Mothering our children with gentleness is not always easy or full of soft, warm and fuzzy feelings. Gentleness is not weak or whimpy, but is strong and humble and kind. It can be a real struggle to put aside our selfish desires and to nurture our little ones in the way God wants us to as a servant leader, yet without laying aside our own needs or those of our husband. The balance can be hard to strike.
We parent with an eye on the future, with hearts full of hope, trusting in God and His promises. As we listen to and follow our Savior, we know and experience confirmation that the struggle is so worth it. His grace is sufficient, praise God, and He covers our fumbles and carries us through the difficult times, and we see that gentle mothering brings immeasurable blessings.
If you would like to share with other mothers how God has blessed your life through mothering your little ones with gentleness and grace, through attachment parenting (AP), and/or through this website, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "testimonial" in the subject line), and I will post your testimonial below. Thank you!
GCM has taught me more than parenting; it has given me the "ok" to be who I want to be. This website, message board, and the ladies on it have said to me (even if not directly) that I am NOT the odd one out. I have been told for so long that doing things different is doing things wrong, and that isn't what I am told through this community of supportive, godly women. Instead I am encouraged to listen to my instincts and seek God's will for my family life, with loving guidance from those that have been there before.
Amie, SC, USA
Grace based discipline has meant so much more to me than a better relationship with my children. I always had a difficult time in reconciling a wrathful God with one who loved us so much that He gave His only Son. He loved us even when we were most unlovely. But, that thought was always buried underneath the idea of a punitive God; one who punished and exacted a toll for sin in the believer's (his child's) life. So, I was always waiting for the "spanking" every time I even thought something sinful. In other words, I lived my life trying to "toe the line" and ducking from God. So, when I came to this site, and I started to learn about GBD, I was very resistant at first. It just did not fit with my picture of God, with a lot of what I'd been taught.
Then I read the "rod" studies. I read the verses myself (again). I read the Word of God in the light of the Word of God, taking in the "whole counsel of God". I read about proactive parenting, "off your butt" parenting, and all the other articles. I understand God's Word as never before. And I started to *understand*. Some of my past experiences, the reading I was doing, what I was learning, was all coming together like a big puzzle. Practicing grace with my children has shown me that God's grace is for me, too. I am learning the full meaning of "grace"; the fact that I am saved is finally touching my heart, not just my head.
Chris, GA, USA
I was raised in a punitive home. My Mom spanked for everything because that is what she was taught to do. So when I became a mom I did the same thing. I spanked and punished my children for every mis-behavior. My middle child was becoming more and more aggressive. The more I spanked him, the angrier he became. One day I sat back and looked at my children and realized that they were afraid of me. I just broke down and cried. Then I started researching "the rod", discipline and punishment in the Bible and it really struck home that the Lord extends such grace to us. If He could do that to us, we should be able to do the same to our children.
I got online and started looking around to see if anyone else had come up w/ a similar idea and to expand what I was starting to learn. I found GCM and it changed my life!! I have learned so much about natural consequences, how to gently guide my children and alternatives to punishment. I've made both online and real life friends through GCM and I'm so thankful that the Lord helped me to find it! Becca, USA
I found GCM about a year ago when I moved back to the US. My son was 2 1/2 years old then. We were having trouble helping him to understand how to behave because of his special needs. Gentle Discipline just felt right and seemed to click. We don't spank him, but instead we try to use Crystal's Five Steps.
I have seen such dramatic improvements in his attitude and behavior. He seems so much happier now, and when he behaves now it is * Because he wants to* not because we are threatening. He is a polite child at age 3 1/2 now. He shows empathy to others and notices when other children cry or seem sad. He gives hugs and kisses and craves affection. He has blossomed, and so have we! Gentle Christian Mothers has helped us to learn to be a Gentle Christian Family. Now pregnant with my second son who is due in September I know I am ready.
Trina, Alabama, USA
One of the main reasons I'm thankful to have found GCM years ago is that I became convicted to hold myself to a higher standard in disciplining my children. As a Christian, I hope that when other mothers look at my example, they see someone striving to use the kind of gentleness and grace that Jesus modeled for us.
