An authoritative style for parenting is an approach more parents are wanting to explore as the world encourages individuals to heal from their traumatic past. It’s often said by many, that they want their children to experience life differently- expanding far beyond just life experiences, wealth, etc.
Many are on a journey to self-healing, discovering it’s okay for their offspring’s to be: more expressive of feelings and emotions, inquisitive of established rules, SELF controlled, etc. Opposite of everything they once knew growing up.
If you’ve been learning about authoritative style for parenting, then you’ve probably heard of an associated term, gentle parenting, which supports an authoritative style for parenting.
In this post, we will discuss how authoritative style for parenting and the gentle parenting technique can promote long term benefits for children and foster a healthy parent/child relationship from love, not control.
Let’s talk about gentle parenting vs authoritative parenting!
Gentle parenting is an emotional and safety led approach to parenting. Its approach focuses on 3 characteristics: empathy, respect, and kindness. This approach has grown to become a social and cultural shift, as it breaks all the “normal” rules of traditional parenting. At a glance, some may confuse this with a parenting style. However, gentle parenting isn’t a style of parenting. It’s a technique that falls under the authoritative style of parenting.
Parenting styles on the other hand, were developed by psychologist Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist. Her ideas surrounding parenting styles, were derived from the ways parents tried to control their child.
Parenting Styles aka Baumrind Parenting Styles resulted in a theory relating parent styles and child development.
There are 3 Baumrind parenting styles:
Authoritative parenting style: parents hold their children to reasonable expectations while interacting with them in a warm and caring manner.
Authoritarian parenting style: parents are highly demanding of their children while interacting with them in ways that are sometimes cold or harsh.
Permissive parenting style: parents respond to their children in a warm and caring manner, but they do not often hold them to standards or provide them with structure.
Authoritative Style For Parenting With Gentleness
Studies have shown this parenting style and technique, can lead to positive development amongst children, while developing a close relationship between parent and child.
Additional benefits of gentle parenting are:
*Better Social Skills
*Less Mental illness
Gentle parents often help their child find resolution to their problems, validate their emotions, explore rational, promotes communication, and establish boundaries. Many classify this technique with permissive parenting. Although both have a caring and soft tone approach, the difference between the two is structure (or the lack there of).
Over the years, a new parenting style (Neglectful Parenting) has been added, now totaling 4 parenting styles. To see the common traits for each parenting style, review this article by CNN, and see the type that researchers say is the most successful.
Gentle parenting has become more popular, as parents are discovering its benefits for children. The more resources become available, the more options for practicing this technique are uncovered. As parenting isn’t one size fits all.
If you’re looking to explorer new parenting techniques, consider gentle parenting, as it promotes communication development between parent and child.
So even as your child grows and matures into young adults, it can foster a healthier relationship dynamic. Your child may be more open and willing to share information, due to the years of openness, empathy, respect and kindness built over time. Before uncovering ways to practice gentle parenting, lets discover your current parenting style. Take this quiz to identify your current parenting style. If you see room for improvement, check out our 5 ways to start practicing gentle parenting below.
Ways To Start Practicing Gentle Parenting:
With new found/long lasting benefits to authoritative style for parenting, you want to try gentle parenting?
Review these 5 ways you can start to practice gentle parenting! We hope you will see these tips as practical ways you can shift your mindset to implement. By no means are they EASY. However, it will require you to be cognizant of how you’re responding and reacting to you child(ren).
1- See Your Child As A Person
Focus on the human aspect of your child. It becomes more about the basic level of human decency you have for a person regardless of age. Although you are the adult in the situations, you want to be more considerate as to how your child feels and connect human-to-human. Simply put, treat your child how you want to be treated as a person, respectfully.
Focus on feelings! Children have opinions, feelings, perspective, etc. and so give them the rights to express.
The same expectations you require others to have for your children, REQUIRE of yourself and every person he/she comes in contact with!
Age gives wisdom, not the right to deserve respect!
2- Lose Traditions
In many instances, traditions should be broken!
This parenting practice is everything opposite of traditional. Often, parents will reflect on their upbringings and feel their parent’s way of parenting was “good” because they “turned out good”. Although that may be true, there’s always room for improvement.
Traditional parenting styles and practices can be cultural and lack diversity in approach. Be open to embracing other parenting techniques to develop what works for you. Create an open space for your children to be expressive vs “children are to be seen not heard”
Your parents didn’t know it all, which is the reason you want to try something DIFFERENT!
NOT “better”, as that can have negative connotation. We don’t want to imply anything untrue, nor place blame or judgement.
If you insist on being traditional, maybe you can consider imposing traditional celebrations, positive cultural customs, etc.
3- Be Gentle With Yourself
Often, as a parent, you don’t give yourself enough grace. You’re blameful, negative and abusive TO YOURSELF.
If you treat yourself this way, what’s the likelihood of you treating your child differently? Work on you and your relationship with yourself, and it will begin to project on how you relation with your child. The new found grace you give yourself, you’ll find for your child. There’s day you will fall short. However, you still deserve to be kind to yourself.
4- Find Gentle Parenting Groups
Gentle parenting may be a technique you’re open to learning about but still don’t fully understand. It’s a fairly new practice and it’s becoming more popular as social media content creators open their doors to what’s going on in their backyard. So, with that level of exposure, more groups, resources and information are being released, related to this technique.
There are tons of free resources providing: tips, benefits, techniques, development, etc. Find something helpful most related to you and your child’s lifestyle, so it can be more practical and conducive. Ask questions when information isn’t clear. Focus on the benefits and impact you desire to bring to your child’s life in years to come.
Reminder: Join FB groups, search IG #gentleparenting #authoratitiveparenting #gentleparentingresources and then follow anyone who gives VALUABLE information.
5- Practice and Be Intentional
Practice won’t make you perfect! After all, you’re a parent, so there’s no way you will ever be perfect, but that shouldn’t stop you from practicing ways to handling situations differently!
Show up for yourself every minute of the day, not allowing excuses for yourself… Immediately check yourself when you didn’t handle things appropriately! GET PREPARED AND BE READY FOR THE NEXT OCCURANCE.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become at being rational, showing empathy, embracing emotions, etc. It will naturally become your first response/language!
Be Intentional and affirm your positive intentions and actions DAILY!
If you’ve read each practice thoroughly, you’ve probably noticed, gentle parenting will be more about you, which your child will then receive the benefit of having a gentle parent! It’s going to be about accountability and demonstrating self-control.
Feed the part of yourself you desire to grow. Show yourself, that with hard work and dedication, it’s possible to relearn and recondition your mind. You have the ability to break generational curses and lead by example.
You’re raising our future generation, give them tools to better enhance the following generation and you will have done what you set out to do as a parent… which is “BE THE BEST PARENT YOU COULD BE”
So, is an authoritative style for parenting the best parenting style?
There’s no definitive answer to this question, but the impact of parenting styles on child development can be worth exploring, in our opinion!
Want more information related to authoritative style for parenting, gentle parenting, and specific parenting styles?
Leave a comment and stay tuned!
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