Shelby Cook, LISW-S
How to Start Practicing Gentle Parenting | Is Gentle Parenting Right for Every Child?
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Parenting is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in the world. When blessed with a child, parents are responsible for raising them in the best way possible. Standing on the principles of connection, understanding, empathy, and respect, gentle parenting is one of the best modern-day techniques for raising a good human being. Here is a complete guide on how to practice gentle parenting and whether it is right for your child.
How to Practice Gentle Parenting
Are you interested in gentle parenting? Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Empathize with Everything You Do
The key characteristic of gentle parenting is empathy, and so it should be a part of everything that you do. It is important to understand that your child isn’t a robot programmed to follow commands. Instead, they are breathing human beings with real feelings, needs, and thoughts. Thus, no matter how hard the situation gets, try to picture yourself in your little one’s shoes and recall how you must have felt in the situation. This will make it easier for you to sympathize with and better deal with the needs of your children.
2. Be Mindful of Your Own Behavior
A child’s mind is just like a blank slate. So, they tend to learn everything that their parents do. When practicing gentle parenting, it is important to make sure that you interact with your child in a calm and kind tone, even if they are misbehaving. You must remember that your child is still growing and learning, and it is your job to help them through the process. Be on your best behavior around your child.
3. Set Reasonable Boundaries
When setting boundaries for your child, make sure that they are age-appropriate and that you have a strong argument to back your decision. For example, if your child is just two years old, you cannot force them to not throw a tantrum in public or be nice to everyone around. This is because children don’t develop the ability of self-control until the age of four.
Therefore, make sure that you have a genuine and reasonable argument to support your rule or boundaries, as a child is more likely to follow the rules if they understand the reason behind them. Blindly forcing your child to follow orders isn’t the right thing to do.
Is Gentle Parenting Right for Every Child?
Gentle parenting works great in most cases. However, because every child is different, some may respond better to gentle parenting than others. Therefore, it is advised not to stick to one parenting technique and find the parenting style that works best for the needs of your child and yourself. Gentle parenting is the ideal approach for kids that have sensitive temperaments and face difficulty with regulating emotions. If you want to try gentle parenting, talk to other parents or ask a professional for advice and support.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, gentle parenting is for you if you want to nurture your child with respect, empathy, and understanding. Use our guide to learn how to practice gentle parenting and build a strong and positive relationship with your child. Remember that parenting is a challenging journey, and every step you take will greatly impact your child’s life. Use gentle parenting to raise a healthy, happy, and empathetic human being.
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Image Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/child-with-woman-holding-map-235554/
APADivisions. Parents Are Models. Retrieved from APADivisions.
Parents. (2016). Are You Expecting Too Much from Your Toddler? Retrieved from Parents.