'My child did not crumble when she was faced with disrespect. Instead, she was able to recognize this isn't what I deserve.'
The child-rearing philosophy commonly known as "gentle parenting" is often criticized as one that might not equip kids with the resilience to make it out there in the big bad world. One mom on TikTok recently illustrated how that's not true by sharing a story of when a teacher yelled at her daughter and the manner in which the little girl handled the experience. In a video that's been viewed more than 2.1 million times, N'tima Preusser—a wellness coach and mother who educates her followers on all things health, adulting and parenting—used the incident to highlight how her "gentle parented" daughter will not just survive the big tough world, but thrive in it.
"How on Earth are kids who are gentle parented going to be able to survive the big, tough world? How are they going to handle being in a classroom where they're not always treated kindly and gently and respectfully like they are at home? Let's talk about it," Preusser says in the nearly two-minute clip. "The other day, my child came home with this picture in her backpack of her crying," she continues, holding up a drawing of a sad child. Preusser shared that when she asked her child what the picture was about and whether she wanted to talk about it, the young girl opened up to her about what had happened at school that day.
"She said, 'Yeah, a teacher got in my face and yelled at me at recess.' And I was like, 'oh, okay, what happened.' And she explained how 'I think the teacher was having a rough day. And she took it out on me, and she yelled at me, right in my face,' which is something she does not experience at home," Preusser reveals in the video. "And then she said that it made her mad. And she felt mad until quiet time when she was able to draw a picture about it, which helps take her mind off of it. And as she said, 'make the mad feeling go away.'"
Preusser pointed out that her child was able to tackle a "tough world" problem all by herself as she knew how to channel her anger in the right way and calm herself down. "My child did not crumble when she was faced with disrespect. Instead, she was able to recognize this isn't what I deserve. And this really doesn't have much to do with me," she says in the video. "And then she was able to identify her mad feelings, feel her mad feelings, and then find a way to process those mad feelings and make them go away."
@ntimapreusser #respectfulparenting #gentleparenting #LinkBudsNeverOff #OREOBdayStack ♬ You - Petit Biscuit
"So by the time I was picking her up from school, she was fine. She was over it. And had I told her in other scenarios to put her anger away, and that she's not allowed to express those feelings at our home, she would not have the tools to process them or to feel comfortable feeling them and she would likely store them in her body and act out later in the day. Not only are they going to survive the big tough world, they're going to thrive because they're not going to have to spend the majority of their adulthood healing from their childhood," Preusser concludes.
@ntimapreusser 👀 #respectfulparenting #parenting #WomenOwnedBusiness #gentleparenting #HaloSilverTeam ♬ original sound - Gianni Matragrano
Responding to the video, many TikTok users pointed out just how mature and equipped the young girl really is to deal with "real world" struggles and challenges. Many also expressed how they would have benefited from being taught to manage emotions and identify when someone else is having a bad day. "The fact that she identified that the teacher might be having a rough day, shows how mature her mindset is," commented one, while another wrote: "I wasn't gentle parented, in fact, I was pretty mucho tough parented, and I'm a hypersensitive person who cries at everything." Yet another commenter pointed out that "gentle parenting is essentially providing processing and coping skills to navigate big emotions. This is so good!"