How my passion for gentle parenting became my life goal

Photography:Rachel Burt Photography

By Dilshad Bhamgara

For a long time, I wasn’t very sure what I wanted to do with my life. I had a degree (or two), a few jobs over the years but nothing that would translate to being the purpose or goal of my life.  

I was born and raised in India in a typical home with traditional parenting methods passed down from generation to generation. I’d never given parenting a lot of thought but I took it for granted that when I did have kids I would parent like I was parented. 

Until I stumbled upon the concept of gentle parenting some years ago on a lunch break at work. I clicked on a link to an article by L.R.Knost. I felt like Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole. I discovered a different way of life and something moved into place. The more I learned about it the more I became convinced that this was the life I wanted for my children. 

I have known for a while now that my passion for gentle parenting is what I want to take further and make it a life goal.  

I was determined to change the narrative even before I became a mum and the birth of my son in 2017 only motivates me further to do something substantial, something worthwhile. 

The Gentle Mamma on Instagram and Facebook was born out of my passion for gentle parenting as a means of self-education and sharing our gentle journey. 

Parenting my son respectfully is something I deeply care about. And the fact that all our children deserve that respectful upbringing. I’m inspired by my son and by the numerous fellow gentle parenting advocates on their own journey. 

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The core goal of my page on social media is to be the voice for our little humans and make gentle parenting mainstream.  

I talk about difficult things on my page. I try to do that by bringing non-punitive and responsive methods of parenting to light. 

I strive to support parents by providing ALL the information so they are empowered to make informed decisions.  

A very important part of my activism is always raising my voice against childism and against punitive non-responsive methods of parenting – spanking, timeouts, sleep training to name a few. 

More often than not, I get comments from triggered parents defending their decisions and advising me to stop ‘shaming’ them or giving them ‘anxiety’ about their ‘decisions’. When our beliefs are questioned, it isn’t easy to hold space for the feelings of discomfort and dig deeper. It’s much easier to lash out and blame an external source for ‘making’ us feel ‘less’.I get it. I have been there. 

There is so much misinformation out there and a tremendous lack of support for parents that reflects on the dysfunction of our society. Having access to ALL the information gives us the confidence to make the right choices for our families. 

I am as always committed to providing information about the gentle alternatives to these mainstream methods of parenting.  

At the same time, I will always raise my voice for the most vulnerable members of our society and keep advocating against spanking, sleep training and all the other punitive, non-responsive methods of parenting. 

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