Ever wondered what kind of parenting style you follow? When it comes to raising a child, there is no one specific style that will fit in correctly. That is the reason there exist many parenting styles and one among them is the gentle parenting style. When it comes to disciplining the child and shaping them, every parent has the freedom to choose what style suits them the best. One such is following the gentle parenting tips.
Though many parenting techniques come with many conflicts, there are also a few parenting styles that match each other. It can range from being strict parents to following a more relaxed approach. Having said that, the benefits of gentle parenting are many.
Here we look at the aspects of gentle parenting and address your query: “is gentle parenting effective?”.
What Is Gentle Parenting?
Standing different from the traditional- “authoritarian” old-school parenting style, gentle parenting is a peaceful and positive approach to parenting. These parents usually have the mindset of empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries. Though gentle parenting is mostly compared to attachment parenting, both these styles are different — however, can be used alongside one another.
In gentle parenting, the relationship between the parent and the child is built based on the willingness and choices rather than demands and rules set by the parents. Parents use positivity and patience in this parenting technique rather than fear and punishment.
Using gentle parenting techniques for toddlers is very simple as it isn’t really about any specific methods. Gentle parenting is more of approaching any situation with sympathy and empathy towards the child and understanding the reason for their behavior. Parents work towards changing the child’s behavior towards betterment wherever needed and accepting those which cannot be changed.
Related Reading: The Top 10 Most Common Parenting Mistakes
What Are The Pillars Of Gentle Parenting?
When you go through gentle parenting, it may feel like there is a lot to learn. Gentle parenting is a long-term approach to shaping up your child with respect and by valuing their feelings. There are four main elements when it comes to gentle parenting namely: empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries.
Through gentle parenting, a strong and healthy bond is built between the parent and the child. This kind of parenting is believed to develop the confidence of children and provide them with the tools that are required for making the right choices.
Listed below are the pillars of gentle parenting tips.
1. Gentle parenting respects the child
Respecting the child is the main pillar of gentle parenting and is an important concept to follow. For some, it could be obvious to respect the child and for a few, they might have to give it a lot of thought depending upon the way they were raised.
A child respects their parents and treats them with respect. A child will feel safe and free with a parent who respects them as a whole person. Remember, respecting a child doesn’t mean we always go by their wishes.
2. Gentle parenting validates the child’s feelings
Out of respect for the child, gentle parenting validates the child’s feelings. To validate your child’s feelings, you should always listen to them. Many parents try to brush over the child’s emotions in an attempt to help them overcome them.
By listening to your child and responding to their emotional side you can help them validate and tackle that feeling better. It becomes easy for the child to overcome those big emotions when they know you hear them.
Related Reading: 8 Tips To Inculcate Sharing And Caring To Kids
3. Use positive words to encourage the child
Positive language has a great impact on the child as well as the adult. With the help of positive language, we instill confidence in the child, helping them make the right choice. Every parent should always remember the worst things you can say to your child and must abstain. Instead of using words such as “No,” or “Stop,” you can tell them exactly what you want them to do.
If you wonder if: “is gentle parenting effective?”, it all depends upon the words that are spoken to children. Remember that you should not only use them when they are “good” but even when they are intentionally doing the wrong things. Gentle parenting phrases such as “You are so good” or “You are so smart,” can be a game-changer.
4. Gentle parenting relies on natural consequences
In Gentle parenting, traditional methods of punishment such as spanking or time-outs aren’t used. It allows natural consequences to take their place. Through this child will learn that their actions have consequences which makes learning easy.
Though using natural consequences might take more time, it is much more effective than traditional punishments. Natural consequences need not be repeated frequently. Allow natural consequences to take place which will let your child know the right thing to do.
8 Peaceful And Gentle Parenting Tips
From showing respect to having empathy, gentle parenting is what its name sounds like. By using gentle parenting tips, you see the child as an individual rather than an extension of yourself. Connection, communication, and consistency is the key to gentle parenting. As we all know, there is no single way to be a good mom, however, there are a million ways to do so.
There are many parenting styles out there and you need to follow the one that suits you best. Many parents feel guilty for not knowing about the right kind of parenting until they discovered peaceful parenting. This feeling would be more useful to your child than it is good to you.
