The Benefits Of Outdoor Play For Kids
According to an article published in Forbes, kids today spend an average time of seven hours a day holding mobile devices or in front of screens. This has resulted in a wide majority of children swapping their outdoor activities with screen time, which makes their lifestyle more sedentary. Not only does it affect their overall health but also their quality of life.
Like most parents, you may notice your kids passing over outdoor play to get more screen time. It has been unfortunate that mainstream and digital media and influential parents have all focused on decreasing kids’ outdoor activities for years by giving them gadgets to play with.
Thanks to commendable efforts by Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the US, to launch the “let’s move” campaign in 2010, many parents now realize the importance of physical activity for their kids and other family members. Many parents still, however, require awareness of why it is so essential to get their children outside.
Parents have no ill intentions toward their children. They want them to be physically and emotionally healthy individuals with a sense of compassion and independence. However, they sometimes fail to realize on time that taking their kids outside is one of the most essential things to achieve said goals.
In this article, we have discussed some incredible benefits of encouraging children to play outside, so read on.
Physical Benefits of Playing Outdoors
Outdoor play during preschool and elementary years develops physical strength, regulates body weight, and enhances immune functions in children. And the best part is that children engaging in physical activities are more likely to carry over into their adulthood with more developed fitness-related habits. This is because children taking part in outdoor activities get trained to consider physical activity as a vital habit to continue during the adulthood years.
Improved Balance and Coordination
Children who play outside develop agility, coordination, balance, and many other advanced motor skills. These children develop a particular likeness to move in a way that challenges their muscles, skeletal strength, and overall body endurance. During their play outdoors, they find room to walk, run, and flex their bodies.
A More Proportionate Body Mass Index
In the 1980s, only 7% of the kids in the USA were found to be obese. But after about three decades, one in every three children met the criteria for obesity. This is because children today eat more and move less than children a few decades back.
Children who play outside more than others are less likely to become obese due to their more active lifestyle. Instead of sitting in front of the TV and computer for hours, they like to play outside and consume calories to remain in good shape.
Better Overall Health
Playing outside and preventing weight gain delivers numerous health benefits to your child. For instance, obese children are more likely to develop health conditions like sleep apnea, asthma, and, in later years of life, heart disease and diabetes. On the other hand, spending time in the sunlight and moving around enhances your child’s mood and strengthens their immune system. Outdoor activity can even benefit children with ADHD.
Vitamin D is called ‘sunshine vitamin’ because your body gets a lot of it when you are outside in the sun. Children usually need more vitamin D than they get from their diet, so letting them play outside allows them to get an optimum supply of this essential nutrient. All you have to do is to take your children out on a sunny day and let them play.
Several outdoor activities develop muscular strength in your kids. For example, swinging is one of the most common outdoor activities. This play engages your kid’s muscles that help them to sit up and hold on. Although this activity seems more repetitive, it is like an optimum fitness workout for kids. Several other sports, like riding toy bikes, skateboards, and scooters also encourage muscular strength in kids.
Emotional and Mental Benefits of Playing Outdoors
Research conducted at the Open University’s OPENspace Research Centre finds considerable evidence suggesting a strong correlation between playing outdoors and increased life expectancy, reduced symptoms of depression, improved well-being, and enhanced ability to perform in school in children.
Children who regularly play outside are better able to focus and learn, improve their behavior, increase productivity, and maintain healthy relationships.
This is because the outdoors is where children can be themselves at best. It allows them to vent their excitement by escaping from a more restrictive, quiet environment usually present at homes and schools.
Here is a brief explanation of the mental and emotional benefits of playing outdoors for children.
Reduced Anxiety and Stress
The way outdoor play helps reduce stress and anxiety in children has been established well in the study of biology. Outdoor activities allow children to get more sunlight, which helps them get more vitamin D. This helps release an optimal amount of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter linked with happiness and depression relief. Vitamin D deficiency prevents this neurotransmitter from being released, raising the risk of anxiety and depression.
