Please meet a treasured member of my tribe, Kristal! I have been blessed to call her a friend for seven years now and it has been my honor to witness her in relationship with her boys, husband and each member of her extended tribe.
Kristal met Rob early on in life. And it wasn’t long before their love multiplied in to their first child. Being young themselves most of what they knew about parenting was strands pulled from their own families of origin. This advice included what one can expect to hear from a more tradition approach to parenting. Kristal’s eyes tear up at the memory of the ferber method, the bottle feeding and the advice to spank her child. With the birth of their second child they started to seek out advice from other sources on how to support this growing family. And with the home birth of their third child a new connection and energy was growing for this family. This welcoming was drawing the family toward a softer, gentler way of being together.
Kristal’s third born son, was a super sensitive soul who expressed himself in a sometime explosive manner, this sent her in search of a more connected, softer way of easing him and his brothers into the world around them. She wanted to be with all her boys in a non-coercive, respectful and loving way. As soon as the shift began, the domino effect hit and Kristal could see all of her relationships deepening and becoming more connected.
Early on this path, Kristal had an experience, that helped her move toward her children and away from others ideas about who she should be with them. Her youngest son was 4 at the time. They were having a most joyful day lakeside with friends. Of course her son was fully happy in the sand, the lake and following his own rhythm. When everyone was tired and ready to head home, they packed up. Her youngest son was not on board with this at all. The others made their way back toward the car and Kristal stayed to help her son out. His four year old self stood, in the lake and asserted “NO!” more then once. He ignored her outstretched arms. With the eyes of every other parent on the beach beating down on her, Kristal felt the panic set in. Thankfully it passed quickly and she was able to stay present with her son. To see him, who he was, what his needs were. And eventually from this place, he agreed to meet the others at the car and return home, peacefully by Kristal’s side. From this experience forward Kristal has had the courage to let the judgement of others fall off her back in order to meet the needs of her own children each and every time.
The evidence was fast and benefits immediate, Kristal never looked back once she walked down the peaceful parenting path. The relationship with the boys grew stronger everyday. This proved to both Kristal and Rob that there was no other way to be in relationship with their children and so from that day forth, they have continued with gentle parenting at the heart of their relationship.
Life still gets chaotic because well that is the nature of living together with others. But Kristal has a few simply tricks in her tool box that help keep it all on track. The first step is always taking a deep breath, a pause. From there she tries to see each conflict or situation from the perspective of everyone that is involved. This wider view helps to come up with solutions, suggestions, or just a little compassion. Finally, she reminds herself that this to shall pass, that in a minute, hour, tomorrow, a week, a month or even a year things will be better. And Kristal has this beautiful gem to offer to anyone first stepping off the path of punishment onto the path of gentle, peaceful parenting “Have patience. Trust yourself and trust your child(ren). Kids are awesome when you step back and observe what they are learning instead of getting in their way and deciding what is best for them. Be there for all the support they need. You will be pleasantly surprised by how confident, secure and amazing they become on their own.”
To sum it all up, Kristal and Rob chose this path, because they saw so quickly how it could benefit all the relationships and human beings learning and growing in their home. I leave you with what Kristal hopes for her boys. Kristal dreams of her boys, confident in their own ability to do whatever their heart desires and that they challenge themselves to do it!.
Kristal and Rob live in Duncan, B.C alongside their three boys 17,14 and 11. Each one following their own desires.