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Category Archives: Gentle Parenting

The Mother Swallows the Anger of the Child

Gurumother

I was sitting in our big comfy recliner when Goldie (2 1/2) came running to my feet. She threw herself on top of me and started crying. I pulled her onto my lap and listened while I stroked her head, “Oh yes,” I said, “I know, you wanted something and you couldn’t have it, you’re upset, etc.” Kissed her little forehead and eventually, she started smiling and then she bounced away.

I laughed as she toddled off because our interaction was not too dissimilar to many interactions I’ve had with my spiritual guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. People, including myself, travel all over the world to see him. He’s a very busy man, so when we finally get the chance to talk to him, we all gather around, painfully eager to get a chance to sit with him. And… he usually sits in a big chair! We laugh, we cry, we ask questions, we tell him our problems and our triumphs. The question I’ve heard him ask me the most is, “Are you happy?” He doesn’t really care too much what we do, so long as we are happy. Read the rest of this entry

To Let a Child Blossom: Earlier is Not Better

blossom_katesurfs

There’s a little magnolia tree at the top of the hill near our house (it’s spring in Australia). The only blossom that was low enough for Margo to smell, was one that was not fully open. She took a long deep sniff of the partially opened flower, and said, “I wish I could pull it open so we could see the whole thing.”

Well, if we did that, what would happen?” I asked.

She paused for a few long seconds and considered. “If we pulled it open, we would break it. That would be really sad.Read the rest of this entry

Why Are Kids Getting Into Trouble For Being Kids?

Trouble

My girls had asked for permission to get wet in one of the fountains at the playground. I told them it was ok because we had a change of clothes in the car. Read the rest of this entry

My Four Year Old Doesn’t Know What the Word ‘Naughty’ Means

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NaughtyKatesurfs

A few months ago, we were walking with a friend and we saw some older kids in the neighborhood getting into some mischief. My friend said to my daughter, “Those boys are being naughty!” My daughter looked at me and whispered, “What does ‘naughty’ mean?  Read the rest of this entry

4 Fun Yet Powerful Ways to Get Toddlers and Preschoolers to Cooperate

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Katesurfscooperate

I’m pretty laid back when it comes to letting my kids be free range. But, there are certain times when I just can’t let them play with something… and sometimes I absolutely need to get something out of their hands or I have to get them to do something or we need to leave somewhere. Teeth brushing, getting dressed, leaving the playground, etc. You know the deal… can be a huge struggle. But there are few little tools that I’ve found hugely useful over the years. No bribery. No punishments or rewards. No sticker charts… Just fun! Read the rest of this entry

Should We Never Ever Judge?

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GoldieBra

Judgement: The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. –Oxford Dictionary

I got in a bit of facebook trouble today (as you do sometimes) when I posted a Miss. Judgey Pants remark that went like this:

“Society has taught us to hold into our material possessions, but not to hold on to our babies.

A young fit father was pushing his three or four month old baby in a stroller with one hand and holding a coffee in the other. The baby was screaming and shaking. Dear Sir. Put down your coffee. Stop pushing the stroller. Pick up your baby!”

Read the rest of this entry

Be a Mother Not a Martyr: When Gentle Parenting Seems to Bite You in the Butt

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Mothernotamartyr2

Martyr: One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause or principle.

Ok, if you’ve read the title and you know me, you might be thinking, now wait a minute Kate, you ARE the craziest gentle attachment parent I know. Tandem breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing, elimination communication around the clock, gentle parenting extraordinaire. And, here I am saying not to be a martyr? Yup, I’m saying it! Read the rest of this entry

When Sh*t Falls Apart: Remember, You Are Not the Voices in Your Head

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photo-8

My kids were bouncing around on the bed tonight, singing ‘Ring Around the Rosie‘. I told Margo (the older one) to stop (for the eighteen millionth time) because the little one is still a toddler and clumsy on her feet. Margo didn’t really listen and I didn’t really have the energy to pull them apart soooo… a minute later, they were crumpled up in a heap on the bed, crying and clutching at their freshly sustained injuries. The little one had a bloody mouth and the big kid had been bashed on the head by some sharp flying body part, like an elbow or chin. Both were hurt and both were crying really hard. Read the rest of this entry

The Most Curious Incident of Gender Stereotyping That Made Me Sick To My Stomach

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Little Johnny started to reach for Margo’s pink doll, being pushed in the doll stroller. “NOOOOO!!!! JOHNNY!!!! THAT’S A GIRL’S DOLL!”, yelled his mother. At first, I was sure that Little Johnny’s mother meant it was “*THE* girl’s doll” (I knew that English was her second language), so I just smiled and said, “Oh, it’s ok, he can play with the doll, Margo won’t mind.Read the rest of this entry

The Past 100 Years of Women’s Fashion: Unfashionably Messing Up Breastfeeding Rates

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Easy access...

This, my friends, is easy access…

Breastfeeding rates in first world western countries (namely the USA) plummeted during the 1950s and 1960s and has been slowly on the rise since then. Read the rest of this entry