Playing outdoors also helps reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that may trigger the feeling of stress and anxiety. Since children are more vulnerable to getting anxious due to flashing screens, academic pressure, and busier routines, getting them outside can help them remain happy and emotionally healthy.
Better Mood and Self-Esteem
Outdoor play allows children to get in touch with nature. When they are outside, they get to deal with natural materials, and that fuels their sense of creativity. Taking your children outdoors and letting them have some unstructured time to play invokes high-level thinking, which enhances their problem-solving skills. Not only does this improve their overall mood, but they also become more confident individuals. It also undoes the harmful effects of their everyday exposure to stressful environments.
Improved Memory And Concentration
Taking your children outside and encouraging them to play not only engages them physically but also gives them a good amount of mental workouts. Physical movement influences their hippocampus positively, improving their ability to learn and memorize things. Outdoor play also enhances their ability to pay attention to detailed information and improve focus on any given task.
Social Benefits of Outdoor Play
Not only does outdoor play helps children become physically and mentally healthy, but it also allows them to develop their social skills. Children, when playing outside, love to interact with their peers. This develops cooperation, empathy, and friendship among children, and they learn the importance of teamwork for success.
Here are the notable social advantages of playing outdoors.
Communication and problem-solving skills
Playing outdoors not only helps children improve their deep-thinking abilities individually, but they also learn to communicate to solve problems. For instance, figuring out how to fix that cubby house or stabilize a small structure requires deep thinking as well as cooperation. Moreover, soccer and other team sports necessitate each player to coordinate and act accordingly. When children engage in such activities, they try to figure out solutions and improve their communication to make things work out.
Outdoor activities not only help kids become more self-aware but also develop positive feelings about others. As a result, they take good care of what others feel. According to studies, children who play outside frequently are less likely to become bullies in later years.
Again, it comes down to teamwork and imagination, both of which are necessary to develop positive interactions among children. Children who get to practice more tend to find common ground to get along with their peers.
Outdoor Play and Environmental Awareness
One of the necessary traits of a responsible individual is positive and respectful behavior toward the environment. Do you want to foster this behavior in your kids? All you have to do is to take them outside and let them interact with nature in the way they like.
According to a study, playing outdoors promotes love of the environment in children, and they grow up as more responsible individuals with a caring attitude towards nature. 84% of the respondents in this study said that preserving the environment was a priority.
Taking children outside more frequently encourages them to take ownership of their actions and develop a deeper appreciation of natural blessings. This helps them realize the importance of caring for plants and animals and not littering in the open.
Given the benefits it offers, taking your kids to the playgrounds is more like the responsibility of parents who want their children to be physically, mentally, socially, and intellectually healthy. Not only does outdoor play make your children better at academics, but they also grow up as better human beings with a progressive and positive mindset.
The Downside of Authoritarian Parenting: Why Control is Not Always Best
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising good children, the evidence says that parenting styles matter greatly in kids’ development. A parenting style can be good or bad, depending on how it shapes the interaction between you and your child. One particular parenting style called authoritarian parenting has gained much attention, but not for the right reasons.
Authoritarian parents are the strictest and tend to be the exact opposites of permissive parents. They have a long list of rules that children must abide by but do not expect opinions or feedback in return. But this is not to say they have ill intentions toward their children. In fact, the opposite is true, as they want their kids to be well-rounded, capable, civilized, and successful individuals.
But, as evident as it sounds, there are A LOT of drawbacks of authoritarian parenting. For example, children who must conform to a strict regimen often base their self-worth on whether or not they have obeyed instructions. As a result, their ability to make choices gets hindered, which affects their self-esteem significantly.
This blog post discusses the most significant downsides of authoritarian parenting. The purpose is to explain why it is not always the best idea to control every aspect of your kid’s life. We will also discuss alternative parenting styles that promote an environment of warmth and respect among parents and children, so read on.
What Are The Characteristics Of Authoritarian Parenting?
