I’d consider myself to be fairly relaxed in my approach to raising Otis, so happily went ahead and joined a ‘gentle parenting’ group on facebook for a bit of love, support, advice, you know the deal. Having been feeling a bit lonely and pining for adult conversation, it seemed like a good start.
Now, one could naturally assume that women who consider themselves to be ‘gentle’ parents, would in turn be ‘gentle’ adults. I’d found myself a group of fellow mamas, all in this together, taking every bump/hurdle/step in our stride.. Oh how mistaken I was! For a group of women banging on about the ‘fourth trimester’ (which by the way I totally support and believe in) and ‘not punishing their children’, ‘following their lead and supporting their choices’, they sure aren’t a supportive bunch! Apparently I should have read some sort of ‘gentle parenting’ manual before being allowed to ask an open ended question to a group of fellow mothers, and anyone who fails to understand said manual should be ridiculed and patronised on a public platform. Oh and incidentally, if you’ve ever considered using a naughty step, star chart or told your kids if they don’t behave they’ll be on Santa’s naughty list you are in fact, not ‘gentle’. And ‘not gentle’ according to Microsoft word synonyms makes you ‘aggressive’. Looks like I will be following the ‘aggressive’ parenting format then, who knew!
Incidentally, my question was around bed times and when you should start them, what they should include, how you go about them? My post clocked up an impressive 46 responses in a mere 20 minutes.. maybe I should post this on there, it would do wonders for my blog hits! Rather than any helpful advice/ healthy debate/ general discussion, I was met with links to guidelines about how my child will Die of SIDS if I leave him unattended; comments on how I should be exclusively breastfeeding and other such judgemental and unhelpful responses. I should point out at no point did I ever mention leaving him unattended, which even if I did he’d be not further than 6m away from me- as that is the entire width of our flat.. and I also am breastfeeding.. exclusively..but not sure why I’m defending myself! Err hey! First time mama over here? I’ve never actually done this before.. maybe we could all try applying this ‘gentle parenting’ technique to how we treat each other? This is totally ringing of crappy magazines pointing out how fat a celebrity is on one page and over leaf running an article about how we should love our bodies.. but in parenting form. ‘Our children are angels and deserve nothing but love.. but the rest of human kind? Oh sod them, they’re all idiots who don’t need love!’
So,apparently ‘gentle’ doesn’t mean ‘gentle’ at all. Where’s the support mamas! I’m going to have to start my own parenting movement.. Solidarity parenting!
Think I’ll just call my own mum next time I need advice. I turned out alright afterall.
Oh and ps. I left said facebook group. Positive vibes only.