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Mom’s spot-on gentle parenting spoof will make you feel triggered and laugh at the same time

Gentle parenting spoof on TikTok
livjowen/TikTok

While I feel like our generation of kids are going to be the most emotionally regulated adults of all time, that definitely comes with a price. Gentle parenting isn’t a new term when it comes to the parenting universe, and when it’s done right—and your child is the right fit for this type of parenting—it’s wonderful. Gone are the days of harsh punishments and ignoring emotional cues, gentle parenting is a widespread parenting style that many Millennials have adopted, breaking generational patterns of punitive parenting. But sometimes, the way we’re told to interact with our children can seem a little excessive and hilarious.

A TikTok influencer and mom posted a “Millennial Parenting PT. 2” video to her page, @LivJowen, and you’ll be laughing through the cringe as you may see yourself and your gentle parenting actions portrayed in this video. While most of the things she does are true, it’s still a caricature of what gentle parenting is about.

She begins the video running through the grocery store and then she’s on the floor with her toddler rocking him and asking, “Is the fear and anxiety coming up inside of your body?” The video cuts to her toddler face down on the ground, and as she’s caressing his head, she asks, “Are you experiencing a sensory overload?”

Mom rocks her toddler again and asks him if he’s feeling safe and secure, while the toddler is looking at her like she’s insane. Maybe she is, but at least he feels validated and “safe and secure,” right? Or does he?

She then has her toddler by the shoulders, looking at him in the eyes and asks if she has consent to pick him up. “There’s just so much going on around you and sometimes it’s really scary,” she continues as she hands him his tablet to “help regulate himself.”

“Can you take deep breaths with me?” she asked her clearly nonplussed toddler, before she asked him if he’d like it if she laid on the floor with him. When someone dared to walk by in front of the camera as she was on the ground with her toddler, she indignantly yelled, “Excuse me! I’m trying to create a safe space for him.” Perhaps the innocent bystander was trying to find a safe space for themselves at this moment, away from the gentle parenting mom wearing a “Mama” sweatshirt.

While hilarious and a pretty extreme example of what gentle parenting is all about, I will say that those of us with neurodivergent kids and kids with special needs really do need to do these things with our kids from time to time.

Viewers’ comments ranged from agreeing with her that gentle parenting is over the top and “what’s wrong with this next generation of kids today,” to others defending gentle parenting, saying it’s what they have to do for their special needs kids.

Not all Millennial moms are gentle parents, that’s for sure, as evidenced by the most-liked  comment on the video. “I’m a millennial mom and my parenting style is literally ‘Did you die? Do I need to cut it off? Then stop crying.’”

Other commenters shared how they wished their parents were more like this mom when they were growing up.

“Me currently 30 struggling with crowds, people at the supermarket, sounds, anxiety, sensory overload, etc., because nobody knew it was a thing and I’ve had to live life completely overwhelmed,” one person said.

“Me being 43 wishing my mom would have been this supportive and understanding,” said another.

There’s probably a happy medium when it comes to parenting styles, like most things about parenting. But at least this video made for a good laugh and self-awareness check. Or you could always practice gentle parenting with malicious intent like this dad.