Published on Jul 06, 2022
Gentle Parenting | Here's What You Need To Know
Being a parent is not an easy task. If you are a new parent on the new journey of parenthood, you might be stressed out about how to enforce good parenting upon your child.
There are different opinions, articles, and parenting websites going today about parenting children and types of parenting techniques. You may have seen the phrase "Gentle Parenting" going on social media and the internet. So, what does gentle parenting mean?
Parenthood is not an easy journey. From the moment your baby is born, your life becomes a rollercoaster filled with joy, ecstasy, and frightening exhaustion all at the same time and can certainly push you over the edge when you have to parent adult children.
When it comes to parenting your children, there is no one specific way. Some parents want to raise their children the way they grew up, while others want to strengthen them to fit in with their new generations.
In this article, a "Gentle Parenting" guide can help walk you through what it's all about to see if it is a fit for your family; how can you implement gentle parenting in your daily life?
What Is Gentle Parenting?
Gentle parenting refers exactly to a gentle and kind way to raise children. It is also known as collaborative parenting, which means parents use communication, discipline, empathy, and connection with their children to make decisions together as a family.
In gentle parenting, children are not controlled, punished, or blamed; rather, both parents and children are open to sound communication and interests in a collaborative way.
This parenting style comprises four key elements: empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries. The main aim of gentle parenting is to select the qualities and strengths parents want to see in their children at each age and stage of their development.
6 Gentle Parenting Techniques
Following are the basic gentle parenting techniques and practices and how you can incorporate gentle parenting into your children.
The first necessary aspect of gentle parenting is empathy, and you must be empathetic in everything you do with your child. Parents have to understand that children have their feelings, thoughts, and needs, and they are not meant to follow every one of your instructions.
Children can be messy, make mistakes, and behave in a certain way, but parents have to put themselves in their shoes and understand their way. So don't forget to empathize with them and be there with them.
2. Setting of boundaries and expectations
There should be healthy boundaries for children. Parents should respond in a positive and disciplined way that can help them reflect on their actions rather than yelling and punishing them when they cross the boundaries.
Healthy boundaries mean teaching children a better way to do things rather than strict rules and regulations. And you shouldn't expect more than their age as they may not be capable of such things.
3. Raise your words, not your voice
Another technique to implement gentle parenting is to raise the way of speaking and not voice to your children. When parents raise their voices, they are terrified, and it actually doesn't accomplish anything.
So, instead of snapping at your children, try to speak to them calmly, holding your tempers to speak to them with the same level of respect and understanding you expect from them.
Gentle parenting emphasizes parents understanding their children age-wise. When a 2-year kid throws a tantrum, it is because they don't have a specific way of speaking about it; rather, parents should talk to them at their understanding level.
By understanding that a child's behavior is appropriate for their developmental stage, children learn to explore their reactions, emotions, or thoughts in a safe and nurturing space.
Respect is another key element of gentle parenting. Normally, parents feel the need to impose rules and regulations on their children and allow them what to do and what not to do.
However, in gentle parenting, respect is required both ways; parents can earn respect from their children only when they respect their feelings, needs, and individuality. Parents can't expect them to respect them if they aren't being treated the same way.
6. Help them learn from their mistakes
Parents should help children learn actual lessons when they make mistakes and teach them the consequences of their actions that make sense to them. Only then can they differentiate right and wrong, which is the real goal of discipline.
If they break something, ask what they learned, and he might tell you the need to be more careful in the future. And parents should always recognize their rightful behavior.
Pros of Gentle Parenting
Gentle parenting is a new approach that has many positive outcomes. When gentle parenting is introduced in a household, parents and children feel more connected to each other, and children can feel more comfortable sharing their feelings.
Likewise, gentle parenting fosters children to be more empathetic and respectful individuals when they grow up, easing the stress and anxiety between parents and children. This can help them adapt to change and is an important part of successfully navigating the ups and downs of adulthood.
Parents can feel a sense of control and can recognize their children's emotional needs rather than scolding and manipulating them with their authority, maintaining the comfort of a loving, secure parental presence.
Cons Of Gentle Parenting
Gentle parenting has often been criticized as closely related to attachment parenting, another parenting style from which it originally derived.
This parenting style requires a lot of understanding and self-discipline. Instead of being reactive, parents need to be proactive, make mindful decisions, and be role models for their children.
In contrast to self-discipline, parents have to stay consistent; some critics argue that a child doesn't get enough discipline when parents use this parenting approach. Gentle parenting depends on your child having the inner stimulation to do the right thing when the wrong choices could have dire consequences.
Other types of Parenting Styles
Along with gentle parenting, there are other parenting styles also. Let's look at the four main types of parenting briefly below.
Authoritarian parenting doesn't allow their children to be involved in any type of decision-making or communication together. When a child questions something, they aren't interested in making them understand, and children should be seen and not heard.
They try to up bring their children under their rules and regulations and use punishments instead of discipline and empathy. So rather than preparing a child on how to make more suitable choices and actions, they're immersed in making kids feel sorry for their missteps.
2. Authoritative Parenting
Gentle parenting is also known as authoritative parenting, which is the most beneficial parenting style for children. Authoritative parents are nurturing and set appropriate rules making them understand the consequences taking their emotional considerations.
In this parenting style, parents create a healthy bond and maintain a positive relationship with their children, making them self-disciplined.
3. Permissive Parenting
In permissive parenting, parents mostly let their children do whatever they like without any interference or guidance. They try to be their children's friends and are forgiving in nature if they make any mistakes.
They are not strict and have limited rules and regulations. Kids who grow up with permissive parents are more likely to struggle academically.
4. Uninvolved Parenting
In uninvolved parenting, parents have little communication and engagement with their children's life. There are few rules, and children don't get guidance, care, or support.
Even though neglect by uninvolved parents might occur, it's not always on purpose. Other times, uninvolved parents don't understand how kids develop. Additionally, there are instances when they are just overburdened by other issues like employment, household management, and bill-paying.
There is no specific and perfect parenting style. Our kids are unique and true marvels in their own way, and as long as we treat them like the wonders they are, all these gentle parenting techniques will come naturally.
Parents should teach their kids to hold themselves accountable for their actions and how their actions affect things around them without being harsh and embrace them with love and support, which is what gentle parenting is all about.
Children are parents' responsibility, but at the same time, they are unique individuals. As they grow up, you will see more about their personality and have more opportunities and challenges for better parenting.
Hence, through this article, I hope you understood the concept of gentle parenting, its techniques, and its pros and cons.
Frequently Asked Questions
i. What is the opposite of gentle parenting?
The opposite of gentle parenting is uninvolved parenting. In this parenting practice, parents do not engage with their children's feelings, and there is no involvement, expectations, or emotional attachment between children and parents.
ii. What are the consequences of gentle parenting?
Gentle parenting helps parents guide children towards emotional independence and explore their feelings, emotional needs, and understanding level, which teaches children how to manage their emotions.
iii. Why is gentle parenting so popular?
Gentle parenting is the most popular and effective parenting practice with empathy, respect, and understanding between parents and children. Gentle parenting focuses on creating healthy and strong bonds with children that can benefit their long-term mental health and resilience.
iv. What are some parenting styles?
Some widely known parenting styles are authoritative, authoritarian, attachment, permissive, free-range, helicopter, and uninvolved/neglectful parenting.