Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gently parenting a preschooler - Carnival post

Please join us all week, June 25-June30, 2012, as we explore the world of gentle, effective parenting. We have new posts each day by talented authors providing us with insight into why gentle parenting is worth your time and how to implement it on a daily basis. We are also giving away several parenting book and other goodies from our sponsors this week. Please stop by and enter to win! This year's beautiful motherhood artwork is by Patchwork Family Art. Visit the store to see all her work.

I've heard it so many times "I was an attached parent when my kids were babies" but I often wonder... why did they stop? Often it seems it because people assume that attachment parenting means being overindulgent. But it isn't that at all.

Instead, we need to parent gently. I call attachment parenting, "listen to your gut, gentle parenting." We all have our struggles. Whether it is balance, or the yelling voice comes out or we may even have it in our mind that "I was spanked, would just once be okay"? When our babies become toddlers, they start getting into things and it is easy to redirect or to remove the item, but at the preschool age, there is such a sense of SELF and they actually have some abilities!

During this time it is so easy to break a child's spirit. It is easy to become detached or to yell when they're trying to parent their younger sibling or if they're attempting something you're just not ready for them to do.

It is in this time when we, as parents, need to think of how to continue to be gentle in our approach to our kids. I do not want to be an overbearing parent, and I want my children to learn boundaries on their own, but at times it is hard to know that balance.

I find that "prep" is key. If I prep my 4 year old for what is happening next, things always go easier. Whether it is warning that a friend may not be able to play that day or that I'll need her to have her listening ears on so we can get to the park before friends leave, prep and communication are always key.

The old adage, "Lack of preparation on YOUR part does not necessitate an emergency on MY part"....?" definitely comes into play here. The fact that my daughter asks when we're getting in the car, "are we running late" definitely means I've done my share of not preparing enough to do what we need to do. Luckily I've surrounded myself with mostly likely minded parents so when I'm meeting our friends... they understand.

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