As a parent, you want your kids to socialize with the culture and values you have established in your household. And if you are an authoritarian parent, you may want to enforce rules in a way that might not necessarily resonate with your kids.
Some characteristics that make your parenting style exhibit authoritarian traits are as follows.
Showing little Warmth
You are most likely an authoritarian parent if you are inclined to become unfriendly and harsh toward your children over some matter as minute as being childishly careless for a moment. Your reaction may be an angry stare or a yell.
Shaming Instead Of Being Supportive
Making your children follow rules and norms through a process that considers their emotions will instill good morals. However, doing it through shaming or belittling will do more harm than good. This is because shaming makes your kids despise you, and they will show their emotions through a bad attitude.
Zero Tolerance for Misbehavior
Children can sometimes exhibit undesirable behavior, which is not something unusual. But authoritarian parents do not expect opposition even at this level. Also, they do not have the patience to explain why their children must not adopt certain behaviors.
Lack of Trust in Children
Children must be taught to make good choices in their lives. And once they learn that, they should be trusted to go ahead and choose what they deem right. Sure, their actions must not go unchecked, and they must be gently guided through the process.
However, this can be too much to ask from authoritarian parents.
Instead of letting them make choices and face consequences, authoritarian parents tend to hover around and ensure their kids do not make mistakes.
Not Ready To Negotiate
For authoritarian parents, there are no gray areas. They view situations as black and white, and they do not find themselves ready to compromise. So when making decisions or defining rules, they do not expect their kids to have a say in the process.
The Downsides of Authoritarian Parenting
As stated above, authoritarian parents are strict guardians who do not believe in compromising or discussion. They expect their kids to follow their rules without expressing their opinion.
While rules and boundaries are necessary means of teaching your children ethical values and making them morally responsible, being harsh and inflexible can be counterproductive.
Here are the top downsides of authoritarian parenting.
Impact on Child Development
Evidence suggests that authoritarian parenting can have a less desirable or even negative impact on a child’s overall development. Shaming, harsh punishments, and threats can lead to long-term behavioral problems in kids. When they grow up, they are more likely to show anti-social, aggressive, and defiant behaviors.
Authoritarian parenting can also cause physical health problems in children. Children reared in authoritarian familial structures usually suffer from higher levels of depression, which causes anxiety, restlessness, inability to control emotions, and upset stomach. These changes affect a child’s health adversely.
Increased Risk of Anxiety and Depression
Authoritarian parents do not respond well to their children’s requirements or needs. Their harsh and non-nurturing attitude invokes feelings of instability and insecurity in children, affecting their mental health at a very young age.
So when the children of authoritarian parents grow up, they are more likely to have anxiety, depression, and other mental issues than children raised by permissive or authoritative parents.
Poor Self-Esteem and Low Self-Worth
Authoritarian parenting is characterized by rigidness, demand, control, and an attitude that denies the children’s right to express opinions. While authoritarian parents carry out all this to ensure the safety and well-being of their kids, they forget or care little about its impact on children’s emotional and mental health. According to studies, children brought up in such an environment lack self-confidence and have increased inferiority and insecurity.
Difficulty with Moral Reasoning
Authoritarian parenting develops blind obedience, which makes them submit to authority. This tiger parenting style doesn’t encourage children to question. As a result, they are likely to perform a task regardless of whether or not it is ethically right.
Hence, children met with negative reinforcement without a solid reason are at a high risk of developing socially irresponsible behavior.
Potential for rebellion and resentment
Experts have found that children brought up in authoritarian families can develop problematic and rebellious behavior. This behavior is the outcome of more than necessary power exercised on them during their upbringing. The children who develop anger and aggression due to being overly administrated may refuse to accept all guidance.
Why Is Control Not Always Best?
Many parents who are suggested to exercise a balance between controlling and being overly permissive get confused about when it is appropriate to control and when it is not. The more appropriate way in this regard is to provide children with a structure instead of administrating them.
