When it comes to parenting, there are a number of different techniques that you can use. When it comes down to it, parenting should be done in the way that best suits you and your family. The different techniques can work differently for different family dynamics. Finding the one that works best for you and your family can take some time. One technique that is growing in popularity due to the benefits that it has for all involved is gentle parenting. But what is gentle parenting? Let’s take a look at what it is and how you implement it in your home.
What is gentle parenting?
Gentle parenting is a technique that has been studied and has scientific evidence behind it to show that it helps to raise healthy, happy, and confident children.
It is a technique that uses four key characteristics to teach your children. These characteristics help your child to feel safe, secure, and heard within the family.
When adding these characteristics into your parenting style, they will help to develop your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing. It also helps to develop skills that they will use long into their adult lives.
The four characteristics that gentle parenting is based on include; empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries. Let’s go a little more into depth on each of the characteristics.
Parents that have adapted the gentle parenting technique at home, raise their children in a way where their feelings are made aware of and they are considerate of the child’s feelings. Rather than the parent’s feelings being the only ones that are being heard and considered, it is a full family effort to ensure that everyone, including the children are heard equally when it comes to their feelings and emotions.
Many issues arise with children when their feelings are misunderstood or not heard. Gentle parenting takes into account the situation and rather than assuming the child has acted out or been naughty, they take the time to talk to the child and find out what they were feeling. This helps to identify what may have caused them to do something out of the ordinary and how best to help them.
Many parents feel that they are entitled to respect from their children, however do not show their children the same respect. Gentle parenting includes the parents showing their children equal respect.
When you respect your children, their feelings, and what they have to say – they are more likely to return the respect to you.
Rather than demanding and respecting your child’s respect, but showing it to them, they will be able to see and understand how it works and reciprocate it to you.
Another characteristic of gentle parenting is showing understanding. Children should not be looked at as mini-adults. Their brains are not fully developed and do not reach this point until they are in their twenties that their brains have reached this capacity. Because of this, children are not always fully aware of their actions and the consequences.
This means that as a parent you need to show understanding to your child and help them to make the right decisions. Understand that they are not always going to fully grasp a situation or make the best decisions.
You also need to understand that your own actions can also impact your child. Children mimic the actions that they see around them. Which means that you need to as a parent, model to them the best behaviour so that they can learn from it and implement it themselves.
There is a common misconception that gentle parenting means being lazy and not putting in place any disciplines or rules for your child. This is not the case. Gentle parenting works on a basis where age-appropriate boundaries are put in place. These boundaries are respectful, kind and help to teach the child right from wrong.
Rather than getting frustrated which results in yelling, storming off, and constantly saying NO, gentle parenting puts boundaries in place to help your child to understand when they can do things and when they can not.
Boundaries and routines are crucial for children’s development and learning.
Gentle parenting has many benefits including being good for your children’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
If you are struggling with your children and want to make a difference in a positive way, look into gentle parenting and how it can improve your home life.