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Gentle Parenting: Why we should all be embracing it

Being a parent is the best role one can have in life. It gives you both physical and emotional satisfaction. Your child’s well being and happiness are all you think about when it comes to decisions related to your child’s life.

Childhood is one of the most critical years in a person’s life. It’s also a time when parents can drastically affect their kids’ future by deciding how much influence they will have over them. Parents just want to see their children succeed, and they employ a variety of methods to shape their kids’ futures. 

How much of your parenting behaviour is based on what you went through as a child? Have you told yourself that you turned out fine, and so will my kid if I hit them for the sake of discipline? Or have you gone in the complete opposite direction and cannot enforce any discipline at all?

Were you listened to as a child? Did your thoughts and opinions matter? Were you threatened with dire consequences at the thought of disobedience? Were you disciplined based on fear?

I remember that my husband would look at unruly kids, much before we even planned for a child, and say I would be hitting our children if they misbehave. It’s the only way. Since we’ve had our son, he hasn’t done that once. You learn, and you grow.

Gentle Parenting Explained

What is Gentle Parenting? It’s nothing but empathising with your child and not employing any harsh or capital punishment – verbal or physical. Pay attention to the cues your child gives you instead of imposing your demands on them.

It is not instinctive to be a gentle parent for everyone because most of us are raised in societies where hitting a child was common. Children were to be hardly seen and never heard.

Gentle parenting is a conscious decision you take to see your child as an independent human being and deal with them accordingly. Would you hit an adult for not listening to you?

Permissive Parenting vs Gentle Parenting vs Authoritative Parenting

Being permissive is not setting boundaries, and authoritative is when parents impose their demands on the child and react with harsh punishment if they’re not met.

Gentle parenting is not permissive parenting. You just establish boundaries more gently. If your child is at an age where they’re hitting, you don’t hit them back, nor do you allow it. You direct the child’s hands away from you gently and say no hitting every time it happens. 

Apart from that, you talk to the child about it. If they’re hitting when they’re angry, give them a toy or punching bag and let them take out their anger on it. Are they hitting as a way to do something with their hands? Keep their hands busy with other items. It’s not an easy journey for sure. We’re still trying to deal with it. All I know is that scolding or hitting back doesn’t work and often backfires.

We have in no way perfected this. Nor do I know of anyone who has. Some days it is easy, other days next to impossible.

Usually, I take a deep breath and remove myself from the situation for a few minutes till I calm down. Or I hug my son so both of us can regulate our feelings.

We’ll never be perfect parents. But we’re going to constantly try to come as close to it as possible!


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