Last year’s Carnival of Gentle Discipline was a wonderful celebration of gentle parenting (check it out if you haven’t read all the wonderful posts!) and we are back this year with more wonderful essays, stories and more!
This year’s Carnival brings the launch of this new website – ParentingGently.com. You can read more about the genesis of Parenting Gently here (and how my work life spilled over into my blog life). I hope this site can be a safe place to share gentle parenting questions and answers from mothers just like you. Gentle Parenting philosophy is not the dominant paradigm in our culture so it is no wonder that most of us are new to this method of parenting. It is easy sometimes to convince people that a gentle approach to discipline is a GREAT IDEA but many people ask “ok, what now?” If you agree that punishment is just not working where do you go from there? One of the purposes of this site is to help with the details as well as the philosophy. It is a place to come when you have a real world situation and you want peer advice on how to handle it.
This year we have 3 wonderful giveaways and a discount in the Parenting Gently shop! I will feature one of the giveaways each day during the Carnival so check back to see what goodies are being given away!
Art by Katie Berggren
Our first giveaway is an 8×10 print of a painting by Katie Berggren. I fell in love with Katie’s work the first time I saw it because it captures so well the emotions of motherhood. I also find it interesting that her descriptions of her work always sound to me like a very gentle parenting approach. For example, from her website;
“As a mother and a painter, I am compelled to create honest, emotional pieces that stylize the intimate moments of life. I delight in capturing the visible affection between mother and child in a dance of paint on canvas. My compositions play with how two or more figures can fold together within an atmosphere of movement, energy and sparkle.
There is a daily conflict for a mother of young children. For me it is a challenge that reawakens every morning as I balance my desire to be a patient, graceful mother and at the same time fulfill an instinctive urge to bring forth the creations of my soul and realize my dreams.
Capturing and releasing are two reasons I paint – to capture a fleeting moment, and to release an emotion. The process of painting allows me to connect with the world around me. But, perhaps most important, it is the way I model to my children the value of following their dreams and exploring their gifts.”
I used her painting Home in the Carnival badge you see above. I love how the mother envelopes the children and how the children are making eye contact with the viewer as if to say “love me”. You can see two of my other favorites here: Crush and Like Minded.She also has these wonderful glass pendants, cards, and inspiration books of her art.
She has donated TWO 8×10 so we’ll have TWO winners!
To enter, Join ParentingGently.com by registering here.
After you register you can earn additional entries the following ways:
- Follow Parenting Gently on Facebook.
- Follow Parenting Gently on Twitter.
- Post a question on ParentingGently.com
- Post an answer on ParentingGently.com
Rules: Each entrant can have 5 total entries. Entries are combined for a single drawing for all prizes. I will pick the winners through Random.org after the contest closes on 7/1/11 and send an email notification after the fourth of July. Use a valid email address in the registration form so I can contact you if you win.
In addition to the giveaways there is a sale going on in the Gentle Discipline section of the shop! The Gentle Parent design and the Growing Gently design are 20% off until July 10th! I just got a Growing Gently t-shirt for my daughter and it is so cute! One day at the park and someone already asked about it – what a great conversation starter!
Stay tuned tomorrow and Thursday to hear about our other giveaways – one is a “gentle discipline toolbox” and the other is a toy for your child that teaches them about their emotions. Very exciting stuff!
Ok, enough with the pleasantries – on with the Carnival!
Practical Tips for Gentle Discipline
I thought we’d start the week off with several authors who have written posts with great real life examples of gentle parenting. First up is Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog who tells us to Watch Your Language; There are children around! Last year, Mrs. Green reminded us to use the word YES! more often. This year she reminds us of a word we should use less: NO!
- “Language is one of our most powerful tools. We can speak words of love or words of hatred. How we speak to our children becomes part of the foundation on which they build their lives. Fill them with loving, positive, empowering words and they have a platform on which to build confidence, self esteem, motivation and self love.”
What we need to do is reframe our language to ask for what we do want instead of what we don’t.
- “TRY THIS: Instead of saying ‘Don’t make a mess’ try ‘let’s tidy your room.’”
Mrs. Green’s post is chock full of specific advice and how to implement it. This is literally advice you can implement today! What are you waiting for?
Pearl in Oyster builds on this idea through correcting negative behavior by showing what they *can* do instead of enacting arbitrary consequences and punishment. In her post, Rubber Meets the Road, she says,
- I don’t believe that punishment (doing something TO C as a negative reinforcement with the purpose of making her hurt or feel bad about what she has done/said with the intention that she might then avoid doing whatever it was again) ever needs to be one of my tools.
Instead she uses playful parenting, scripting, and do overs.
- What I can do at this point is teach her to redirect the aggressive energy she feels into a more socially acceptable channel.
I don’t want to give it away but you have to hear her very practical examples! She also addresses the difference between time-out and, what I call time-in. Once again – very applicable techniques you can add to your gentle repertoire today.
The Hippie Housewife continues with her post Gentle Discipline for Toddlers where she shares her top 5 tips for toddlerhood. Her first tip “Don’t take it too seriously” has invaluable advice for parents struggling with the sometimes frustrating job of parenting toddlers,
- Take a deep breath. This is just a stage; it will pass. They shriek because they can’t talk. They melt down because they don’t know what else to do with these huge feelings. They persist because they want what they want and don’t yet have the developmental ability to reason much beyond that. The more worked up you get, the more they feed off of your negative energy, so take that deep breath and stay calm.
Amen! I know this will be my new mantra to help me center in moments of frustration. Click over to read her other wonderful tips.
Lastly, Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now talks about an oft puzzling aspect of parenting – the negative effects of praise and rewards – and how Montessori approaches the issue.
- As a matter of fact, telling our children how smart and talented they are can create the opposite of what we want. It can make our children afraid to attempt new things, afraid of failure, afraid to not meet everyone’s expectations. What does the research suggest? When we praise, it’s best for the praise to be related to the effort our children made. For praise to be effective, it also needs to be specific and sincere.
She provides 5 specific tools that Montessorians use to meet this goal that we can all start using.
I hope this first day of the Carnival gave you some practical techniques that will help you practice parenting gently. If you have questions about specific issues, please submit your Question here!
Welcome to the 2nd Annual Carnival of Gentle Discipline!
Please join us all week, June 27-July 1, 2011, as we explore alternatives to punitive discipline. We have collected a wonderful array of articles and essays about the negative effects of punitive discipline methods, like spanking, and a myriad of effective alternatives. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following theme days:
July 1 – Gentle Discipline Resources