I told you in this post about the 12 steps to gentle parenting that my husband and I were going to focus on to help us be the parents we want to be. I’m so busy coming up with ideas I forgot I had one in the bag with the step 2 update!
February focused on listening. I didn’t think I was going to be very good at this because my child is quite the talker and I have a habit of tuning her out so I can hear the thoughts inside my head. That said, I did learn a lot about her and laugh quite a bit by tuning into her more. I not only listen to her express herself but I digested what she had to say and was able to understand her on her level. I could tell that she appreciated me listening, understanding, and empathizing.
She also accepted direction, instruction and my opinion better because my approach was different. Instead of being bossy mom, I was kind mom. I watched what I said and the way I said it because I played it in my head first and listened with the ears of my former 7 year old self. We always talk during our walk home from school, but she opened up more because she could tell I was actively listening not umm hmming and ah haaaing just for sound effects to fill the silence between pauses in her story.
I still have things to work on, but focusing my attention on one thing at a time is helping me to be the kinder, gentler, more tender mom I want to be. If you missed step 1 on slowing down, check out the post here. To see the 12 step plan in it’s entirety, go to this post by the creator of the plan we’re following.
It’s not too late to start. We are at the beginning of a new month, so go ahead and implement step 1 for the month of March and continue from there. Our next step is to live it so the focus of this month will be to lead by example. In addition to remembering to slow down and listen, now I need to be conscious of what I do along with what I say. This is a practice that I already love, but will be on the forefront of my mind. Wish me luck!