Last Updated on August 26, 2021.
Parenting can be hard, and it’s even harder when you’re trying to raise a child in an environment that is both safe and nurturing. Most parents don’t realize the importance of having a parenting style until they are already knee-deep in the trenches. This post will give you some tips on how to start using gentle parenting strategies for raising children so that they can grow up happy and healthy.
What is Gentle Parenting?
Gentle parenting is a style of child-rearing that takes into account the needs and feelings of both children and parents. It includes strategies for raising children with kindness, while also respecting their autonomy by giving them choices about how they live their lives.
The Basics of Gentle Parenting
The idea of gentle parenting comes from the belief that children are little people. They have their own thoughts and feelings, they need to be cared for with compassion, and they’re in charge of the decisions about how their lives will look.
This style also emphasizes kindness as a key feature – not just towards other people but toward oneself too. Parents who use these strategies are kinder and more patient with themselves, and also towards their children.
It’s is based on five founding principles:
In gentle parenting, respect is the foundation of all decisions. Children should be listened to and respected, they can make their own choices about what they want to do with their lives from a young age.
Parents also need to respect themselves in order for this style of parenting to work – children pick up on how we feel towards them so it’s critical that parents are kinder with
Empathy is key to gentle parenting. Children need to be able to feel understood and supported, and parents do this by listening. They also make sure that their children know they’re loved through empathy – connecting with them in a deep way so they can see themselves as people who are cared for
Gentle parents must make trust a priority because children need to feel safe. If they don’t, it can lead to feelings of fear and anger that come out in aggressive or unhealthy ways.
Parents should also trust themselves. Trusting oneself is especially important when it comes to parenting because, if parents don’t believe in their abilities, they might not be able to provide the best care.
Another cornerstone of gentle parenting is understanding. Children need to be listened to and understood, which is why parents should give them choices about how they live their lives. They also need understanding from the adults in their life – gentle parenting means that all caretakers are honest with children
Parents who use this style of parenting have open conversations with their kids so that there are no surprises or secrets between them.
Communication between a gentle parent and a child is based on honesty and trust. This means telling children what they need to know so that there are no surprises, having conversations about their feelings without judgment, and listening when a child wants to speak.
The Pros & Cons of Gentle Parenting
Every parenting strategy has pros and cons. This strategy is no exception. Here are the pros and cons you should consider.
Pros of Gentle Parenting
– Children are more compassionate and understanding, which makes them kinder people in the long run.
– Parents who use this style of parenting feel less stress because they’re not yelling or spanking their children for breaking rules, which can lead to parents having healthier lives.
– Gentle parenting is an empowering approach that gives children and adults the opportunity to make their own decisions.
– Children are more likely to have a sense of autonomy, which is important for mental health.
– Gentle parenting can help children learn how to love themselves.
Cons of Gentle Parenting
– Parents who use this style of parenting may find that their children are more defiant and challenging because they know the parents will listen to them.
– For gentle parenting to work, everyone in the family including other adults needs to be on board with these strategies. If not, it can lead to feelings of confusion among kids or a sense of helplessness among adults.
– This strategy takes time and effort, so it’s not an easy lifestyle choice for everyone to make.
– The skills involved with gentle parenting are challenging to learn and master as they’re based on self-control, empathy, patience, understanding, and listening.
How is gentle parenting different from other parenting strategies?
Gentle parenting is different from other parenting strategies because it focuses on an open, honest, and loving relationship between parents and children. The goal is to build a deep connection with the child so that they feel loved unconditionally in order for them to act respectfully towards others.
Gentle parenting makes empathy a priority because it’s important for children who only learn how to love themselves by seeing it from their caretakers. This means that parents should have open conversations with their kids so there are no surprises or secrets between them.
Gentle parenting is also a form of empowerment because it gives children and adults the opportunity to make their own decisions without feeling judged by others. It’s difficult for some people to use this style of parenting, but those who do find that their children are more compassionate and respond well to it.
Does Gentle Parenting Work?
Yes. Gentle parenting works because it’s about respecting children as individuals. It also teaches them how to love themselves and other people, which is the foundation for being an ethical person in society. Children who are raised by gentle parents succeed in school, have healthy relationships with others, and grow into kinder people.
How to Get Started with Gentle Parenting
- If you’re ready to start using a this strategy, here are some tips.
- Communicate openly with your child by listening and talking without judgment. Let them know what’s okay to do so there aren’t any surprises or secrets between the two of you, which teaches children how to be respectful towards others in society.
- Don’t get angry when they break a rule because gentle parenting is about respecting children. Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process and it’s okay to be frustrated, but don’t take out your anger on them by yelling or spanking them for doing something wrong.
- Give children a sense of autonomy where they can make their own decisions without feeling judged about what they do.
- Parent with empathy and patience, which helps children grow into kinder people when they’re adults.
- Use gentle parenting strategies like taking time out and helping them find solutions to their problems without giving up on the child or punishing them for mistakes.
- Be patient with yourself because it can take some time to learn how to use these skills properly. Remember that it’s worth the effort because being a gentle parent builds an open, honest and loving relationship between parents and children.
Must-Read Gentle Parenting books
- “The Gentle Parent” by L.R. Knost
- “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, Ph.D.
- “Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive” by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell
- “No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame” by Janet Lansbury
- More Gentle Parenting Books
- Aha! Parenting by Dr Laura Markham
- The Conscious Discipline Website and Blog
- Parents USA
- HealthyChildren.org (from the AAP)
What You Should Do Next…
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