Gentle Parenting: The What, How, and Why

Raising children and taking care of your family will never be an easy task. The way you raise your children will impact them for years to come. 

The connection between a parent and a child have long-lasting effects, which highlights the importance of forming consistent connections and healthy attachments. 

The World Health Organization has established a program known as “Parenting for Lifelong Health,” with aims to prevent child maltreatment and other forms of violence through a program that strengthen caregiver-child relationship through play and praise. 

Aside from preventing child maltreatment, the program also aims to reduce family mental health distress. 

The program is divided into four age groups: infants, toddlers, young children, and teens. 

Parenting has different styles such as authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, uninvolved, and recently what the internet called “gentle parenting.” 

Gentle parenting focuses on empathy, respect, understanding, and setting healthy boundaries. 

 

Gentle Parenting

Parents who have a gentle parenting style build a connection with their children through effective communication and gentle consistency. 

It is encouraged that parents should try to empathize with their children while also respecting their feelings as children would sometimes show their needs through attention-seeking behaviors. 

Gentle parenting has three basic practices such as connection, communication, and consistency. Meanwhile, rewards and punishments are not part of the basic practice of gentle parenting. There were claims that such a system places in a child’s mind that they must act in a certain way to get a prize or escape punishment. 

In gentle parenting, boundaries are also a way to make children feel safe and let them know what to expect. 

 

Research on Parenting

2011 study noted that harsh-negative parenting behaviors and children’s depressive symptoms were strongly and positively related. 

It also indicated that lower levels of support of supportive-positive parenting were associated with more depressive symptoms in children. 

However, more studies are needed to establish and empirically show the effects and benefits of gentle parenting. 

 

SOURCE: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/gentle-parenting#basic-practices 

https://www.who.int/teams/social-determinants-of-health/parenting-for-lifelong-health 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3152307/ 

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