How the GCM message board has blessed me ~ I can't begin to count the blessings! It's a wonderful place where I can go with my concerns and questions and know I will get love and understanding. If no one has any advice I will surely get tons of hugs and reassurance I am not alone followed by constant prayers. I have gone here with my most personal struggles and found women who are going through the same and are willing to share their love and resources with me.
How being an AP parent has blessed me ~ I have the most incredible bound with my son because I chose to understnad him more. It was at this board that I learned about the LLL, and from there I successfully began breastfeeding my son at almost one month of age. He is still breastfeeding at over one year old. My biggest blessing is that I have gained a peace in parenting I never had when I was trying to schedule everything and I felt like my son was trying to control me. I have since learned to parent with my instincts.
How using GBD has blessed me ~ It has helped me understand the developemental stages my son goes through, and it has given me the most creative ways to teach my son. Instead of yelling, spanking, and constantly saying No I have learned that there is a gentler way.
Kat, Tennessee, USA
As a new mother of an eight week old son, I was already being asked if my baby was sleeping through the night. I was beginning to think that I must be doing something wrong since my baby was waking up every hour and a half to eat. He also was beginning to need help falling asleep, and people were beginning to tell me about crying-it-out.
Fortunately it was also around this time that my grandmother sent me The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. Sears, which suggested that it is best to respond to a baby’s cues, even at night when it isn’t convenient to do so. I was so happy to learn that there was a more compassionate alternative to conventional parenting in our society.
It was liberating to learn that it is okay to respond to a baby’s cries, that I would not “spoil” my son by bestowing on him all of the affection that he needed. Not only is a lot of affection okay for babies, it is necessary.
Attachment parenting has armed me with the confidence to follow my instincts when it comes to raising my son. It takes alot of time, energy, and patience, but it is well worth it to know that my son feels confident that I will help him when he needs help.
Finding the Gentle Christian Mothers website has also been a blessing to our family. It is very validating to communicate with mothers who have been through the same things that we are going through, and got through it using attachment parenting and gentle discipline techniques.
For my family, attachment parenting and Gentle Christian Mothers are taking a lot of the stress out of parenting.
Carrie, Ohio, USA
A Journey To Gentle Motherhood
Gentle Christian Mothers has literally saved my family. When I found this community I was at my wits end. I had a 2 ˝ year old and a nine month old. My two year old was going through a very difficult time, and my husband and I didn’t know how to handle him. We had just moved to a new state and I didn’t know anyone. My family only offered punitive advice – “He needs more spankings!” “Insist that he obey!” “Make him sleep!”
I was raised in a Christian household that firmly believed in the “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy. I was disciplined in a Dobson way, and looking back, I remember fearing my father’s coming home because I knew that I would get a spanking. When my mom would say those words, “Just wait ‘till your father gets home…” I did not obey her out of love and respect. I did everything I could the rest of the day to make her forget I had wronged her, hoping my goods would out-do my wrongs. No wonder I had a difficult time understanding God’s grace while growing up. I truly believed that my records of rights and wrongs would be what got me into heaven.
When my own children came along, I rebelled against the mainstream, going with my instincts to parent in a more natural, attached way. I devoured every book I could obtain, and loved anything Dr. Sears had written. Unfortunately, I agreed with him on everything but his ideas on discipline. After all, didn’t the Bible say I was supposed to spank my children? I was spanked, and that’s how my parents whipped us into shape, right? My husband didn’t agree with spanking, but I convinced him it was the only way to go, and so when our oldest was 20 months old, we began giving him time-outs and spanking him for hurting his new baby brother, or for not listening and obeying Daddy or Mama. This started the downward spiral until I felt I hit rock-bottom with him. I had given up on parenting with him. He was out of control, raging and hurting us and himself. What had gone wrong? I had tried to do everything right.
It was at this point that God led me to this wonderful website full of mamas who had encouragement for me. These women who I didn’t even know prayed for me, offered me suggestions and advice, and never gave up on me. It took awhile, but eventually my mindset started to change. I started looking at my children in a totally different light. It was no longer about them vs. us. They weren’t little adults who needed such strict guidelines. They were little babies who needed to be nurtured and loved and allowed to grow in a gentle, but boundaried world. The more time I spent here, the more my heart started to change. The more my heart started to change, my relationship with my children deepened, my oldest started showing dramatic improvement, my husband and I started showing more love toward each other.
