The hallmark of gentle discipline for me is to always treat the child with dignity and respect. The goal of any discipline situation is to maintain connection with your child and to also GUIDE your child. I do not advocate spanking, yelling, bribes, threats, or time-outs. There are MANY, MANY other tools to use once you understand the consciousness of the small child (and this is different than an adult consciousness!) I do not believe the small child is a miniature adult with less experience who just needs to be talked to in order to become reasonable. Talking, reasoning and explaining would often work with another adult, but frequently not with a small child!
My view of the child is that the child under the age of 7 lives in their body, so to approach discipline through ACTION (on your part – less words, more being there, more doing yourself what you want them to do as they will imitate you!). I also believe in holding the space, giving time and waiting for a response, for boundaries to be set and stuck to, setting priorities for what you engage in with your child (what is important in your family? Do you have a family mission statement?), having a strong rhythm with lots of outside time to carry you both and the use of lots of humor, play, imagination and movement.
The most important piece of discipline is YOU. What inner work are you doing to improve yourself as a parent? If you were in business and you had a goal to accomplish, you would lay out a plan of action in order to meet that goal. What action plan do YOU have to become a more connected parent, to become a better observer of your child, to make your home a more calming place? This blog is not about spoon feeding you, but giving you tools to inspire you in your parenting!
It is VITAL that you understand normal developmental stages and have realistic expectations. Having unrealistic expectations and not understanding that the child has NO relationship to time yet (this is where that rhythm comes in!) and not understanding that YOU need to slow down a bit when your children are small leads to many cases of parental anger.
There is hope! Start reading below and start on the path of being a more mindful parent!
THIS IS NOT AN ALL-INCLUSIVE LIST OF POSTS ON THIS BLOG! Please look under the categories in the category box for more! This is just a sampling!
WHERE TO START IF GENTLE DISCIPLINE IS NEW TO YOU:
DISCIPLINE AS AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP:
This is “Command, Don’t Demand” (I don’t know why the link shows up the way it does!) https://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/10/20/getting-past-fear/
If you have a favorite gentle discipline post that is not on this list, please do leave it in the comment box so I can add it!
Thanks and love,
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Hi there – just loving your site and how you have put into great guiding words and details how i strive to function as a parent. I am the editor of a Homebirth magazine in NewZealand and would like to know if i could put some of your comments about gentle discipline into the magazine. We focus on natural and gentle parenting/lifestyle and of course birthing. I didnt know how else to contact you so hope you get this – i look forward to hearing from you – blessings, Lisa
It is so helpful!
As a fellow wordpress blogger, I thought I would give you some help about the link issue: This is “Command, Don’t Demand” (I don’t know why the link shows up the way it does!) https://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/10/20/getting-past-fear/
Here is some info, if you want to change it:
The reason it is coming up as “getting past fear”…is because you may have used that title at one point, before deleting it and starting the new title.
To change this, you edit that particular post.
After the title where it says Permalink, there is a little button that says “edit”. This will bring up the link. Select all, then Delete it. Then push OK. This will supply you with a new link that incorporates the current title of the post.
(just make sure you change any old links you have on any posts and on this page)
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you Juggling Motherhood! I am going to try this out when I get a baby-free instance!
Thank you and blessings,
This is brilliant information. I’m just away to order a few of these books. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and understanding with us x
I thank you for your efforts in creation of this site. I know it is valuable to countless parents.
I hope to be a first time parent of a nine year old girl who has had a pretty tough life so far. My wife and I are Great Aunt and Uncle, and the child has been raised by a step-parent after being abducted by the father and taken to another state. We believe that we can help her return to being a happy child. That’s the short version.
I have found an abundance of good information on your site, and it is written with Love, so I will continue to use your site for help and understanding once we are allowed to help this child. Your “Peaceful Parenting for a Hectic World”, seems to echo what I have always believed about raising a child. I hope to get up-to-speed before the Judge makes his decision.
Again, I thank you for your site. I believe that every parent should check it out.
I have a 7-year old and a just turned 9-year old. I have made so many terrible mistakes and, although the boys went to a Waldorf early childhood program, I have undone much of what was taught there. We are low media, pro-nature, and I am very loving most of the time, but it’s the difficult moments that I have failed miserably at. Also, my husband and I just got a divorce, which the children have had to endure for three years.
My question is: what do I do now? When so much of what you advocate builds through time and is critical during the early developmental stages, what do I do when I’ve botched – really botched – the foundation of my children’s young lives? I’m not simply some over-achieving mom who has yelled a few too many times – I wish. There has been an extraordinary amount of mayhem, disorganization and out of control behavior.
My heart goes out to you; I am so sorry for your divorce – what a hard thing to go through! What stress! But, you have a vision and you can make a plan to reach your vision. Start with connection (put connection in the little search engine box and posts will come up) and rhythm. Rhythm will help carry you and your children. Healing from this is so possible, wherever there is life there can be healing! You can do this! Don’t give up!
Email me off the About page if you would like to talk more specifics!
So what are the stages? What are realistic expectations?
Glad you asked! There are a million posts by age that detail realistic expectations as well…I suggest you look by age under the “development” tab or you can also put in “realistic expectations” in the search engine box on this blog.
So glad you are here! Happy to have you,
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