Controlling involves active supervision and tiger parenting, while structuring does include setting rules and limits and helping children know expectations and consequences. Controlling promotes dependence, while structured parenting is a way to help children become autonomous.
But how is this possible?
Well, first and foremost, you have to listen to your children. And for that, you must ask them questions and view life from their perspective. This encourages a healthy discussion that fosters warmth between you and your children.
When children’s questions are answered and they are provided with reasons for instructions, they are more likely to develop a sense to distinguish between wrong and right. Providing your children with warmth, support, and guidance goes a long way toward their overall well-being, as they become more self-directed, socially responsible, respectful yet resilient.
Alternatives to Authoritarian Parenting
With all the drawbacks and ill effects, it is evident that the authoritarian parenting style is not the right to nurture kids. Sadly, many parents are familiar only with coercive control because they themselves have been brought up this way.
So, is it possible for individuals raised by authoritarian parents to go with easy-going parenting styles when they have children? Or can authoritarian parents rethink their parenting styles and become more supportive of their kids? The answer to both these questions is YES. You have to choose an alternate parenting style.
The two alternatives to authoritarian parenting are as follows:
- Permissive parenting
- Authoritative parenting
Let’s explain both these briefly.
Permissive parents are more on the friendly side rather than the parenting side. They do not like to have conflicts and are always ready to respond to distress calls. However, they do not provide much guidance or direction and usually allow children to do whatever pleases them.
The most common attributes of permissive parenting include the following:
- Open communication with children and letting them decide on their own
- Little to no enforcement of rules and expectations
- Quick responsiveness but with no demands
- More inclination towards children’s happiness regardless of whatever it costs
Authoritative parents believe in proper nurturing and support and keep children’s requirements in consideration. They discuss things openly with their children to provide them with pertinent reasons why they want what they want. Rather than administrating, they teach children to be self-directed and capable of thinking for the betterment of themselves.
The most common characteristics of authoritative parenting include the following:
- Open communication with children and listening to their concerns and feelings
- Setting expectations and practicing flexibility when enforcing rules
- Quick responsiveness but demanding children to be equally responsive
- Allowing children to experience the consequences of their actions and helping them learn from those experiences
Summing up everything, many parents consider authoritarian parenting an effective way to discipline their kids and make them well-rounded, good individuals. But, as evidence suggests, controlling can do more harm than good, as it can undermine a child’s mental health and the ability to socialize. As a result, they become more reliant with little to no willingness to prosper on their own.
Therefore, parents must choose parenting styles that promote proper warmth, support, and nurturing. But instead of becoming overly permissive, it is better to provide your children with structured fostering. As parents, you want your children to follow rules and guidelines to learn ethical values. And for that, it is necessary to maintain effective rule enforcement with a negotiating attitude. This will promote healthy development and mental well-being and help children become self-directed, contributing individuals.
Impact of Parent fighting on child
A child at an early age spends maximum time with its parents. The basic schooling of a toddler occurs at home. Parents become their first teachers. Therefore, a child observes all the happenings under the house’s roof.
In marital relationships, an argument between partners is much more common. No wonder how the healthy relationship between parents and the sophisticated environment of the house is, things do not remain the same always.
Sometimes, a harsh conversation takes place between partners. In such actions or disagreements, parents themselves are first in harm. But, a child also does not remain immune to such events at home.
Being an observer and a learner, a child is deeply impacted by parents fighting at home. It is observed that a toddler as young as six months old can be negatively impacted by parental fights. From mental health and self-security to social relationship-building, these arguments badly affect the child in the short-term and long-term.
Parental Fighting: A Common Phenomenon
Husband and wife spend most of the time with each other. They share numerous things and care for their children’s better living. Due to their long attachment, it becomes common among them to argue on any issue. Such arguments can be worse sometimes. Verbal aggression, physical aggression, and silent tactics are among the common methods.
