Gentle Parenting – Am I Crazy for Giving in to Them?

When I became a mother I quickly learned that there needs to be a fairness in all that we do. The idea of leaving my baby to cry themselves to sleep broke my heart and it was never something I could do. That was when I realised I was destined to go down the gentle parenting route.

Yes, I am the parent. And yes, what I say goes. But sometimes it isn’t that easy. Gentle parenting works for us.

Parenting is no easy task, but gentle parenting is what works best for our family. I worry people think I'm simply giving in to my kids though.

There are so many different variants of gentle parenting, and although I am a bit of a shouty mom, that’s as ‘strict’ as I get. If Keira wants to wear the pink trousers instead of the blue ones, I’ll let her. If she wants a spoon instead of a fork, she can have the spoon. If she wants to sit on the sofa to eat her dinner instead of the table, that’s okay with me.

And as for Joshua. Well, if he wants a cuddle during the night to help him go back to sleep, I’ve got my arms open. If he wants his dummy during the day (when he doesn’t really need it), he can have it. If he wants to run through the mud whilst in his best clothes, that’s fine too.

Why? Because they are their own person. I’m not here to force them to do something they don’t want to do. I’m not here to tell them they can’t wear or do something they want to. I’m here to support them, to guide them. I’m here to encourage them to be who they want to be, not who I want them to be.

Of course, in a perfect world they would just do whatever I’ve told them to do or wear what I’ve got ready for them. But that isn’t how children work. I don’t allow someone to tell me what to wear so why should I force that upon my children?

So if Keira wants to wear a her Paw Patrol dress-up costume around the shops, she can. If Joshua throws a tantrum while in his pushchair because he wants to get out and walk, of course I’ll let him (given that it’s safe enough to do so).

Yes, I shout. Yes, I get angry and yes, I discipline my children, but there’s no naughty step. No one gets sent to their bedroom. Toys don’t get taken away (well only if they’re both arguing over the same toy and won’t share). They’re allowed to have a tantrum and to scream and cry. That helps to release some of their frustration. I know when I’m upset or angry a good cry helps me feel better. I’m there to help them through it, a shoulder for them to cry on. Someone to give them a cuddle when they’re upset that they can’t do or have whatever it is. That, to me, is gentle parenting. 

Parenting is something we all do differently, and of course we do what is best for our family. There is no right or wrong as long as everyone is loved, healthy and safe. Gentle parenting is my way of allowing them to have their own free will. 

So the next time you see my children having a tantrum because they don’t want to do something and I “give in”, know that I’m not simply giving in. I am allowing them to be their own person and to have their own mind.

Parenting is no easy task, but gentle parenting is what works best for our family. I worry people think I'm simply giving in to my kids though.

  1. Lucy | Leaning In

    27 February, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Yes, Yes Yes!! I'm totally with you. Before I became a mum I knew nothing about gentle or attachment parenting or that there were styles of parenting. But I very quickly found myself having similar thoughts to you. Yes, they're little people and still learning (hey, aren't we all!); but they are their own people and shouldn't be forced into a certain way of being because that is how we think they should be.
    Kids don't know they're 'supposed to' sit at the table for dinner or sit in the pram when crossing the road.
    I'm with you 100% on this! 🙂

  2. Amy Downes

    27 February, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Lovely way of looking at it! I think there is a difference between letting them wear what they like (which is ace) and letting them eat their dinner on the sofa (I'm hoping to encourage family mealtimes at the table) but the most important thing is that we all do what works best for us. Thank you for reassuring me that rocking my boy to sleep when he wakes at night is the right thing for me! #bigpinklink

  3. Muffin top mummy blog

    27 February, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I really like this post. I always thought I'd be super strict as my mum was pretty harsh and I was just used to it that way – but like you, seeing my daughter cry breaks my heart and I want her to be a happy, independent person. I think you're absolutely right…put yourself in their shoes and think how you'd feel if you were told not to be angry when you clearly wanted to be – it doesn't work that way does it!? #marvmondays

  4. Anne Stone Sweet

    28 February, 2017 at 11:04 am

    No, you are not crazy, it's a lovely way of parenting. I tend to pick my battles, I won't fight with them over what they want to wear, but if they are asking for something I really don't want them to have then I will say no and stick to it. One lesson I've learnt, having 5 kids, is that 'No' must mean 'No' and you have to stick to it. #TuesdayTreasures

  5. Honest Mum

    28 February, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Beautiful post and so important to parent our way. I totally relate to this c

