Ah, let me just grab my megaphone and get onto my soapbox.
*I feel very strongly about this*
I will be screaming all of this into the void for the rest of my life.
My baby knows what she needs and it’s my job to listen to her and respect her.
I don’t know how we are in a place where “gentle parenting” even has a name and isn’t just called “parenting yet”. There shouldn’t really be another option, right? Either way, I’m happy society is moving in the right direction.
My daughter has a voice. She’s had a voice since she was in the womb. She would respond to different stimuli- cold water, Chipotle, light. Even before she was “here”, she’s been communicating with me.
My partner and I talked (and continue to talk) about how important it is for our daughter to understand consent and to know that her voice is hers.
I am not in her body, I don’t know what she needs. So, when she wakes up crying at 3 am for the eighth night in a row because she needs a sip of water – I’m not going to deny her water.
If she is rubbing her eyes an hour before her usual nap time, I put her to bed a little earlier. If she takes a few bites of her dinner and says “done”, then I believe that she’s done.
It’s these small moments that show her that I am listening and that I believe her.
Here are some ways we listen to our child.
- let her finish eating
- let her have more food
- let her nap when she’s tired
- respect her when she says “no” to a hug, kiss, etc.
- she doesn’t have to hug or be held by anyone if she doesn’t want to
That last one can be a little tricky, especially with family. Although she adores all of her family members, she doesn’t have to hug or be held by them if she doesn’t want to.
We are so grateful that our families respect her boundaries listen to her voice.
When we stop responding to our babies in the middle of the night, tell them they need to eat when they aren’t hungry, tell them they are “fine” when they tell us they feel sick, we are teaching them to go against their gut.
My baby has a gut. It’s hers. She has intuition. Kids are like dogs, they pickup on things adults do not. It’s my job as a parent to protect her gut and listen to her, to teach her how to use it.
Here are some things we do to keep her intuition intact:
- help her know the difference between a secret and a surprise
- tell her the difference between safe and unsafe touching
- tell her who to go to if she needs help
- remind her that mommy and daddy will always keep her safe
- remind her that there’s nothing she can do to make us stop loving her
I cannot wait for social media rules regarding parents and kids. I can’t wait for Instagram Coogan accounts.
I have this blog, I have social media. And I have a strict code of ethics when it comes to posting about my kid.
For the love of God, please stop posting bath pics. Stop telling strangers on the internet about potty training. Stop posting embarrassing videos, personal information, or school details.
Your child is a human being who ALREADY has thoughts and feelings.
Here are some of the ways we protect our child’s privacy:
- respecting when she doesn’t want her picture taken
- vigorously reviewing everything we post about her, including pictures
- not disclosing her medical information
- changing her privately rather than in front of people
- asking others to respect our wishes as far as posting pictures and information about her
I could go on and on.
I think it’s really important for all of us to take time every so often to reflect on the fact that kids are just smaller adults.
It’s important to review safety protocols and define respect for your family.
What are your thoughts?
What do you feel strongly about as a parent?
Let me know below.