and empathy. While I do not know what boundaries my kids may come across in their schools  or other environments, I do know that natural consequences are typically the same, when they are natural? Boundaries are constructs that we make as people, natural consequences are not. I cannot make a glass unshatter itself because I did not mean to drop it. 

I think this is the best and easiest route because kids are generally interested in the natural consequences of the world. And these natural consequences are independent of what I may think on any given day. By introducing natural consequences into gentle parenting, the kids know that you are not just making up the rules as you go, but are helping your child live in a dynamic and exciting universe.


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