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Ever since I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to be a gentle and positive mom. I knew that I wanted my son to grow up feeling loved and respected. And I hoped with all my heart that I will be the calm and supportive parent I knew every child needs.
But the reality of raising a young child turned out to be much harder than I imagined back then. Toddlerhood came with so many challenges I didn’t expect!
One evening, after a very busy day, I was preparing dinner while my son was playing next to me. Out of the sudden and without any apparent reason, he became very angry and started throwing toys at me.
I asked him calmly to stop. It didn’t work.
I came close to him, sat on the floor next to him, and caught his hand just before another hit. I told him why throwing things was wrong and removed the toy from his hand. Just as I was preparing to take him in my arms, he grabbed my arm and bit me. It was unbelievably painful for a bite coming from such a young child!
He started screaming and hitting again and it all transformed into a huge tantrum. I stayed next to him the whole time, keeping him safe and waiting for him to calm down.
After the screaming stopped, he came into my arms and I explained to him why his behavior was not okay. He put his arms around my neck and hugged me for a while.
It felt good and I felt confident that the rest of the evening will run smoothly.
Half an hour later the dinner was ready and I was preparing to put him in his seat at the table. Out of the sudden, his behavior changed again. The screaming started again and I felt like my patience was completely running out.
I sat on the floor next to him and in the next moment, I saw him grabbing a wooden car toy and throwing it at me. It hit me so hard that I instantly got tears in my eyes.
His screaming continued and I felt so angry!
It seemed like I was failing as a mom because there I was, completely incapable of dealing with my son’s tantrum, incapable to find any more empathy and calm to manage the situation.
For a moment I just wanted to leave the room and be alone for a while. But that wasn’t an option.
So tears started coming out of my eyes and rolling on my cheeks as I was looking at my son still screaming on the floor. It wasn’t the pain anymore, although I got a pretty big bump on my head after that hit.
It was the feeling that I’m not the mom that I imagined I would be. That parenting is not working as I hoped it would. That maybe I’ve done something wrong as a parent that got me into that situation.
Later that night, after my son fell asleep, I thought a lot about positive parenting and the way I want to raise my child.
I never questioned the principles of positive parenting because I knew they are right. But that night, for the first time, I questioned my ability to be a gentle and positive parent.
The anger that I felt that evening scared me because it felt so strong and hard to handle! I was afraid that I was doing something wrong when it came to handling my child’s tantrums.
I didn’t want to become a permissive parent and raise a child with no boundaries and self-control. On the other hand, I didn’t want to be a parent that relies on fear and punishments to control my child because it didn’t feel right at all.
I wanted to be both gentle and firm, and I wasn’t sure how to do this.
That night I fell asleep hugging my son, with a big wish in my heart to find a way to be the kind of mom that I always hoped I’ll be.
I never imagined that night that just a few days after something will forever change me as a parent and answer all of my doubts and worries.
The email that changed everything
A few days after that hard night I got an email from someone asking me if I wanted my blog to be a media partner for a parenting event held by a well-known parenting expert.
That parenting expert was Dr. Laura Markham.
And even if I didn’t know it at the time, that was the moment that most influenced me as a parent and helped me become a gentle and positive mom.
In the months that followed that email, I read both of Dr. Laura Markham’s books, I went to an amazing conference that she held, and I even got the chance to interview her.
Discovering her approach to parenting has made such a huge difference for me!
Her tips and strategies offered me the guidance that I needed for implementing peaceful parenting even during the most challenging moments that I faced as a mom.
What I love most about her approach is the empathy she shows about the hard challenges that we face as parents. Her approach is not about judging parents for their mistakes but about guiding them to better solutions.
She provides easy and practical tips for so many parenting struggles and this helped me overcome many challenges I faced as a mom.
After discovering her approach, I felt more confident as a mom and this mattered a lot!
I learned how to set limits with my child, how to discipline him gently, how to help him overcome difficult moments, and how to regulate my own emotions to be able to be a calmer mom.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes anymore. I do plenty of them! But I’ve also learned that every parenting challenge has a gentle and positive solution, and it’s up to us to find it and use it with our kids.
My favorite positive parenting resources
After reading all this, I’m sure that it won’t surprise you to find out that my favorite parenting resources are created by Dr. Laura Markham.
Her books and articles are some of the best resources for parents who want to raise their kids peacefully and respectfully!
If you never checked out her work before (or if you want to discover more of her resources), here is a list of recommendations:
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting – This book was life-changing for me! It contains many helpful tips for raising happy kids and it’s an amazing book that every parent should read.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook: Using Mindfulness and Connection to Raise Resilient, Joyful Children and Rediscover your Love of Parenting – This workbook has been a great resource for reviewing some of the most important principles of peaceful parenting and finding ways to implement them in our family.
The positive parenting course that can help you become the peaceful parent you want to be
Twice a year parents also get the chance to enroll in an online course held by Dr. Laura Markham and I’m sure that this can be a life-changing experience for any parent.
It is called the “Peaceful Parent Happy Kids Online Course” and it offers support and practical tips for parenting with more peace, love, and connection.
The course is a self-paced 12-week online program that provides the tools and ideas that parents need to be able to implement peaceful parenting in their family and enjoy the benefits of a happy and positive home.
You can find many positive parenting tips online, but if you are looking for a step by step approach to help you become a peaceful parent, the “Peaceful Parent Happy Kids” online course can completely transform the way you parent and the relationship you build with your kids.
It’s the best course that you’ll ever find about peaceful parenting and I’m sure that it will help and inspire you a lot!
I could write on and on about these resources because I know from my own experience how helpful they are!
But the most important thing that I would like any parent to know after reading this is that no matter how hard things seem at some point, being a peaceful parent is totally worthwhile!
The way we raise our kids will impact their lives forever. Being a positive and gentle parent is not always easy, but it will certainly pay off in the long run!
Never give up on being the peaceful parent that you want to be. Because years from now, when you’ll look back at your kids’ childhood, you’ll be so happy you didn’t.
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