Shifting your parenting approach is a big transition and takes time. Here are the benefits of gentle parenting and a few gentle parenting tips to make things easier.
1. Start with yourself
The peace in peaceful parenting comes from you. If you can regulate your emotions properly, things could become easier. Whenever you feel sad or upset, take a break and try to stay calm. Refuse to work on those situations which might project you as an enemy to your child. This takes time and comes with practice. When you try to develop control, you excavate those unnecessary triggers that make you lose control.
2. Focus on connecting
When it comes to peaceful parenting, it doesn’t work without a connection between the child and the parent. Before you try to incorporate changes in your child, start to create a good bond with them. This is because when the bond isn’t tight it becomes easier to drop off rules and the child doesn’t know or feel motivated to do the right things. If you spend one on one time with him, barely 15 minutes per day, you will be amazed to see the results.
Related Reading: 7 Realistic Tips To Raise Mentally Strong Kids
3. Keep setting limits
It’s okay to become a little flexible and that’s what kids discover over some time. However, remember to set a lot of limits. The key to this is to set them when you are in a good mood and not when you are angry. Acknowledging your child’s perspective while setting your limits is what helps them cooperate with you.
4. Teach reparations
If you are a parent who has this habit of constantly punishing the child, you will feel lost when your child breaks the rule and you don’t punish them. It is better to train your thoughts instead. After everyone has settled and feels normal and reconnected, try talking with the child and explaining to him what had happened.
Let the discussion be private. Be patient, listen to him, and empathize with him. Resist the urge to punish him or get a forceful apology. Instead, ask your child if there is anything he can do to repair the damage. The point of repair, after all, is to create a better rapport with the person you’ve hurt.
5. Model all kinds of kindness
As parents, we act as role models to our children. Be kind towards yourself and your child on how to be curious and compassionate with your own emotions. If you are tired, show your kids what self-care means. You can say, “Baby, I’m tired. Probably a quick dinner and early bed will make me feel better”. In this way, you teach the child how they can treat themselves and others in times of need.
6. Encourage positive action
This is an important gentle parenting tip as in this parenting style, you choose to set clear boundaries and know what you want from the child. Keep your limits set to the things that you would want to focus on and try to encourage actions that you wish to instill. Say if you don’t want your child to use their hands-on messy stuff, you can politely say, ” this one is just for looking”.
7. Offer choices – “Would you like to do it on your own or have me help you”
Kids grow better when you give them choices and involve them in decision-making. This will help them tackle power struggles and build confidence in them. When you give choices, some children may depend on your help for completing the task. However, when you always jump before they ask, they will not gain the confidence and independence to do things on their own.
Related Reading: 12 Social Skills Activities For Toddlers
A few gentle parenting phrases on offering choices:
- When you find your child sleeping and not willing to wake up, offer him a choice of extending his sleep or waking up. “Shall we get up now or do you want to sleep for 5 more minutes?”
- When your child throws all of his toys and creates a mess and doesn’t want to clean them all, ask him, “Shall we put this aside so that no one trips over it?”
- When it’s cold outside and your child wants to wear crocs, explain to him “Since it’s cold today we all need shoes. Where is yours, do you want one?”
- When your child throws tantrums and doesn’t want to listen to you, tell him “I have something important to talk about with you. Do you want to hear it now?”
8. Raise your words not your voice
Your goal is not to scare and terrorize your child. Hence, yelling at kids doesn’t accomplish anything. An important gentle parenting tip is to ensure that you do not lose your temper and speak to kids with the same level of respect we expect from them.
As goes the saying, “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
Make sure to follow gentle parenting techniques so that you don’t humiliate your child or make them feel bad about themselves.
Does Gentle Parenting Work?
Gentle parenting tips do work and it’s a kind of parenting style many of them are willing to try in recent times. The point is it might not work the immediate way many of us want it to happen. Remember, we are raising children and not building apartments. It is a lot of hard work and yes it gets paid off with time. This will take a lot of effort physically and mentally and is easy to burn out if you don’t take care of your own needs.