I think I’ve figured out why gentle parenting is making so much sense. At least why respect for our children as persons is becoming clearer and more important to me.
The other day I dropped one of Leland’s pieces of egg on the floor and he was somewhat upset (reasonably). And I started thinking about how I would not want someone to yell at me for dropping something or making a mess when it was accident, so why would I yell at a small person when they do so? I apologized to Leland for dropping his egg and talked about how we could clean it up.
The tricky part is when they are willfully making a mess or doing something wrong. But maybe still, his goal is not to make a mess. Maybe he is really interested in how water flows out of his bottle or how cantaloupe tastes in macaroni and cheese (apparently pretty good because he still ate it). Brian teases me for harping on Leland putting things in his drink (for some reason I cannot tolerate that behavior!) but maybe he is learning about spatial relationships and what will fit. Most messes we can clean up.
And then there are the times they look you in the face and knowingly do exactly what they are not supposed to!
I have struggled to reconcile gentle parenting with how to deal with our children as the little sinners that they are. Sometimes that little sin nature is just so apparent! Is it possible to deal with sin gently? Christian gentle parenting seems to be a minority. Maybe it is about balancing knowing they are sinners but remembering they are a soul – a soul I can help nurture.