“Too much love won’t spoil. Kindness doesn’t provoke poor behavior. Respect doesn’t invite disrespect. This backward thinking has caused us to feel trapped into being too harsh for too long. Generations of children are still searching and longing for unconditional love.”Rebecca Eanes
What is Gentle Parenting?
Gentle Parenting is considered to be the most beneficial approach to raising children. It focuses on these aspects; gentleness, empathy, nonviolence, thoughtfulness, listening, and embracing. You can easily remember these by the acrostic nature of this approach (G.E.N.T.L.E).
This approach doesn’t throw discipline out the window completely as you may think. Instead it focuses on teaching rather than punishing. Discipline in this aspect is highly recommended as it helps a child understand how to healthily express their emotions, or how to communicate effectively in the future while in an established safe space.
I have been on the opposite side of gentle parenting. I was, and still am, scared of approaching my parents in any way. During my childhood, I have been brushed off or told I wasn’t doing good enough based on their standards. If I talked in a certain way or didn’t want to do something, instant punishment. As a result, it led to some doubts towards my abilities and overall being. This is where the issue lies. It isn’t just my experience, it’s a huge representation of our population, and we have the power to change it for our children and those to follow.
There are many benefits to this evidence-based approach of parenting. These include…
- Focuses on cognitive state of child to help establish boundaries that are suitable for the specific age category and in the end, benefits them.
- May reduce the risk of anxiety
- Children see parents model appropriate behavior and set expectations that children can effectively acheive and easily follow.
- Children gain a better understanding of how they should act and speak
“When we show gentleness, especially during stressful times, we model frustration tolerance, and we model flexibility. Staying calm and being gentle and firm sets the tone for positive growth and development”Allison Andrews
How to Become a Gentle Parent
It can be both simple and difficult to implement this approach of parenting for your children. To help you get started and gain insight of this technique, here are some helpful tips.
- Don’t expect perfection
- Always apologize
- Pay attention to your triggers
- Not all solutions will work
It’s important to be conscious of your mental health and well-being first to properly display behavior to your children. It’s a learning process that goes both ways. You learn from each other as you build a healthy connection. I believe that is the beauty behind this parenting approach. This is why I choose gentle parenting, and I hope to influence others to do the same.