A mother who’s parenting four children aged between two and 13 says she refuses to use ‘baby talk’ and will always let them sleep in her room ‘even when they are 25’.
Kail Britt, 30, from Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada, said she didn’t always practice ‘gentle parenting’, especially after having her first son Will, now 13, when she was just 17.
But she ditched ‘following other people’s narratives of parenting’ and embraced her own style when parenting Will, Dallas, nine, Aiyanna, six, and Archie, two.
She said she refuses to use ‘baby talk’ – instead treating them as ‘humans’.
She won’t force her kids to hug or talk to others and lets them take a day off school for a mental health day if they need it.
Kail Britt, 30, from Ontario, has learned not to listen to ‘parenting techniques’ – and says she lets her four children, including Archie, sleep alongside her in bed if they want to
The stay-at-home mum also keeps a bed in her room for her children to sleep in if they want to and says it will still be there for them when they are adults.
Kail, a content creator and social media marketer, said: ‘I don’t do baby talk.’
‘I talk to them as regular humans and talk about deeper feelings with them. I still talk to them age appropriately but I find baby talk a bit condescending. I guide them, I don’t control them.
‘I used to plan their outfits but now they wear what they want. I let them have mental health days but they don’t misuse them.
The mother of four, who fell pregnant with her first son, Will, when she was just 17, says mental health days and speaking to a child in an ‘age appropriate’ manner are her top tips
Affirmations: Every night, Kail tells her children they are strong and kind (Pictured: Aiyanna, Kail’s only daughter)
Sweet dreams: The mother-of-four says she will never force her kids to do something they don’t want to
Kail’s top tips for gentle parenting
- Let kids take mental health days
- Don’t force them to do something they don’t want to
- Let them co-sleep if they want to
- Repeat affirmations to kids each night
- Let them dress how they want
- Refuse to use ‘baby talk’
- Enjoy ‘grown up time outs’
- Don’t use ‘time out’ – use ‘time ins’ to talk about situations instead
‘They can take day off without faking a fever – I’ll just check they are up to date with work and don’t have a test that day. By being a gentle parent I let my kids be proud of themselves.’
Kail said she didn’t always follow a gentle or respectful approach to parenting.
She said: ‘I used to follow other people’s narratives of parenting. Now I’ve been a gentle parenting for a couple of years. There is no such thing as a perfect parent but I’m the best I can be.’
Kail says she will always apologise to her kids if she feels she does something wrong and will give herself a time out if she needs it.
She said: ‘I will apologise to them to show adults make mistakes too. I have grown up time outs where I will go to the bathroom and take a breather. I have affirmations in there I will repeat to myself.
‘With my kids we do ‘time ins’ so once the emotions have calmed down we will sit down together and talk about what happened.’
Kail will never force her kids to do something they don’t want to.
She said: ‘I won’t make them hug or talk to someone if they feel uncomfortable.
‘I don’t make them go to a family event if they don’t want to.’
Kail will also do affirmations with her children every night.
‘I tell them they are strong and beautiful and kind,’ she said.
Let them co-sleep if they want to: The mother-of-four says while she takes time for herself, she encourages her children to share her bed if they’re feeling anxious
The tactic has worked, with her children mostly happy to settle in their own beds
Kail is also happy for her children to co-sleep with her if they want – and now has a separate bed set up in her bedroom if they want to use it.
‘They have the option of co-sleeping,’ she said. ‘But a lot of the time they love going to their own beds. The bed will always be available for them – even when they are 25. It’s a safe space.’
Kail also lets her daughter Aiyanna make her own breakfast and lunch in her own Ikea kitchen – and says she loves the independence.
She said: ‘I didn’t believe I was a good mother for a long time. Now I believe I am.
‘But there’s always room for improvement. My children are loved and feel safe and they know their worth.’