Tuesday, 1 March 2016

What is the Gentle Parenting "toolkit"?

The "toolkit" approach to a peaceful, non-punitive parenting style is very important to our community. Peaceful or gentle parenting is just a name, a label, a word that encompasses the strategy as a whole. It is not something you ARE or something you can BE. I want to be a more "gentle parent", I choose non-punitive discipline, I do not hit my child, I choose to give respect before I expect it. These are tools in my personal parenting toolbox. I'm not always 100% peaceful and gentle, though I always strive to be. 

This blog and community is a place to support each other by sharing gentle, peaceful, non-punitive "tools" to replace less "gentle" tools. The goal is to replace punitive tools with more effective and respectful ones that work for our own individual families. Using one tool and not another does not mean YOU as a parent are "not gentle" or "more gentle" than another. It's not a club you get to be in only if you follow all the rules and do everything the books say. We are here to provide strategies for each other and give support to help utilize tools that are a part of the "gentle parenting" toolbox. 

Maybe you believe that your "job" requires a hammer to complete - no one expects you to use a screwdriver. However, let's say someone else here had the same "job" and found that the screwdriver was far more effective long-term, and didn't result in a giant hole in the wall that needed fixing. It's expected that this person will speak up and tell you about their experience with the screwdriver. You're not expected to agree with them, and maybe ultimately you still choose the hammer for your toolkit. It doesn't mean you're banned forever from using said toolbox ever again. Or maybe next time you decide to try the screwdriver instead. 

My crazy metaphorical point here is that no one is either a "gentle parent" or not a "gentle parent". You don't have to be 100% anything. You are simply a parent here looking for tools to put in your own personal toolbox. Here, you will find support for "gentle" tools. Less gentle tools can be found elsewhere. That's not to say that just because you choose less gentle tools for your own toolbox means you don't get to be a part of this community and continue to discuss gentle and non-punitive tools. To think that you are either a "gentle parent" or you are not is completely backwards. We are all on a journey towards better parenting. 

Look at it from a new perspective: there are gentle parenting tools here for you to utilize and build your OWN toolbox with. Take what works for you, leave the rest, and just strive to be the best parent YOU can be. When you know better, you do better.

Read more about the "gentle parenting toolbox:

Dulce de leche: Our Toolbox

Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources: Practical, Gentle, Effective Discipline

Nurshable: Gentle Parenting Toolkits

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