  6. Lianne Thebrunettesays

    28 February, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I love the fact that you admit youre a shouty mum as I am too, but I agree with most of this post, it's important to let them be them! #tuesdaytreasures

  7. The Squirmy Popple

    28 February, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I give into my daughter all the time. Unless what she wants is dangerous or otherwise a bad idea (like cookies for breakfast), she can have it. Why? I've found that with parenting, you need to pick your battles, and most things aren't worth arguing about. If she's happy, I'm happy. #DreamTeam

  8. Alana - Burnished Chaos

    28 February, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I wish I could be more like this. When it comes to what they wear and simple things like that I'm happy to let them decide but when it comes to tantrums I'm quite strict. I do find I have to keep reminding myself sometimes that they're only little and struggling with strong emotions x

  9. Mrs Tubbs

    1 March, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    We try and pick our battles. Sometimes you have to be strict to keep them safe or teach them how to play nicely with others. Other times, it's no big deal to let it go. Each family has to work things out for themselves.

  10. Jo - Pickle and Poppet

    1 March, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I am a bit mixed on parenting, I like you will let my son pick out what he wants to wear, he can play with what he wants. If he is upset then he is allowed to be upset, however we have now reached a point where he has been shouting and hitting (only me) Nothing worked, the only thing that has worked to get him to listen is to warn once and then remove a toy if he carries on but it is working. It isn't something that I like to do as I really think he needs to express himself but hitting me or himself isn't OK and so at that point I take a firmer approach.
    I think that we have to be flexible with our parenting and adapt to the situation. #TuesdayTreasure

  11. Jeremy Barnes

    1 March, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I think there is a balance to be found between picking your battles and reminding them that they need to listen. Its not always easy to find #tuesdaytreasures

  12. Angela Webster

    1 March, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Great post Amy, I think I use a mixture of methods for parenting as I find that's what suits all our needs. In parenting I truly believe there is no one fits all method, you do what you know feels right for you and your children. Thank you for linking up with #TuesdayTreasures

  13. Random Musings

    2 March, 2017 at 12:51 am

    I think it depends on the situation. Sure if it's something harmless like wearing a weird outfit or something then that's one thing, but I do think there has to be a line, otherwise children will be in for a huge culture shock when they're a bit older and got to school and things and realise actually they can't just do what they want. Having said that, I think it's up to each individual parent to find what works for them
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  14. Lydia C. Lee

    2 March, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I guess it depends what you are worrying about – what they wear, who cares. I'd insist they eat at the table because I'd want the meal to be social. I don't think that's being strict. You end up having to undo any bad habits that form, and that gets harder the older they get. I know this because I was perhaps too gentle…then you see it as a problem later on. Ha!

  15. Lydia C. Lee

    2 March, 2017 at 7:52 pm


  16. Talya

    3 March, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I think the one thing I've learnt as a mum it's to trust your instincts so you do what you think is best whether that's gentle parenting or otherwise and that's really all that matters my love. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this xoxo

  17. Meagan -

    3 March, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Completely agree with you. Gentle parenting is the way forward, I was reading an article about a child's brain…the frontal cortex is not as developed which means they are unable to have understand why you are not supposed to do certain things or stop themselves from doing them as it is the part of the brain that is empathetic. So the naughty step isn't really beneficial for them, and essentially with the naughty step they are learning to internalise their emotions. Anyway I am the same as you and it's nice to read about your thoughts and your experience! Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  18. Bridie By The Sea

    5 March, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Oh I am totally with you here! I figured very early on that the carrot works better than the stick for Emma and gentle parenting is certainly the more positive option. Sounds like you are doing a fab job! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam x

  19. Shannon C

    6 March, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Amy! Shannon here!

    I just fancy your parenting approach. I totally believe in letting a child develop their personality and showing them its okay to be their own person. Gentle parenting is so rare and Its nice to see that someone actually still practice such parenting skills. I'm currently expecting my first child and this is so inspiring.

    xx Shannon (new reader) //

  20. Mummy In a TuTu

    8 March, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I think we all have our own opinions on how we should and shouldn't raise little ones. At the end of the day as long as they are happy, fed and cared for, how we get there is our own choice!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  21. Web MDiva

    16 March, 2017 at 7:29 am

    I don't even parent my own two children the same way, so parenting across the board is as different as day and night. I think you have to cater to them as individuals. Momming is hard, so whatever works!


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