Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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As you might remember, I sold my husband on the merits of cloth-diapers and bed-sharing. Now I want to sell him on gentle discipline. But it’s a lot more complicated and less cut-and-dried and more emotional than either of those.

Gentle discipline is the part of natural parenting I find most difficult but it may be the most important. Gentle or positive discipline is non-violent, solution-focused, respectful and based on child development principles. It’s challenging but can also be joyful.

I want to get better at gentle discipline to improve my relationship with my children and also to model it for my husband, Mark, so he can adopt it and improve his relationship with them. I want us to work as a team to raise children who are able to make good choices and understand why they are making them rather than because someone punished them for doing the opposite. There are many times when he says or does something discipline-wise that I do not agree with. But I don’t say anything because I think contradicting a co-parent in front of a child is even worse than anything he might be saying or doing.

Early this year we had been working on the Time-In method of discipline. It didn’t really stick. We had in the past tried 1-2-3 Magic but also didn’t follow through with it. I was focusing too much on the rules and techniques instead of on the logic and reasons for the rules. Just like when we tell a child, “Stop pouting,” we are focusing on the rule instead of on the reasons behind it. So if I, as an adult, can’t stick with this type of program, how can I expect a 5- or 3-year-old to respond to rules without reason?

I’m not saying I never lose my temper with the kids, and if you follow me on twitter, you probably know I get frustrated with them nearly every day. But I have been trying lately to understand why they are doing or saying what they are. I have been trying to find the root of their misbehavior rather than just yelling “knock it off!”

I want to be able to show my husband how well this method works so he never again needs to say, “I don’t care what you want right now. I am so tired of ‘I want I want I want,’” like he did as I was typing this post and Grace was saying she wanted to sleep in our bed instead of hers.

He’ll never again whine back at Grace so she can “hear what she sounds like.”

He’ll never again say, “Connor! What is the matter with you?”

He’ll never again say, “No, you are not hungry. You just ate.”

I know he won’t take the time to read all the blog posts I’ve read about this subject or read Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason, as I want to. So I need to become a gentle discipline expert so I can model it and make a happier, calmer, more loving household for all of us.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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