Approximately three months ago, I wrote a blog post about a highly controversial parenting style better known as ‘gentle parenting’. I’m the type of parent that willing to try anything that will benefit my kids in the long run, I’ve tried it out and I’m quite excited to share my experience with you.
Just to refresh your mind a little, gentle parenting puts a great emphasis on parenting with empathy, respect, understanding and boundaries. It aims to teach children empathy, self-control and calmness. This parenting method advocates treating your children as individuals and respecting their opinions in the same way you would treat an adult. You would not shout at an adult and neither would you force them to eat the broccoli that they begged you not to dish up for them.
I found that this parenting style worked well with my older son, who has just turned twelve. I’ve made a conscious decision not to raise my voice when I speak to him, I give him choices as opposed to commands, we spend more quality time together, I haven’t been dishing out any form of punishment and as a result of that I have a happier pre-teen at home.
On the other hand, I’m still battling with my preschooler over bedtimes, mealtimes, and incorrectly cut toast. I’m afraid to say that I fell off the wagon by resorting back to “time out” after a couple weeks into my gentle parenting trial. Epic fail…. On a more positive note, I try to give her more attention when she throws tantrums, and that sometimes does the trick.
My conclusion, every child needs to be treated as an individual. Gentle parenting is an excellent option, but not necessarily for every child. I also believe that the parenting style in question worked better on my son because he is more mature, he has a better understanding of the rules, boundaries and he can communicate more effectively than my three year old.
Children are different, and we need to customise parenting according to each child’s needs. We need to celebrate and encourage their differences.