In some occurrences, the disagreement between them leads to separation or divorce. Thus, fighting between them directly impacts their relationship status and the house’s ambiance. Consequently, such a fight can negatively affect anyone living in the house. Children are also among those that are badly impacted.
Researchers believe that not only toddlers but young adults up to age 19 can face issues from parental conflict.
Following major effects of a parent fighting on a child:
1. Weaken Parent-Child Relationship:
From birth, a child is too attached to its parents. Each act is aligned with the parents, and the parents know well its needs and desires. The conflict between parents weakens the bond between a child and parents.
Parents become indulged in their issues and distracted from the child. As they are under stress, they do not heed the needs of the child.
A stressed-out parent will not be able to act politely with the child as he/she does. Therefore, the parents fighting destabilize the relationship of a child with them.
2. Hinder Cognitive Development:
The long-term fight between parents makes a child live in a tense situation for a long time. A child’s independence of thoughts is impacted. It becomes silent as time passes. It would not think of any critical thing due to a sense of fear in its mind.
Its language becomes filtered, and his speech should be in broken form. In a nutshell, this condition hinders the child’s total cognitive development that remains till the elder age.
3. Stressful Environment for Child:
The conflict or intense fighting creates a stressful environment in the house. In frequent overhearing, the child experiences hardships in the form of stress, anxiety, and depression. The child does not feel free to talk or share something. It fears talking with parents and becomes quiet in most cases.
4. Raise the Feeling of Insecurity and Fear:
Parent fighting exhibits instability in the house. The sense of security among children is threatened as they lose the attention of both father and mother. The feeling of loneliness arouses, and a child fears to share what he feels. Also, his trust in his parents’ availability as a sign of security becomes weak in this situation.
5. Compromised Performance :
When a child’s competence is hurt by parents’ conflict, one cannot expect better performance from them. Studies show that the ability of a child to solve problems and address any minor issue remains under threat.
The continuous pressure created inside the house affects the performance outside. Not only is this, but the child’s performance in school is also compromised due to parents fighting.
6. Social Relationship Problems:
It is a natural phenomenon that a child starts learning from its own home. Each habit and trait that it experiences inside, it tries to practice. When a fight between parents occurs, they treat kids with unwelcoming behavior.
So, there are chances that the kids may threaten others with such behavior or even hostility sometimes. Such behavior of a child creates problems in its relations with people.
7. Experiencing Physical Issues:
Not only social skills and mental abilities but the physical disorder is also an effect of a parent’s fight on a child. Many studies have shown that children’s eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, are much more common during high parental discord. Parents’ fighting can sometimes worsen, so a child may face stomachaches and sleep problems.
8. Behavioral Changes in Child:
Stress, aggression, and offenses inside the house change a child’s behavior. The parental conflict can make a child aggressive and reactionary. It will face conduct problems too. Studies observe that most children with antagonistic nature are impacted by domestic issues like parental discord.
9. Negative View of Life:
It is not a surprise to view a child with pessimistic thoughts when he encounters domestic issues. The same happens during parents’ fight, a child leaves, envisioning a better and happy future.
Research published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence highlighted that the kids who witness parental conflict are more prone to suffer from low self-esteem.
10. Effect on Academic Progress:
During parental fighting, parents sideline the study and academic progress. Parents take the least interest in a child’s schooling, and its academic activities go unseen by them. So, the child, too, feels no responsibility to fulfill schooling needs like homework and daily or weekly tasks.
Helpful Tips to Protect Child from Effects from Parent Fighting:
As mentioned above, parental discord creates problems for children mentally, socially, and physically. Therefore, the following are helpful ideas to keep a child away from the effects of parental conflict.
- Discuss the issues privately.
- Remain concerned about child’s health
- Value child’s ideas and emotions
- Better schooling of a child
- Keep child away from fights
- Protect a child from any sort of abuse
Parental fighting severely impacts a child’s mental health and overall development. Any sort of parental conflict put effects on a child in the long term. Therefore, for a better nourished and healthy child, such discords should be resolved privately, and the child’s physical and cognitive development should be given due consideration.
