The Beginner's Guide to Gentle Parenting

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Abhilasha Rai
6 months ago
Guide to Gentle Parenting

"How will you pick the parenting style that brings out the best in you and your child when there are so many different parenting alternatives available?"

There is no single answer to this, and as you learn what works best for your family, it’s likely that you’ll (intentionally or unintentionally) combine a number of various parenting philosophies. While the majority of parents with young children report being very (39%) or somewhat (45%) confident in determining the appropriate parenting style for their child's growth, they are also seeking advice from others. Finding an appropriate Parenting style is more difficult for seven out of ten parents aged 50 and older (71%), compared to 66% of 30- to 49-year-old parents and 60% of those aged 18 to 29. This article will give you an insight into what is gentle parenting, and how can you apply it to your own life? Here is all the information you need to know about gentle parenting, from its roots to its benefits and drawbacks.


Also Read | Latest Schools, Students and Teachers Statistics in India 2022


What is Parenting?

child with parents

Parenting is the act of bringing up a kid and ensuring their safety and well-being in order to ensure their healthy development into maturity.

From infancy through adulthood, parenting fosters and supports a child’s physical, emotional, social, and intellectual growth. Parenting encompasses all aspects of raising a kid which is not only related to a biological bond.  Parenting practices differ depending on the historical era, race or ethnicity, social status, preference, and a few other social characteristics. Additionally, research suggests that parental history, particularly in the wake of negative experiences, can have a significant impact on parental sensitivity and child outcomes. This is true both in terms of attachments of varying quality and parental psychopathology.


What is Gentle Parenting?

gentle parenting: mother with child

In contrast to the typical authoritarian “old school” parenting technique, gentle parenting is a calm and constructive method of parenting. Parenting, from this perspective, is characterised by empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries. A gentle parenting approach encourages a relationship with your children that is based on their willingness and choices rather than on demands and rules that you as the parent impose. Instead of using fear or punishment, it teaches kids to do what is right by being positive and patient.

Gentle parenting is built on the basis of:

  • Understanding your child’s need
  • Empathizing with them
  • Giving them respect
  • Setting boundaries

Moreover, it’s about recognizing your child as an individual and responding to their basic needs.


What Distinguishes Gentle Parenting From Other Techniques?

gentle parenting technique

Contrary to highly strict or permissive parenting methods, gentle parenting appears to have very few downsides and rarely has a detrimental effect on kids’ mental health. Instead, the gentle parenting principles of compassion and understanding cultivate character characteristics that aid in children’s social growth while still setting sensible rules to promote good behaviour.

While individuals who use stricter parenting methods, like tiger parenting, may consider gentle parenting to be overly lax. Tiger parenting is a severe parenting approach that places an emphasis on developing motivated, successful children. Gentle parenting is distinct from permissive parenting, which is characterised as having minimal expectations of a child, which is crucial to mention. While gentle parents punish their children using methods that are appropriate for their age, permissive parents frequently choose to completely avoid doing so. Because of this, tiger parents frequently insist that their children practise or study for extended amounts of time, often at the price of enjoyable things like playdates, sleepovers, and other activities.

Due to the great expectations that are placed on them, children of tigers have been found to experience bad outcomes. Poor academic performance, anxiety, and sadness are some of these effects. Even though permissive parents can have better relationships with their kids, they frequently struggle in situations that call for structure and rule-following. Offering direction and support while firmly outlining boundaries, gentle parenting seeks a compromise between tiger parenting and permissive parenting styles.


How will Gentle Parenting Help your Child?

gentle parenting benefits: parents with children

The foundation of gentle parenting is the belief that youngsters don’t genuinely possess the same level of self-control as (most!) adults. Neuroscience explains that their brains simply aren’t yet formed or mature enough to handle the onslaught of emotions. Then, as a means of coping with an underlying need or other sensations brought on by the feeling or emotion, children “behave” in a certain way. Punishing the ‘behaviour’ is equivalent to judging a child based solely on the outside of their personality; gentle parenting digs deeper. Children’s regulating abilities and emotional literacy are being developed by putting a special emphasis on knowing and empathising with them. We are assisting them in identifying bodily feelings and how those emotions feel to them.

Contrary to most mainstream parenting approaches, where benefits are nearly invariably to the parent’s detriment, gentle parenting has many advantages for both the parent and the child.

