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I'm Not A Gentle Parent, Am I Bad?
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
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    "To each his own"; "you do you". These are phrases we hear and say often in these divisive times. Parenting has taught us that what works for us might not work for others and that's absolutely okay. 

    But what about when a particular parenting style grows in popularity and suddenly seems to be on everyone's lips and comments? 

    Over at Smart Parenting Village, many of our members have shared their success stories and struggles over gentle parenting and it's made other users wonder, is there something wrong with my approach if I’m not a gentle parent? 

    Nothing against gentle parenting, but it's hard

    An anonymous parent shared her unfiltered thoughts on the popularity of the parenting style:

    “Nagiging topic recently ang ‘gentle parenting’, na parang dapat i-normalize ang gentle parenting. I have nothing against gentle parenting, as much as I can tina-try ko din sya pero sobrang hirap po.

    Iba iba naman po kasi tayo ng sitwasyon sa buhay. Kahit ipilit natin na gusto natin na ang approach sa mga anak natin eh gentle, mahirap pa din," she says.

    Madali kasi para sa iba na sabihin na dapat kung may problema or issue sa mga sarili natin, na yun muna ang unahin."

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    She adds, "Yes mga mamsh, easier said than done dahil again iba iba po tayo ng sitwasyon sa buhay.”

    Walang magulang na gustong nasasaktan ang mga anak nila

    Anonymous mom also added that just because she sometimes shouts at or spanks her children, it doesn’t mean she does it to hurt her kids deliberately. 

    “Ako aaminin ko, nasisigawan at napapalo ko anak ko pero gusto ko ba yun? Walang magulang na gustong nasasaktan ang mga anak nila."

    To remind other parents in the group, she says “Lahat naman tayo, gusto i-try yang gentle parenting, pero hindi siya para sa lahat.”

    Please be considerate of others’ challenges and realities, she asks as she ends her original post.

    Kaka-normalize niyo ng gentle parenting, for me to be honest, parang feeling ko hindi ko napapalaki ng tama anak ko kasi hindi ako gentle. Parang may mali sa akin."

    Kaya next time, let’s be gentle naman po. Be a gentle parent sa mag kapwa natin parent.”

    The post has received 117 comments before it was turned off by the poster, who remained kind and open-minded amid varied comments. 

    Iba-iba tayo, let’s learn and respect

    This recent post on Smart Parenting Village is a reminder for all parents that though there are differences in styles and approaches, parents are the same in their simple wish to raise their children well. 

    She writes in a comment to her own post, “We all have the same goal, ang lumaki ng maayos ang mga anak natin.”

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    It is a reminder to allow differences in choices and to respect them. One family’s choice may not be the same as another’s, and there is no need to create a ‘Who did it better’ competition.

    Anonymous mom adds a wake-up call as a comment to her post after other parents have replied: “Sa ibang mommies dito na para bang sinisisi kayo dahli na-guilty kami, hindi po ganun yun.

    Hindi niyo po kailangan maging defensive. Hindi naman namin sinabi na kasalanan niyo. Hindi na rin ba kami pwedeng maoffend? Mali ba yung ganun yang maramdaman namin?

    You are advocating gentle parenting yet hindi niyo kayang maging gentle and kind sa ibang mommies na hindi nagofollow ng way niyo. Again you can always choose to be kind.”

    Parents helping parents

    “Masyado nang magulo ang mundo, wag na natin dagdagan! Char!” she says to end her final comment.

    Whether you call yourself a gentle parent, an authoritarian parent, or a parent who mixes aspects from the different parenting styles, let us be reminded that raising children does not have to be a competition.

    May we set the example to our children of kindness and helping each other out, with being the same as the least of our criteria.

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