What Is Gentle Parenting?

April 4, 2022

Gentle parenting is an evidence-based method for creating confident and joyful children. Empathy, respect, understanding, and limits are the four primary components of this parenting approach.

The goal of gentle parenting is to cultivate the traits you desire in your kid by being empathetic and imposing consistent limits. Gentle parenting, unlike other more permissive approaches, emphasizes punishment, but in an age-appropriate manner. Rather than emphasizing penalties, discipline techniques focus on useful life lessons.

Those who practice gentle parenting support teaching their children to express their emotions in a socially acceptable and age-appropriate manner through family collaboration. Gentle parenting is seen as an effective strategy for producing confident, joyful, and autonomous children.

How do I use gentle parenting?

Parents should strive to adhere to the four tenets of gentle parenting:

Parenting With Sensitivity And Empathy

Parenting with a constant awareness of your child's emotions and wants.

Typically, complex parenting issues arise when a kid is misunderstood. Instead of rejecting a child's misbehavior as "manipulative" or "naughty," a parent should seek to discover the underlying cause.

By addressing the underlying cause of the undesirable behavior, a parent can prevent future occurrences.


Respecting your child as an adult is an additional important aspect of gentle parenting. Typically, parents feel compelled to establish rules and expectations, instructing their children on what to do and what not to do.

Respect must be gained, however, by respecting a kid's sentiments and personality, and with time, a youngster will learn to respect their parent.


The gentle parenting style recognizes that youngsters are not completely formed and consequently lack the same behavioral control. In light of this, parents must modify their expectations about what constitutes "normal" or unacceptable behavior. This is essential when a youngster is experiencing a temper tantrum or difficulty sleeping (opens in new tab).

This comprehension also necessitates that the parent comprehends their own behavior. For instance, when they need to yell or raise their voice at their child. Changing our personal behavior is essential to becoming role models for children.

Each family can benefit from a variety of parenting styles. Still, gentle parenting has been considered one of the most effective methods for building a healthy bond with one's children while still setting limits.

To prepare for beginning gentle parenting, keep in mind that the method's aims may not be realized immediately. The concept of shaping your child into a person with beneficial characteristics is an ongoing process, and you may not immediately observe the effects of gentle parenting. However, keep in mind that the objective is to equip your child with the tools necessary for success via gentle direction and compassion.

At the end of the day, youngsters will act correctly for their age. As your children mature, you will reap the benefits of your gentle parenting when you observe them exhibiting the characteristics you have modeled throughout their childhood.

Annie Archibald has a PhD in Family Studies from York and has taught in universities for decades. Along with her professional career, she also is a mother of five and now a grandmother to two loving boys.

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