Benefits of gentle parenting include:

  • Parents are happier.
  • Children have more self-esteem.
  • Children are smarter.
  • Kids have better emotion regulation and are more independent.
  • Children are more sociable / have a better conscience.
  • Children are better at school, they are more imaginative and empathetic.
  • They have better brain development and self-esteem.
  • Also, children are less likely to have mental disorders as they get older.
  • Children are less likely to engage in risky behaviour as teenage and  are less likely to commit substance abuse
  • Children are less likely to be violent

In gentle parenting, children are taught to be true to themselves and to have healthy relationships with their parents as they grow up. Also, in gentle parenting, a child is less likely to develop an eating disorder.

Check Out: 13 Tips for New Parents to Guarantee a Smooth Parenting Journey


General Facts about Gentle Parenting

gentle parenting facts

  • Gentle parenting focuses more on guiding the child’s upbringing than it does on punishing them or avoiding uncomfortable situations. So there is a probability the child will pick up new information shortly (there is no time limit as every child is different).
  • In order for the child to feel comfortable and secure with the adult, a strong relationship with them is essential to gentle parenting.
  • In order to practise gentle parenting, we must learn to stop feeling bad about ourselves when we refrain from yelling at our children.
  • Understanding is the foundation of gentle parenting, and it focuses on our emotions before we constantly teach and modify the child.
  • Being human, gentle parents cannot always be so serene and composed. They frequently get angry but quickly cool off and deal with the matter.
  • It's not necessary to be naturally calm to practise gentle parenting. If they are willing to change, anyone may practise peaceful parenting.
  • The principles of gentle parenting emphasise empathy, respect, and consideration for the child’s feelings, emotions, and opinions.
  • Children’s behaviour is correlated by kind parents with their age and stage of brain development. Take the child’s viewpoint into consideration.


Challenges of Gentle Parenting

parents with children

Gentle parenting techniques might provide difficulties, just like any other parenting approach. Contrary to lax parenting, which is commonly misconstrued as a lack of discipline for kids, gentle parenting is not. Instead, gentle parenting is recognising a child’s current emotions and reacting in a way that supports the child’s emotional health.

It can be difficult for parents who are unfamiliar with this approach to employ it effectively because gentle parenting calls for tolerance and compassion. Instead of reacting irrationally to your child’s conduct, examine your ability to step back and exercise self-control. Consistency is essential for gentle parenting to succeed, as it is with any parenting strategy.


The Downsides Of Gentle Parenting

mother with child

Being a very intense and time-consuming approach to raising your children, gentle parenting has some major drawbacks. If you only have two hours a day with your child, it might be challenging to implement since you need to be extremely hands-on, redirecting them as necessary and working alongside them.

Some parents or caregivers may experience discipline issues, which presents another difficulty. Although proponents of gentle parenting emphasise that it is not permissive parenting, it can be very difficult to impose strict boundaries using mostly natural consequences, and some parents may find it difficult to give their kids enough freedom to the point where they are the ones in charge of the relationship.


Gentle Parent Checklist

gentle parent checklist

  • Parents should try to handle the child in a gentle (firm but flexible) and consistent way.
  • Try to develop strong emotional bonds with children.
  • Children should be given choices rather than commands. Humour and playfulness can lead to “positive discipline.”
  • Instead of strict daily routines, the “natural rhythms” of a child should be followed.
  • Children’s “misbehaviour” is an opportunity to learn from mistakes.
  • Punishment and “time outs” are not advisable. Parents should be ready to apologize for their mistakes.
  • Children need to be empowered and encouraged to make age-appropriate choices and develop confidence and independence.
  • Children’s individuality and pace of mental and physical growth should be respected and accepted.

The advantages of various parenting styles vary from family to family. However, it has been found that gentle parenting is one of the best approaches for developing a good relationship with your kids while also setting limits.

Keep in mind that the goals of this approach might not materialise immediately to get in the mentality to start gentle parenting. You may not witness the results of gentle parenting right away because the idea of shaping your child into someone with great attributes is a continuous process. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the objective is to provide your child with the means to succeed through kind instruction and compassion.

And your child will eventually act in a manner that is acceptable for their age. When your kids start using the virtues you’ve been modelling for them throughout their upbringing on their own as they get older, that’s when you’ll know you’ve done a good job of gentle parenting.

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• parents and kids
• Parenting
• parenthood