In less than a year I have changed from an angry, hopeless, punitive parent, into a loving, caring, gentle mother who strongly advocates gentle parenting to others. Who could keep this information to themselves?! We have been entrusted with these precious little lives for only a short amount of time. God has called me to raise up these children in the way they need to go, in the way that God has designed for them. How can I know what that way is, if I never take the time to find out who they truly are? It is my job to demonstrate to them why Jesus came to this earth. He did not come to condemn, but to save. His salvation is through GRACE, not through works! What better example can we have than Jesus?!
I thank the Lord everyday for this wonderful gift to me and my family. Thank you Jesus, and thank you Gentle Christian Mothers!
Amy, Washington State, USA
I first came to GCM four years ago in search of a way of parenting that would resemble the way that my Heavenly Father parents His children. Fellowshiping with these women has blessed me in so many ways. In a world where you are shunned for wanting to be the Biblical model of womahood, GCM is a sanctuary. When I am active at GCM, I find that my ability to cope with normal day to life is hightened, that I am more patient and gracious with my family, and that my relationship with Lord becomes more passionate and more precious. God designed women to need close personal relationships with other women. For those of us who strive to parent with gentleness, and who desire to take back the traditional role of womanhood it can be very difficult to find like minded female friends. For those of us, GCM has become a harbour - a refuge - a shelter from the storm being wrought against todays Christian families. For me, GCM is home.
Melodie, Virginia, USA
Gentle Christian Mothers has blessed me in many ways. First, it has made me want to do better and be the best I can be. It has helped me to believe stronger in my mothering instincts. It is a place where others understand, care and are always ready to offer hugs and support. The mothers I have met on GCM have truly inspired me to never stop trying.
Being an AP parent has given me confidence in my parenting abilities, a very strong bond with my child. Being an AP parent means having an attached child who will view the world in a more confident, loving and compassionate manner. Being an AP parent makes ME a more loving and compassionate person. .
GBD has taught me to be a gentler person. Blessed me with more patience and allowed me to view things in a different light than I have in the past. It has helped me to understand my child sometimes needs me to help her control some emotions she is too young to handle or even understand. GBD has validated my instincts of a gentler way of teaching our children. Life does not have to be full of No no no for children. I believe there is no such thing as bad children, just bad parenting choices.
My children truly are a precious gift from God, and I will appreciate every moment with them, every laugh and tear. I will love them with all my heart till they return to Him one day.
Ann, Oklahoma, USA
Attachment parenting has really been a blessing for me. At first I really didn't know what I was doing even had a name, but I LOVED IT. I take my son everywhere I go, we cosleep and breastfeed, and we are SO happy.
He took to the breast like a pro, he was 7lbs 12oz 20" at birth and is now around 18lbs 29" at 6 months. I have NEVER had any problems with breastfeeding. He nurses on one side for 5 minutes and is done; he nurses around 10 times a day and that is totally cool with me!
We started co-sleeping at about two weeks and that is when he start really sleeping. It was also the first real night's sleep I got! He started sleeping 9pm-3am, then would eat and be changed, and then go back to sleep til 9am. At two months he started sleeping from 9pm-9am, and just about every night since I have had WONDERFUL sleep, uninterupted, and I am SO rested!!!!! So is he!
I sling him and he LOVES it--he laughs and squeals and just enjoys life!!!!
It is really hard being a single teen mother, but if it wasn't for AP then I would be INSANE!!!
I have tried the sleeping in a crib thing and all that sleep training stuff a few times, and I think I didn't get ONE SINGLE wink of sleep those nights. Right now my son is going to bed at 11 and sleeping until I go to bed which is usually 3am, and then we both sleep soundly until 11am.
It has really worked for us!!!!! He is so happy. He sits up and crawls and is now pulling up (and yes he is six months). And I swear he says ma-ma, I do swear it. He is SO smart and SO happy and SO energetic, and I think it is from the AP and I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER change it. Mom stayed with us for awhile and slept on the floor and tried to help, but I just kicked her out because "she couldn't sleep." Couches are just as comfy, LOL.
If it was good enough for Jesus, then it's perfect for my son!
Sara, Alabama, USA
Copyright 1997-2015 by Gentle Christian Mothers™
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.