Agreeing to Disagree: Gentle Parenting Despite Criticism from Loved Ones

Gentle parenting isn’t always serene. It isn’t always holding hands while dancing and singing…although sometimes it is. It is also sometimes messy. And loud. And it takes tremendous patience and inner strength to see young children for more than just their behavior in the moment. It takes unconditional love. It takes trust that this generation CAN be different. We can raise children who are free to feel and express their emotions without pain, shame, and fear. We can leave this world a little more gentle, a little more tolerant, a little more accepting of others through their highs and lows.

 My dad called me later that evening, full of regret for what he had said. I honestly told him that he did hurt my feelings, but I was glad he was authentic with me. Because when we speak our truth, it gives us the ability to openly know each other better, to reflect on our own inner truth, and to resolve to either continue down the path we have chosen or to alter course. For me and my family, I am continuing to mother as peacefully and gently as possible, regardless of the uncomfortable feelings and conversations that will inevitably come my way in the process.