Let the Carnival Begin!
Welcome to the 3rd Annual Carnival of Gentle Discipline! I’m so excited to start this week of great advice and inspiration for parenting gently. I really find this week to be a restoritive retreat for those of us parenting in a way that we probably aren’t familiar with from our childhoods and which the media is always telling us is a bad idea! Getting together for this week and talking about gentle ways of parenting really helps me stay on track! How about you?
If you’ve been here for the past Carnivals then you know I like to feature a motherhood artist. This year we got really lucky with the beautiful artwork of Ruth-Mary Smith of Patchwork Family Art (Etsy Shop). Here art is what led me to her but I found out her family, like mine, was a result of “non-traditional” family building. Here is her story;
Zoom back in time about 12 years. Dave and I had been planning a family for a long time but had been unable to fall pregnant ( eight years of story here I am zipping through).We decided to adopt our baby and looked into adoption. There was a long process to the time we finally were allocated our precious Jasmin from Taiwan! The story gets more blessed and more complicated but a couple of months after we were first allocated I fell pregnant! Double blessing! It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing to bring our Jasmin home. The government department here in Australia were concerned we couldn’t love the 2 babies ( unthinkable!!!) but after many tears and prayers we finally flew to Taiwan to collect our baby, then just 12 months old. Kiralee was born 6 weeks later. Life changing….
So we were a happy little family but had the idea that God wasn’t finished with us yet… a not complete feeling…. a ‘ there’s someone else out there’ feeling. We started looking into fostering with a view to adoption. We went to the seminar, had the social worker visit and filled in the application. We were told the wait would be around 18 months however on the day of approval they asked us “Are you ready to proceed?” So precious number three arrives in our life around 3 weeks later.
So we are our patchwork family. Formed for us in a way we didn’t expect, we are very blessed. When choosing the name Patchwork family Art I loved how that it tied together love of family with a suggestion of vintage ( cause I love that too!) I hope you enjoy my art work as I share love of motherhood and family with love of simpler times with you.
Isn’t that a beautiful story? I think it reminds me how precious this parenting gig is which is really the foundation of gentle parenting. Before we get started with today’s posts there is one other thing we do each year that I need to tell you about.
Getting Started with Gentle Discipline
Today and tomorrow’s posts are all about getting started with gentle parenting. Maybe you are wondering what gentle parenting is or you already know you like the idea but don’t know exactly what it means. These posts are for you.
from Samantha’s perspective, she didn’t really like me and told me that in just about every way she could. She always preferred to spend time with her Daddy. I would watch as he gave her undivided attention and played whatever she wanted. I was jealous and thought if I just didn’t have so many darn things to get done, I could do that too.
At the end of one of the days I had Samantha with me, I sighed and thought what a good day it had been. I only had to put her in time out 3 times and deal with major tantrums. And now Daddy was home and they were giggling happily as he was tucking her in. Something clicked for me and I realized that wasn’t really a good day. I was tired of being “mean Mommy”.
Our next two posst look at gentle parenting from a Christian perspective.* Dulce de Leche talks about Biblical Instructions for Discipline: How Should a Christian Parent?
What often gets lost in the focus on spanking, though, is that the Bible has a great deal to teach parents in other passages, too. One of the principles of gentle discipline is that instead of just telling our children what not to do, that we give clear, positive direction of what they should do instead. I believe God does that with His Word.
And I won’t spoil the surprise but head on over to see the biblical verses that talk directly about children and parenting.
Second, and similarly, is a post I wrote about nearly the same thing called Spare the Rod? Does the Bible Promote Spanking?. The scripture I look at deals less with parenting per se and more with the spirit of compassion impressed upon us by Jesus and how that relates to parenting.
Our next post is from Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and is called Want a Hug? I really love her post because it is something I struggle with daily. It is so easy to fall back into the parenting patterns we see all around us, and in my case was parented with. She challenges some of our assumptions about children which is really the foundation on which gentle parenting is built.
Before finding people with similar ideals when my son was almost 6 months, I never knew people who wanted to use gentle discipline. I have to work each and every time something comes up to react in a way I can be proud of. I don\’t often succeed. The point is that I keep trying.
The last post for today is by Amy from Presence Parenting writing for Natural Parents Network and is called 10 Principles of Unconditional Parenting which summarizes the ten principles from Alfie Kohn’s seminal book Unconditional Parenting. His book (which you could win in this week’s drawing) talks a lot about they why of unconditional parenting but his ten principles are simple and concise and infinitely implementable ideas. If you haven’t read his book this is a great peak and if you have it is a great reminder.
* Parenting Gently is actively seeking guest posts about gentle parenting and other cultures and religions. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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.