What is Gentle Parenting?
Home is the first school for a child. For its physical, social, and intellectual growth, parents play a vital role. Therefore, there are various parenting styles. These styles significantly impact toddlers’ actions and interactions with others. These styles include attachment parenting, tiger parenting, gentle parenting, and others. In most scenarios, parents adopt a style that is common in a family. However, in the list of parenting styles, gentle parenting is often considered favorable for the growth of a child. The Gentle approach focuses on emphatic and soft methods of parenting. It allows parents to foster children with qualities that they like.
What is Gentle Parenting?
Gentle parenting is also known as collaborative parenting. As its name shows, it is a gentle and kind way to raise a child. Here, parents do not compel a child to do any work by punishment. But they make a child understand how that activity is beneficial to him. It is a modern concept of parenting that emerged after the publication of Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s book, ‘The Gentle Parenting Book’. Sarah being a child expert emphasizes traits and techniques that parents must use for a toddler’s preferable growth. She summarizes this style in three words: empathy, understanding, and respect.
This approach to parenting encompasses parents’ communication, response, and practices toward a child. As she mentions: “Gentle parenting isn’t really about using specific methods. It’s about an ethos and completely changing the way you think. It’s more a way of being than a way of doing.”
It includes evidence-based techniques. It raises a happy and confident child focusing on discipline considering the age factor. It is based on positive approaches encouraging collective work. In this style, mistakes are considered learning opportunities. Rather than punishment, parents adopt a kind way of treating children, including consistent boundaries. The parents push children to share their feelings in a way that is accepted by society.
Gentle parents give significant importance to communication and democratic methods between children and parents. It encourages compassion, accepts emotions, and welcomes the child as a whole. Parents are quite supportive and responsive, hence, nurturing the kid at its best. In simple words, it is all about understanding the child. Broadly, gentle parenting is accepting a child’s feeling and motivation, as psychologist Mona Delahooke mention in her book, Brain-Body Parenting.
Basic Facts of Gentle Parenting
The gentle approach to parenting centers on some basic and essential tenets. These are empathy, understanding, respect, and boundaries.
Empathy is the first and the foremost pillar of gentle parenting. The feelings of a child should be given importance. Missing or ignoring its feelings will hurt the child’s sharing habit. With empathy, parents will be able to know the actual situation that children experience. Parents’ communication and response are also based on empathy towards a child. This tenet help child to learn the way to treat others.
A child’s age and its current situation carry importance in its growth. Gentle parenting emphasizes viewing a child as a child. He/she must not be compared with adults in terms of practices. For example, you can expect a two-year child to keep clothes clean always. The world of an adult is far more different than that of a child.
Mutual respect is another significant facet of gentle parenting. Parents are required to show due respect to their children. Feeling, values, and ideas should be heard with attention. Expecting a positive role from a child depends on the respect it is given. Not only parents but a child should also respect caretakers. This is a way that strengthens the child-parent relationship.
The gentle approach to parenting is often considered boundary-less. However, it is a misunderstanding regarding the approach. Boundaries, in gentle parenting, also carry vital importance. Here, boundaries are set to teach children the better and more appropriate way of doing things. There is not a particular list of dos and don’ts but parents expect a child to do what is socially and humanly accepted. Boundaries vary from family to family.
Ways to Practice Gentle Parenting
Sarah Ockwell-Smith considers gentle parenting a mere mindset. Therefore, it has not any particular rules and regulations. It depends on how parents assist a child to adopt the core values. As already mentioned, these are practices of parents to make a happy and confident child. Parents’ thoughts and intentions for a child’s social and intellectual development set practices of gentle parenting. Some most common ways to practice gentle parenting are listed below:
- Assisting children in scheduling their day
- Prioritizing the interests of the child
- Giving importance to a child’s feelings, values
- Maintaining yourself in an orderly and appropriate manner
- Responding to child’s queries with empathy
- Not comparing a child with adult
- Taking an interest in child’s games and activities
- Correcting a child’s mistakes in a positive manner
- Avoid labeling children with negative names
Advantages of Gentle Parenting
Either in childhood or the long term, gentle parenting is beneficial for both child and caretakers. In the following manner, this style of parenting is profitable.
