New Delhi: Present-day parenting involves spending a lot of time online gathering information about different styles of parenting and their effect on the child in the early developmental stages of their lives. In this era of excessive information, which can often be conflicting and overwhelming, parents have to choose a parenting style that works best for their child while being compassionate and understanding towards her or him.
Gentle parenting is one such approach that parents are increasingly adopting as it focuses more on the child as a capable being and involves a collaborative effort between the parents and the child towards fostering greater empathy, understanding, and respect in the relationship.
Here are three ways gentle parenting can be incorporated into your parenting style:
Separate action from the person
Focusing on the action rather than the person helps the child understand how to respond better in a situation and to a person. For instance, if a child is throwing a tantrum and making a fuss by screaming, the parent should shift attention from the child to the action, in this case, it's screaming. Instead of telling the child, "You should not scream," saying, “Screaming will not help here. Let us discuss this more,” is a much better approach to defusing the situation.
Modelling plays a key role in understanding emotions
Parents that express their emotions well and regulate them wisely become great models to help the child understand how to handle their own emotions. Simple day-to-day scenarios can teach children this. For example, a parent can say, “Oh, I was feeling stressed as I was late for my meeting today due to heavy traffic on the road. However, I did self-talk and that helped me not panic while I was late.”
Parents often adopt an ‘instructive’ mode of teaching children certain behaviours, or even while conducting simple tasks like tying laces. However, rather than ordering or instructing them, working together and helping them understand goes a long way. This gives children the freedom to create their paths and ways of doing things.
Children learn by example, watching their parents who are their world for the first few years of their lives. Making them feel loved for who they are makes them stronger and more resilient to the world around them. It also proves beneficial for parents to be more kind and compassionate towards themselves.