The gentle discipline is a big one... I feared my mother when I was young; her reaction to bad grades/misbehaving was generally a slap across the face, hair pulling, arm twisting, "stupid" etc. I see now how controlling she was, and I really worry that I will do the same with ds. There are days when every fiber of my body wants to control him, get him to operate on my schedule & needs; thankfully I can recognize my buttons and am able to fight this unhealthy impulse.
Are there other mamas with similar situations, i.e. you are raising your babes using AP philosophy in spite of the fact that you were not raised the same way?
Or are there mamas who were raised AP and will pass on that gift to their babes, too?
How's that for a non-answer? lol
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
I make a choice to use a more positive and gentle way to discipline based on the fact my parents didnt parent this way. I have some bitter memories and anger due to that. More so about my mother than father. Though as a teen I thought Dad was the worst in this area.
I do worry (and I know this is ridiculous), that despite my efforts, my kids will grow up as I did, feeling insecure and unloved. I feel so inadequate sometimes, like my love isn't worth anything.
When I feel like this, I just try to focus on the kids. I see them happy, feeling loved, and with good self esteem, it helps me feel like it's going to be okay.
The greatest joy of my life is waking up to see my kids in bed with dh and I, all safe and warm and peaceful.
My parents were controlling, manipulative, deceptive, emotionally neglectful and physically abusive. That's a really hard legacy to overcome and i find myself needing to be extra gentle with myself in order to be gentle with my son. It's almost like i'm nurturing my own inner child by being a caring, gentle, loving parent to my son.
Anyways, i guess my point is that this way of parenting isnt just beneficial for the kids, it's a growing process for the parent too.
I think my mother would have been AP if she haven't been so sick... but my father is really mainstream : (I have to say he's improving lately, opening his eyes to other ways of doing... and at least, he now respect what we do )
I'm wondering what our kids will say about their parenting later...
So then I had my dd and found AP. I knew from childhood what I would *not* do, but AP helped me to know what I *would* do. I come here for support and to learn. I sometimes lurk to get ideas from other moms. If if wasn't for this on-line community I would sometimes be lost. My dh supports me though, and we have lots of good parenting books to give us ideas.
My dd will pass on the AP gift I'm sure. I can tell by the way she treats animals and her dolls and us. I am not a very touchy person. I get uncomfortable with someone touching my arm in conversation, because I was only touched in a negative way if I was touched at all. My dd loves to touch to communicate. She will often come and sit next to me on the couch and hold my hand-- and she's only 26 mos. old. It makes my heart glad to know I've broken the cycle.
And you can too. It's tough, but you can do it. Lean on us for support when you need to. You are not alone. I know your first instinct sometimes is to parent the way you were parented, but then you are teaching yourself to be connected with your baby through AP. You are healing your family through your parenting.
I have no regrets or things I don't like about the way I was raised. My parents did what they felt was right for us. I do I feel is right for my family. It jut happens to not be the same as what they did.
In all honesty...I was spanked and such and I have no permanent scarring from it. My parents weren't abusive cause they spanked. They were fun and outgoing. I had the parents that everyone was jealous of And thats what I want. I want ds to grow up wanting us to do things as a family. I want to be parents that are parents but "cool parents"! Does that make sense?
I have learned from my parents mistakes & parent completely different than I was raised.. Having not been breastfed, (anyone elses mom uncomfortable w/ the sight of their daughter bf their granddaughter?) emotionally abused, 2 parents at work, growing up on processed food & soda & materialism, just a few examples of why I parent the way I do. From kindergarten on I was responsible for getting myself up for school & making my own breakfast & getting on the bus. I never ate a decent breakfast & was always late for school. I longed for a mother who was there & 2 parents who were happily married & longed for a family that was close. I overstepped many boundries because there was no emotional support. My parents worked very hard for material wealth so everything looked good on the outside. But the picture they had painted didn't represent the inside..
Growing up, my family was about as dysfunctional as they come. We didn't eat meals together, we didn't enjoy eachothers company & my parents instilled a sense of fear in my sister & I therefore we weren't able to go to them for support. I feel like I raised myself & was never really able to experience being a kid & enjoyed time spent w/ my friends families who were close.
Papa & I fell into ap w/o the knowledge that it existed. We began our parenting journey by wanting a natural childbirth, using cloth diapers, bf, cosleeping, babywearing, organic food etc. because it was the way neither of us were raised & we both wanted to be the parents ours weren't.
We raise our kids w/ respect, lots of hugs & kisses, & lots of "I love yous" & allowing our kids to express their feelings, something I never experienced.. When I'm negative w/ my kids, I see my parents coming out & try to snap out of it. It takes alot concious effort to parent the way we believe we should when we didn't grow up w/ the beliefs we now carry. I feel I can always improve my parenting skills & am always looking for positive ways of communicating with our kids.
I grew up w/ no emotional & spiritual guidance & that continued into adulthood. I wish I had a mother who would have been there for me when I was pregnant, when we birthed at home. Iwish I had a mother who was there to care for our family after giving birth. I wish I had a mother who had advice about bf'ing. I wish..............
I'm blessed I turned out the way I did "despite" my upbringing.. For me, it's taking the negative & turning it into a positive. :*)
My mom is outwardly supportive of the AP stuff we do, although I don't think that she believes in it. She thought I was crazy for nursing dd while I was pg (she has since weaned herself) and tells me I need to let dd CIO so that we can get some sleep. And I know that she has made comments to SIL about how we are always holding her and rock her to sleep at night, etc. She is very big on "no's". I guess for me, I am parenting dd the way that I wish I would have been parented.