1. Boosting Children’s Confidence:
In this parenting, parents give importance to each activity and thought of a child and respond politely. A child learns traits of communication and method of sharing feelings. It also encourages a child to give justifications for their viewpoint.
2. Fostering a positive approach in children
Gentle parenting fosters a positive approach by maximum attention to the child. When a child is responded properly, it will deem itself valuable. Due to boundaries, the child will limit to only positive and acceptable traits.
3. Reducing risks of anxiety
Children feel anxiety when they are ignored or when they are left alone. Here, parents are supportive and maintain communication with the child frequently. Also, they encourage a child to share their feelings. The factor of mutual respect also reduces anxiety.
4. Improving the parent-child bond
This is partnership parenting between child and caretakers. Continuous communication and proper response create a strong bond between them. Understanding, compassion, and empathy make them closer to each other.
5. Creating social skills
As home is the first school for a child, it also builds social skills in a child. A positive approach to parenting makes a child kind and gentle as well. A child learns the appropriate choice of words and tone in this parenting.
Tips for Transition to Gentle Parenting: For Beginners
The style of parenting varies from family to family. Most often, families face difficulty in shifting from traditional parenting to gentle parenting. Implementing a completely new approach will be hard for some families. Therefore, below are some easy ways to incorporate gentle parenting in your homes and everyday life.
- Be Less Demanding and Commanding:
For a gentle approach, you have to be less demanding and commanding. Arbitrary control and harsh techniques should be avoided. Parents should give priority to child’s interests rather than their demands.
2. Set Rational and Age-appropriate Guidelines and Boundaries:
At the start, you must decide what is appropriate and what is not. While structuring boundaries or reacting to their behavior, keep the child’s age in mind. Additionally, the guidelines should be reasonable and applicable to all.
3. Target the Action, Not the Person:
When a child breaks a glass, for instance, tell him/her what is wrong with the action. Rather than commenting on a child, you must separate the child from his action. Moreover, you must make him remember the guidelines.
4. Model Kindness, Compassion, and Empathy.
Showing kindness, compassion, and empathy to a child is essential for gentle parenting. Therefore, treat your child with such traits. For example, if your child does not good grades, you can say, “It happens commonly. We will try to overcome our mistakes and get good grades.”
5. Collective Work Invitation
Rather than commands, there must be invitations to work together. For example, there is a common phrase: “Wash your hands!” But a gentle parent will say, “We should wash our hands after meals to keep them clean.”
6. Encourage positive action.
You should appreciate a child’s positive actions openly. If a child acts under guidelines, he/she should be encouraged and rewarded sometimes.
7. Help them learn from their mistakes
Parents must acknowledge that mistakes happen to all of us. They do not define a person but a particular action. There should not be naming and shaming for any mistake. However, it must be taken as a learning opportunity.
Some Challenges to Gentle Parenting
Incorporating gentle parenting is not an easy task. There are some undeniable challenges in the path of this approach.
A): a family with a traditional approach struggles to instill compassion and empathy. Previous techniques of commanding and control make it difficult to adopt gentle parenting.
B): a lack of consistency in practicing this approach is another challenge. As its results are not as quick as those of the traditional approach, families move away from it.
C): this parenting requires discipline and particular structure. Both parents and children face problems in maintaining discipline in the long term.
D): the impact of surroundings such as schooling and other families may create barriers to tenets of a gentler approach.
Gentle parenting has no quick fixes but it needs complete structure. The proper implementation of a gentle approach requires all its tenets to be practiced. Among all parenting styles, this style flourishes children at home and outside in the long term.
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