A mom on EP shared this video with me:

Can you imagine?  How do you react?  In our society I think the first reaction is to yell.  Yell like you’ve never yelled before.  Maybe spank.  Send the kids to their room.  The “usual”.  But this mom doesn’t.

Here’s what I see:
1) Children who are having the best time ever.  Do you see the way they are exploring?  The way they are playing?  It’s brilliant.
2) A mom who is freaking out, yet manages to remain calm and not threaten or yell or hit her kids.  Kudos to you ma’am.

Here is a mother who is floored, so much so she’s feeling sick from it.  Yet she manages to remain calm and ask what happened.  Her children aren’t afraid and in fact are happy to show her and even tell her to watch out.  It’s beautiful.

Does this mean that this is okay?  Isn’t my reaction the reason people equate gentle parenting with permissive parenting?

NO this isn’t an okay thing to have regularly happen.  BUT look at the ages of these children – they are young and curious about their world.  This is that parenting moment where we strive to step back, see the fun and learning and engagement our kids are having, and then make plans to ensure this doesn’t happen again.  Put the flour higher up.  Get a container they can’t open and keep the flour in there.  Then have them help you clean it all up.  After all, although children shouldn’t face fear and punishment for exploring their world, they also should know that they are responsible for the whole of their actions.  You made a mess and had fun?  Okay, now you get to clean it too (with some help) and learn how this whole play/responsibility thing works.

That, folks, is gentle parenting in action.

Here’s my own daughter’s foray into flour one day after I went to the bathroom – it spread further, but nothing compared to the video above!
mess and joy