Redditor Says They Can't Turn Off Gentle Parenting When Dealing With Other Adults—We're Here for It TBH

Folks offer encouragement on this Reddit thread and share how their gentle parenting techniques have turned into effective communication tools with the adults they love too.

Mixed race couple at home at the room dining table
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Gentle parenting is definitely popular these days especially amongst parents on the Internet. If you spend any time scrolling parenting groups, reading community boards, or visiting parenting sites you can find xyz ways to gently or consciously raise the next generation.

Personally I'm all for making sure my kids don't spend countless hours in therapy unpacking childhood traumas. Gentle parenting encourages parents to understand their child, meet them where they are (mainly with empathy) and set clear and age appropriate boundaries. And one Redditor took to the Internet to remind us that much like anything with parenting, their gentle techniques have rolled over into their adult communication. And honestly, we love to see it!

The original poster who goes by u/Competitive-Job-2136 kicked off the thread expressing their frustration asking, "Anyone else feel like they are gentle parenting the other adults in your life? I cannot turn it off and it's driving me crazy." They went on to give a few examples of familial adult interactions in which they used gentle parenting techniques before concluding the thread with, "I cannot turn it off and I just want to take a step back! It's the weirdest problem I've ever had in my life and just wanted to know that I'm not alone lol."

The OP was immediately met with the reassurance that they were in fact not alone and that just maybe…they were better for it. "It's such a switch in perspective," one redditor replied. "I find myself being kinder to myself and other adults and actually thinking about the root causes of reactions." And with the state of the world, where's the harm in stopping for a second and taking the time to be kinder? Especially with the people we love.

The mindfulness that gentle parenting encourages helped another redditor feel seen in a conversation they had with their spouse. "I totally prevented myself from picking a fight with my husband yesterday by essentially applying 'gentle parenting' type techniques," they wrote. "As in, I started to get snippy about something, I said I am noticing my tone getting really angry, let me start over, and I did the 'name it to tame it' thing."

Name it to tame it is a phrase coined by author and psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel that is widely used in gentle parenting. It suggests describing exactly how you're feeling which creates the sense of "taming" and allows the person dealing with the big emotions the opportunity to feel seen and heard.

And while beneficial, there's no denying that it can be difficult and tiring to reframe your thinking especially when it comes to interacting with other adults. "It is emotional work that you are taking on. Emotional work requires the most out of you and can take a bit to see the reward. It's just as exhausting to do that work for a child, spouse, or other precious person in your life," another empathized. Others discussed the relations they have with spouses, MILs and parents and how they, too, felt the exhaustion from the adult interactions.

Having your emotions validated as an adult may feel good for most, but for some it can come off as patronizing. "I've been doing this to my poor husband for years even before we had kids! He hates when I use my 'teacher voice' on him," one user wrote.

Another commented, "My husband has even gone 'I'm not one of your students. Stop.' when I've just fallen into some of my techniques."

Gentle parenting can be found in research dating as far back as the 1960s but as a millennial I can assure you, no one in my home was up to date on these readings. And as an adult whose spent years working through their emotions, the techniques suggested more often than not require you to do inner child work.

So while the fruits of our labor are definitely taking their time to harvest, I feel like we can all agree with one Reddit user who wrote, "Gentle parenting is literally just treating kids with the respect, validation, and care they deserve as full humans, pretty much everyone should be treated that way."

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