How I would parent was not something I ever planned or thought too much about before I had my children but as soon as they were born, I knew what kind of mother I was.
I am a gentle parent. People can often get that confused with a pushover but a pushover I am far from. My children learn right from wrong and they are told when they are not behaving appropriately. But I don’t shout, and I don’t raise my voice as a rule.
Unless I have to, which can also be confusing because if it is shouting to stop my child running across the road or if they are potentially in danger then you better believe I shout, but what is my child learning if I am shouting? I really believe nothing at all.
Here is why:
I hate it.
I hate shouting. In my opinion, there is no need for it. So, I can’t even imagine how shouting at a little person must be for them.
Recent studies show that shouting at your children can be just as harmful as hitting them. It is just as frightening for a child to be shouted at as it is to be hit.
It has the opposite effect.
If shouting at your children helps you
feel authoritative, we are sorry to say it doesn’t. It actually makes you look
weaker to your child as it can be perceived to be irrational and out of
It’s easier but not better.
People can sometimes mistake being a gentle parent as just being lazy and ‘letting them do what they want’. In fact, it is the opposite. Deciding not to raise your voice and to use alternative ways to deal with a difficult situation takes time and planning as well as self-control and patience and is certainly not taking the easy way out!
They are learning.
They are children. They are learning. Simple as that. Instead of shouting at your little one to clean up the mess they have made in the playroom, gently explain to them before they go into the playroom that they have to tidy up afterwards. This way when they forget (which they will) a gentle soft reminder may be all it takes.