Upbringing a happy, confident, independent child is what we all wish for; but at times, couldn’t find the right ways to set the path for the same. The same guidelines, same methods, same ways do not work with all the children as everyone is different. Yet, there are four common practices we all can do as a parent –
- Understanding the child
- Showing respect
- Discipline- Setting boundaries
Following these observations, we are transforming into gentle parenting.
What is Gentle Parenting?
Gentle parenting is a new approach to parenting for upbringing a blissful, resilient, independent adult. Here, the parents do inculcate discipline but in a positive way and not the dominating way. It is an evidence-based approach and the four parameters of gentle parenting are stated above – Understanding, respect, Discipline, Empathy.
Young ones have emotions too- as we adults have emotions, mood swings, irritations, happiness- a whole bag of emotions, so do the children. They have their own emotions, though they might not understand- what and why of those emotions. Sometimes, a small thing excites them and on the other hand, a small thing may make them cry.
Gentle Parenting helps the kid open up with their needs, emotions, and feelings with the parents. The parents become more of their friends rather than just dominating parents.
Let us understand how the 4 parameters of Gentle Parenting lead to a happy kid.
Also Check: Benefits of a Schedule in a Child’s Life
The brain of the child is at the peak development stage between 0 to 5 years of age. Whatever we want them to inculcate, we can teach them or make them understand with varied kinds of methodology.
As a child is also into the adapting stage and trying to understand his own emotions, as a parent, we also need to know the reasons behind a particular behavior of the child. Gentle Parenting encourages having age-appropriate behavioral expectations from the child.
We can’t expect the kids to behave like adults and have understanding like parents. Toddlers are bound to throw tantrums when they do not understand their new emotions. Now, it is up to parents to understand the phase and react positively. This could finally help the child learn to accept the emotion or understand the behavior.
For instance – A kid may start throwing tantrums at a store for chocolate that a parent might not be interested to buy. Here, as gentle parenting, ignoring or making them understand that chocolates are trophies for some good work or a treat for something, leads to thoughtful behavior.
Kids are humans and need to be treated the way adults are treated. Imagine, you being scolded by your parents in public. A big no! This kind of act may often drop the confidence of the child. Respond politely if, as a parent, you do not agree with the child. Treat the child as you want to be treated.
As they are at the peak of development, such instances may leave marks for a lifetime. Be gentle and polite while talking to the kids.
For instance, if a child is bothering you again and again while you are occupied with the work, do not shout at them. Instead, tell them you would be available once the work is done, preferably specify with some time.
In such instances, in gentle parenting, a parent may also let the child involve in some activity before setting up for work. Another way is to stop work and respond to the child for the first time and makes it clear, not adamantly, but straightforwardly, that you would be available after work and till then assigns some task to the kid.
Gentle parenting would never ever say NO to discipline. Instead, set some boundaries in a positive way to make the child understand the importance of time and duration.
Setting up boundaries is like building guardrails for the child to guide them on the life path. Set reasonable limits which should be age appropriate. Be consistent while not accepting the unreasonable demands of the toddler.
Create routines, set the timetable, and use some better distractions, or some favorite tricks and rewards to let the child move with your guidelines. Pick your own tricks and battles to teach the child right from wrong.
For instance- If the kid insists on watching T.V. again and again and it is time to sleep, be a little strict. It is important to follow the timetable. As a parent you can always punish the child with some fines, no activity or fun, ignoring, or not letting them play or watch movies.
Warning, punishments or fines should be imposed but never in the least forget the respect.
As a child is learning to adapt to new things, new routines, new people around; then he tends to add some new behavioral aspects. Some off-time cries, throwing tantrums, not following rules, or hitting could be unwanted, unseen aspects.
A parent needs to keep calm and get aware of the child’s feelings. There is always a reason for the changed behavior. Respect them and try understanding the reason behind it. Ask them, if they are old enough to answer.
Let the child know that the trouble is yours too. This would help them gain confidence in you as a parent friend and they will open up for the reasons.
For instance- If a child is crying every time you leave him with the maid or someone at home, and you are going out, he might be afraid of getting separated from you. Or, maybe, the child is not comfortable with the maid or the guardian.
There could be varied valid reasons. Stay with the child and make him comfortable with talks, discussions, and sorting out.
The Takeaway Words
Hitting, spanking, and corporal punishments are never the solution to the discipline and upbringing of a child. Gentle parenting is a new dimension for new-age parents to bring up a confident and independent child.
Involve the child when making some decisions. Ask his opinion. Know the views. This would help them open and interact socially. The Foundation of a confident, independent adult is laid in the infant to toddler years. Follow gentle parenting and showcase your best skills.
Remember, a child is the reflection of parents and upbringing. Foster the qualities, in the child, with compassion and understanding and not with scolding and dominating.