What is Gentle Parenting?
What is gentle parenting?
What is gentle parenting? Gentle parenting, peaceful parenting, conscious parenting is all the same it’s a way of ‘being’ with your child. There can be a misconception that gentle parenting is a parenting style that focuses on specific principles and strategies where in fact with gentle parenting you look to embody the qualities that you want to see in your child.
What Gentle Parenting Isn’t
Gentle parenting isn’t a method or a parenting strategy, more so it is a way of being and requires a parent to deeply look at themselves and their own upbringing. Shining light on the parenting patterns they are repeating and passing down whilst acknowledging that many of their own needs were not met in childhood.
Parents can unconsciously try to live through their own children expecting their children to adopt the same belief system, values and goals in life. When parents do this they do not allow their child to have their own beliefs, needs or wants which leads a child to feel burdened from a young age whilst trying to live up to their parents ideals and high standards.
Key components of
- Gentle parenting requires a parent to be in relationship with the child seeing a child separate from themselves. Not as a “mini me” or a child to live their own desires through.
- A gentle parent is attuned to the feelings of a child. Understanding that there are big feelings going on behind outward behaviour.
- A gentle parent strives to ‘respond’ to a child’s needs opposed to reacting.
- A gentle parent takes care of their own needs and can self regulate their emotions in a healthy manner so they can then hold space for their child’s big feelings.
- A gentle parent is not a permissive parent. A gentle parent has boundaries set peacefully with love and respect for the child.
- A gentle parent recognises what stage of development their child is in and sets age appropriate rules, boundaries and expectations.
- A gentle parent is present and engaged with a child, not just physically but also emotionally.
- A gentle parent does not judge a child’s feelings, instead allowing space for their feelings to pass through and validating a child’s experience.
- A gentle parent is aware of their own emotional state when in conflict with their child.
Benefits of Gentle Parenting
When a child is raised by a gentle parent they are raised with unconditional love, acceptance and respect.
A child who is raised gently feels seen, heard, validated and understood which in turn helps a child become more emotionally resilient, being better at handling life’s stressors as they are more aware of their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
As gentle parenting is a mindful approach to parenting children experience less stress, a strengthened bond to the parent and a safe, secure environment to thrive, grow and learn.
Gentle parenting requires a lot of self reflection and awareness. Adults who work on being conscious parents understand that their triggers are related less to their child’s behaviour and more to their own unmet emotional needs in childhood.
“This process is worth it. I thought of it as an investment in myself and my family’s future, and my goal was simply to be a better parent, and I just didn’t have the skills, and this process provides that. The time investment is worth it, because you really get to work on the process, you get to explore your inner workings, you learn new skills. I would say if you feel called to do this process, there is a reason for that and I do not think you will regret it.” – Izzy. Washington.