Wow. Didn't mean to make that turn into a huge therapy session. I think my parents did the best they could with what they had- now I'm taking what they did and making it better.
I know that I slept in a crib and was bottle fed. (1966). My mother was very tough on me and I still remember the day (at 3 yrs of age) when my pacifier was taken from me. I knew very early on that mother was "the boss" and it was her way and her way only. I was never allowed to experiment or try things out. I remember I loved play-dough but rarely got to enjoy it too much, because she was worried about the mess. Playing outside was always stressful, due to my worrying about getting my clothes dirty. I remember saying to myself that I would never do that to my babies. I did learn to read before Kindergarten because my parents were avid readers and I begged to learn...that was good. I had a stay-at-home mom which was good as well....except that she never had a positive word to say to me. It should have been my dad who stayed home. I can honestly say that through all my years (she passed away 10 years ago) she never said a positive word to me. I do not ever recall hearing that I did something right...only a constant barrage of what I did wrong and how to do it better next time. k-2 I did well do to strong reading. My mother seemed to get harder on me the older I became and from grade 3 on up....my self-esteem dwindled to almost nothing. Slaps were common place.
I will never do this to my darling child (and hopefully future children). I totally am into the AP lifestyle and hope to raise my angel to be secure, empathetic, and know that he is loved tremendously. He will have a lot of praise and his strengths will be celebrated. When I look at his little face I can not imagine putting him through what my mother put me through....how could she do that to a little growing person who wanted nothing more than love? My peanut will not want for love, attention, and many experiences to develop his full potential. He will not have to worry about getting dirty etc., or the possibility of any slaps (never ever).
So....I parent IN SPITE of how I was parented by my mother. I might mention my father was very loving, quiet, gentle, and kind. My mother ruled the roost though and he could do little to protect me from her sharp tongue and quick hand.
I was not raised in an AP home. It was mainstream to the fullest
CIO-formula fed -smacked-name calling-mind bender games and sreaming and yelling so loud the neighbors could hear....
I remember once holding on to the step rails of a sitter my mother was dragging me to b/c she was going to work and screaming for her not to leave me and remember her prying my hands off the rails saying dragging me to the babysitters door and pushing me in and then running back down the steps to her car. It is so vivid in my mind and I was only 4.
I do not want my son to live the life I lived.
I will do everything to make myself aware of my actions and responsiveness to my son at all levels.
AP just works...how could you want to parent any other way?
So maybe I do parent this way out of spite....
Free To Be~
"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
I was breastfed until I lost interest around 20 months, cloth diapered, mostly gentle-disciplined, read a nightly bedtime story until I was 14, fed a healthy diet, allowed all kinds of creative play, encouraged in my individual interests, and surrounded by love and respect. I was treated as a full-fledged person and family member from the beginning. My parents talked with me about all kinds of subjects, so I knew they were interesting and wise people and worth hanging around. They taught me, by example, to be a rational and kind person, to value resources and use them wisely, and to be skeptical about popular culture.
As we prepare to become parents and think about how children ought to be treated, I find that I keep using my parents as examples. This is the latest anecdote that came up:
Mom used to buy my brother and me each a bottle of juice if we had behaved well in the grocery. She didn't say as we went in, "If you're good, I'll buy you a juice bottle"; she didn't mention it until the end of the shopping when we were standing in front of the juice, unless we were misbehaving, in which case she said in a sad voice, "Gosh, when you do that, I don't feel like doing nice things for you, like buying you special juice."
The juice bottles were glass. After we got home, she would wash them and use them for juice in my school lunch. A lot of people wouldn't dream of giving a six-year-old a glass bottle--she'll break it and get hurt, right? Well...once I dropped my lunchbox on my way out to the carpool. I opened it and saw the cracked bottle and the soggy sandwich and was just about to start crying when my mom came out of the house, took the lunchbox, handed me some money, and said cheerfully, "Today you can try the cafeteria lunch!" This happened ONCE. The next day there was another glass bottle in my lunchbox, and that was fine.
My parents are definitely more Continuum Concept than Total Mothering, which is great IMO. I got all the caretaking I really needed, but I also got a sense of capability and responsibility from an early age, and that's been immeasurably useful. I also saw my parents as real people with their own needs and interests, not as servants whose primary focus was on me.
Some of the details of my parenting will be different, but the basic philosophies will come directly from my parents, or more accurately from my family: My parents learned most of their parenting from my grandparents, and most of my aunts and uncles are similar. Extended family always lived far away, but when we got together they also treated me as a respected person and set good examples of how to treat younger kids. MrBecca's family is similar, so when he and I talk about how to do things, not only do we almost always agree, but usually we both feel that our way is the obvious way!
It must be so different if you weren't raised this way. You may be just as able to see what's the right thing to do with your kids, but as you do it, it must feel more like repairing the continuum than like moving naturally along. When I'm with kids, doing something I remember adults doing with me, there's a warm sweet sense of having come full circle. If you never got to be the kid in that circle, it must be a very different experience. It's hard to reject the ways you were taught (even if they were horribly wrong) just because they were the only ways you knew when you were at your most impressionable, so at some deep level they seem right. I'm so impressed by the parents I see here who are working on healing from that and doing right by their own kids. I've got it so easy by comparison! Strength and blessings to all of you!
Mama to a boy EnviroKid 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby !
I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more.