Sometimes as parents we can get to the end of our rope and be tempted to follow “might is right” parenting which ends in spanking and yelling at our children. Studies have shown that spanking, even “mild” spanking, can cause long-term mental health issues for children.
Some advocate time-outs as an alternative to spanking in order to set boundaries, but there is another school of parenting called gentle parenting. Gentle parenting takes time, patience, communication, self-knowledge, a willingness to go on the parenting journey, did we mention patience? The result is a loving, respectful relationship where even your discipline teaches your child about love, respect, trust and understanding.
3 Tips To Move Towards Gentle Parenting
- Step back – When you are aggravated by your child’s behavior. Take 5 seconds to stop, step back and take inventory of why your child’s behavior is irritating you. This isn’t easy especially if your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store! The rewards of mentally stepping back, however, are tremendous.
- Listen – What is your child really saying? Is she overtired? Does he feel misunderstood? Is she afraid? What is behind the anger or tears?
- Be positive – Turn a negative situation into a positive. Try to redirect towards something positive, refrain your “no” into a yes or see where you can proactively set limits before the crisis boils over.
Gentle parenting isn’t a “free for all” where children do as they please. It is about choosing to give children a safe, loving, respectful and trustful upbringing. It may not be the easiest way to parent, but it is a way of parenting that focuses on a more peaceful interaction between child and parent reaping long-term results of trust and love for parent and child.
Have you heard of gentle parenting? What do you think about it?