Gentle Parenting – H&S Education & Parenting
What Is Gentle Parenting & How Can You Incorporate This In Your Daily Life?
Parenting is an extremely rewarding job, and it doesn’t have to be messy or difficult. Gentle parenting also known as collaborative parenting is a peaceful and positive style, made of 4 elements: empathy, respect, understanding and boundaries. This softer parenting technique requires, patience, persistence & practice, and it has no room for controlling, shaming, blaming, compelling or punishing the child, instead compassion, connection along with communication is used consistently to guide a child.
There are many benefits to using this softer style of parenting in your daily lives. It teaches your child that they can be heard, set their own boundaries and trust their own needs. Your child knows what being respected means, and this will reduce the chances of him/her being a victim of bullying. Also gentle parenting, may improve parent-child bonding, reduce the risk for anxiety, improve social skills. As children are known to imitate, and gentle parenting is all about empathy, respect, children tend to pick these up, making them more empathetic and respectful towards others.
Tips For First Timers:
Start with baby steps. If you notice ‘bad’ behaviour, comment on that action ONLY. If you want your child to do good, be the role model and practice what you would want your child to do or follow. Practice empathy, compassion, respect, kindness all the time, every day. Try to not be controlling or demanding if you want your child to do something, rather than making it an order, try to make it a suggestion. Remember, patience and practice is key. Allow your child to express their opinions and make them feel heard and understood.
If you find yourself losing it, take a deep breath, pause and reset! As parents, it is important you communicate with and not to your child, after all it is collaborative parenting.
4 Common Day-To-Day Practices:
- Screen Time- It’s important to set a routine, so your child is prepared and understands when to turn off. Have a conversation discussing what amount of time should be good and what to do when time is up? A good example would be to allow your child to set a timer. What could be next is bedtime. The key is to plan and agree together.
- Mealtime- A routine can help with the mealtime struggle. Your child needs to know what to expect, teach them the importance of mealtimes. You can even let them know this is a time to get together and talk about all things fun and important, make it a time for bonding! Also involve your child during the mealtime, include them in the preparation, serving & cleaning, without controlling or demanding.
- Bedtime- This doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just with mealtimes, if a regular routine is set, it helps kids get used to the idea of bedtime. It’s important to be consistent every night. A routine can involve brushing teeth together as a family, reading a book and a goodnight tuck in!
- Playtime- It’s important that the child and parent have a discussion before playtime, whether it’s visiting a friend, or going to the park to play or playing indoors. Discuss what they may do, for example, when they go to the park, and when it’s time to go. Let them know there will be more fun times, and it’s not the last outing or playdate, for example. It’s good to teach them when mommy says let’s say goodbye and see you later, it’s time to leave.