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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Parenting can be rough. Whether it’s your first child or third, parents are learning as they go. For Sharona Drake, it’s her Gentle Parenting method that’s not only going viral, but it’s preparing her children for anything life brings them.

“He looked up at me with this look of like fear,” she recalled when she gave him the stern face many mothers do, “That’s when I realized I didn’t want him associating my face with what he was feeling at that time.”

It was a look that she says sparked a change in how she raises her son, CJ.

“It was at that moment that I really wanted to lean into, figuring out some other options so that my child could be raised in a way that he would know that he should be treated fairly. We are trying to create a world where restorative justice is the norm and not just physical punishment,” Drake said.

When she decided to implement honest conversation, communication, empathy, understanding and respect, that’s when she said she started enjoying parenting even more.

“I mean CJ and I always had fun, but now it’s even more fun because we talk things through,” Drake told News 19.

Gentle parenting doesn’t make your child week, she says it’s actually the opposite.

“It’s our job to make sure that we’re building resilient kids and at times letting them feel their emotions and putting the responsibility back on them. So as CJ gets older, it’s not so much ‘how can I help you? I understand that was a big mistake how do you plan on fixing it?’,” Drake said.

Drake wants parents to know although it’s tiring working with their kids it is worth being intentional and to release the thought of trying to control another person.

“This is what I’m going to do, this is what I hope happens, but this is your choice to release the anxiety of trying to control this person, who will make their own decisions so you can love whoever they are,” she added.

While much of parenting has to do with the parent, Drake says to start within yourself and start to identify those triggers and past traumas that are blocking you from breaking a generational cycle.

Drake, who’s now divorced with a two-year-old is no stranger to trying to find ways to enrich youth. She founded PEARL, a female mentorship organization in Chicago in 2012, where she worked alongside parents and teachers in mentoring young women. 

Now, she’s brought that same mentorship and mentality here to Huntsville.

If you would like to join the wait list for her parenting courses, click here for more information on how to attend.