Gentle Parenting is More Than Just Baby-Wearing

~Warning- I am in full preach mode.  Sometimes I try to hide it and sound nice and stuff, but not today.~

I feel deeply that we all need to stand for something in this world and in this life.  I personally can't stand the "to each his own" philosophy.  No.  I do believe in right and wrong.  I do believe that some things are better than others.

For example, I believe that breastfeeding is kick butt.  I believe that a natural birth is usually healthier for mom and baby than a medicated, forced one.  I wouldn't cut my son's penis just because.  On a larger scale, I believe in God and I believe He wants me to do certain things in my life and not do other things.  I believe that a life worth living requires sacrifice of things- sometimes the things that are the hardest to sacrifice.

So when I say that it is not OK to hate and be cruel to somebody because they disagree with us I am actually NOT saying that everything and anything goes and that there is no right and wrong, only personal choices.  I fully believe that we can make morally wrong yet PERSONAL choices.

But just because something is wrong (or you think it is wrong), does not mean it is fine to be cruel to somebody because they are doing that wrong thing.

Are you following me?

So lets assume for a minute that circumcision is morally wrong and reprehensible in every way.  We hate it.  It is BAAAAADDDD news.  Right? (Oh, and I am not saying it is.)

Does that make it absolutely fair game to tear somebody apart because they did this?


How about if they did that and they still think it was a great idea?  How about if they perform circumcisions?  Shall we throw blood on them?  Burn their house?  Harass their children?  Hate mail?  Nasty comments?  Harassment?   

I am going tell you what--  I don't think somebody else doing something wrong makes it OK for you (or me) to be mean and hateful.

People make wrong choices all the time.  In fact, people do bad stuff all the time.  You and me are also included on this "bad stuff" list.  And believe me, none of us want to get "what we deserve" because it is much worse than we want.

So can we take a minute and be nice? 

It is that easy.  Just be NICE.

Mean is just mean- no matter why or how you cut it.

I can't believe that all of the supposed 'peace loving' parents really want the take-home-message their children learn, to be the following:

"Be loving.  Be peaceful.  Don't yell.  Unless you disagree with somebody.  In that case- go for the jugular - it really bleeds."

Because you know what, if you could co-sleep from here to kingdom come and cloth diaper until your hearts content, and if you are cruel to anybody who crosses your way who disagrees, then THAT is what your kids will learn.  They will end up being mean even though they were attached.

Remember- they learn by EXAMPLE.  Everything else is just lip service.

So let's take a moment before we fire off some cruel, nasty, or mean message to somebody we have never met and think about if we would be OK with our kids hearing us SAY that same thing.  Then think about if you would be OK with your kids saying that to you.

Think ahead a few years too.  Do you want your kids to be scared to death to tell you things that they have done wrong because they know from experience how you treat others who disagree with you?  Do you want your own children to fear your cruelty being pointed in their direction?

And if the answer is no, I don't want my child to tell me that "I should go to prison" for doing that, or that "you are abusive and cruel and stupid and uneducated," then don't say it to somebody else.  If you want your kids to know that you love people even when you disagree with them then think twice before you ream people you disagree with.

Standing for something does not give us license to tear down anybody who doesn't stand for that same thing.

"I disagree.  I don't believe in that and I won't do that and why," is not mean and can state your point without cruelty or spite.     

Lecture over.  

And yes, I know darn well I can be mean too.  But we aren't talking about me!  Or maybe I am preaching this little message for my own benefit.

That, my friends, might just be it. 


RTCPhotoWork said…
This is such a timely post. It's something that I have been tested in lately. Thank goodness for the peace and patience little ones can bring to us...and thank goodness for the time and attention they need from us which can allow us to focus on what's important after reading posts and comments before typing our own. A great distraction to pass the time as we chill out and let our red eyes go back to normal. :)
m a r c i said…
I've been victim to and guilty of this and I'm working hard to be an accepting person. Loving and peace is what i want in my life and while I say this I still feel anger toward some decisions people make. It hurts me and others even when those negative thoughts arise. We all need to realize how our thoughts and actions influence our every move in life and how that in turn effects all around us.
Thanks so much for this piece. Everyone needs to hear it.
Aunt Annie said…
LOUD APPLAUSE. Thank you so much for speaking your mind so eloquently. We have to model the behaviour we want to see in our children, and if we're modelling bitchiness and lack of tolerance, that's exactly what we'll get back from the kids. There are many 'right' ways to parent, and there are two sides (not to mention personal contexts which we may not understand) to every story.
roadrunner201 said…
Thank you. I have been so put off by "intactivst-extremist" and their hate speech. How in the world can you claim to advocate for gentle practices and yet be so hateful to other adults simply on the grounds that they disagree with you?
Amen! I'm a new follower and I just love this post. Even when we don't always agree, we should always lead by love.
Megan said…
Love this! I often find myself in disagreement with others (being Montessori trained, and crunchy but wanting hard facts to support my decisions). I try always to reply by giving my reasons rather than my emotions. Ironically, I find it easier to be nice to strangers than my family, who I often expect to "know better". Thanks for the reminder :)