The Greatest Challenge With Gentle Parenting Isn’t Teaching My Child How To Regulate Her Emotions, It’s Regulating My Own

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“We all think we’re emotionally mature adults until children enter the scene and show us otherwise.

You never realize how easily triggered you are until your 3-year-old repeatedly ignores your requests to put their shoes on. Suddenly you’re transformed back into your teen self, who felt like absolutely no one cared to listen to what you have to say. Cue the adult tantrum – aka losing your absolute s–t on your child for not processing your request in the time you wanted them to.

Regulating emotions is no easy task, especially for adults. I mean, look at us right now as a society?

Our inner teenagers are running the show. We live behind our screens, judging others based on superficial and material things they flaunt on their social media, and have hissy fits when someone disagrees with our point of view.

If we adults truly knew how to regulate our emotions, there would be a lot more peace on earth.

Respectful or gentle parenting is more than just treating your children with respect, getting on their level, and teaching them how to regulate their own feelings and emotions. You are literally reparenting yourself.

The greatest challenge I’ve faced with this way of parenting isn’t teaching my child how to regulate her emotions – it’s learning to regulate my own.

Every day my children show me another part of me that needs to learn self-regulation and offers me a new lesson in patience, grace and forgiveness.

Our children are truly our greatest teachers. Each day I feel like they are teaching me to be a more patient, humble, present and emotionally mature me.

How can we expect our children to regulate their emotions when most of us don’t have a clue how to regulate our own?

So, next time you’re about to lose your mind on your kids (we all will at one point or another, we’re human), think about how you can regulate your emotions in order to help your child regulate theirs.

Reparenting yourself ain’t easy, but it’s worth it! So give yourself the love and respect you wanted as a kid now, and show it to your kiddos too. You got this!”

Woman clutches her two daughters while they dry off after swimming in the ocean at the beach
Courtesy of Rachael Krupski

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rachael Krupski of Long Island, NY. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Rachael here:

‘Hey Instagram, please show me more of this – more mess, more clutter, more laundry and dishes. I want to see reality.’: Mom urges ‘life is a little more beautiful when it’s imperfect’

‘It’s hard work! There will be days you scream, yell, threaten and ask, ‘Is this even worth it?’: Mom talks about conscious parenting, ‘Discipline and gentleness can coexist’

‘I am a better mom when I put myself first every morning.’: Mom urges ‘never underestimate the power of self-care’

‘She’s gonna have to get over it!’ Then I thought to myself, ‘What about when I’m upset?’: Mom to daughter with anxiety urges ‘stop asking kids to act more maturely than we do’

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