Gentle parenting is a philosophy based on mutual respect, empathy, and cooperation. It fosters a strong relationship between parents and children and promotes emotional intelligence, independence, and self-esteem. However, as rewarding as it may be, gentle parenting is not easy. It requires a lot of patience, self-control, and sacrifice, especially in today’s society, where individualism, competition, and instant gratification rule. In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why gentle parenting is so hard and how to make it easier.
One of the main reasons why gentle parenting is hard is that it goes against the predominant values and norms of our society. Many parents are conditioned to believe that they need to be firm, authoritative, and controlling to raise disciplined and successful children. Gentle parents are often criticized as being too permissive, too soft, or too involved.
Contrary to popular belief, gentle parenting takes a lot of courage. It’s not easy to go the norm and trust your instincts, especially when you’re surrounded by people who have different values. It requires a different set of skills, such as active listening, effective communication, dedication, and mindfulness to overcome this challenge. When it comes to something as important as raising your children, gentle parenting is often the most difficult, but ultimately a rewarding approach, to learn more about why gentle parenting continue reading, as we’ll explore common reasons why gentle parenting is so hard and how to parent through it.
Why Is Gentle Parenting So Hard?
Gentle parenting practices go against what many people believe or have been taught about raising children. Society often emphasizes a parenting style that is strict, authoritative, and largely based on control. However, gentle parenting focuses on connection, empathy, and respect. It encourages parents to be more intentional and mindful about their interactions with their children and emphasizes the importance of collaboration over coercion.
In order for gentle parenting to be successful, it requires a lot of practice. Developing an understanding of your child’s needs and learning how to communicate effectively is not something that can happen overnight. Parents must also learn how to respond calmly when their children act out, rather than resorting to yelling or punishing. This takes a lot of patience and self-control, which can be difficult even for experienced parents.
Gentle parenting also requires parents to put their own needs aside in order to truly listen and understand their child’s perspective. This often means sacrificing your own convenience or comfort in order to meet their needs. This type of selfless behavior can be difficult to maintain in the long-term.
Furthermore, gentle parenting is hard because it takes time and effort to see results. People often want quick fixes when it comes to their children’s behaviors, which is not something that gentle parenting provides. It requires patience and consistency from parents in order for them to develop a strong relationship with their child and see positive changes in behavior.
Going Against The Grain
Gentle parenting often goes against the grain of popular culture. People who parent in this manner are sometimes judged harshly and given unsolicited advice or criticism. This can make it difficult to stay confident in your decisions as a parent, particularly when faced with external pressures.
To overcome this challenge, parents need to be aware of their own values and beliefs, educate themselves on the principles of gentle parenting, and surround themselves with like-minded individuals who can support and inspire them.
Lack Of Support
Another obstacle to gentle parenting is the lack of support and understanding from family, friends, or colleagues who may not share the same values or beliefs. This can create feelings of isolation, doubt, and guilt, and may lead to self-doubt or burnout.
To overcome this, parents need to seek out communities, forums, or groups that can provide guidance, affirmation, and encouragement. They can also educate others on the benefits of gentle parenting, dispel myths and stereotypes, and model positive behaviors that can inspire others to do the same.
Emotional and Self-Awareness
Gentle parenting is much more inward-looking than other parenting styles. It often requires individuals to question their beliefs, their childhood, and their habits. If you experienced a strict upbringing, it can be challenging to transition to gentle parenting, because it requires you to unlearn many things and start afresh. It’s not an easy task to confront and change your behavior patterns, especially when it comes to parenting.
Gentle parenting also demands a lot of emotional intelligence and regulation. Children are naturally emotional and impulsive beings, and parents need to be able to deal with their own emotions and triggers to avoid reacting out of fear, anger, or frustration. This means that parents need to work on their own healing, self-awareness, and self-care, as well as provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children to express themselves.
Some ways to regulate our emotions as parents includes prayer, therapy, meditation, journaling, exercising, and spending quality time with loved ones. If you struggle with self awareness or transitioning from a traditional upbringing, and would like more information on how to overcome this challenge we recommend you read “How To Heal From Childhood Trauma and Conditioning: Effective Parenting“, for a helpful guide. It has helped me and many other moms.
Setting Boundaries and Limits
A common misconception about gentle parenting is that it means being permissive or neglectful. On the contrary, gentle parenting requires setting clear and consistent boundaries and limits that are based on mutual respect, understanding, and negotiation. This means that parents need to avoid arbitrary rules, punishments, or rewards that can undermine their children’s autonomy, dignity, and integrity.
Instead, parents need to collaborate with their children and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible. This can be challenging at first, but it can lead to more harmonious and fulfilling relationships in the long run.
Effective communication is another essential component of gentle parenting. It requires you to understand your child’s emotions, perspectives and validate their feelings instead of dismissing them or just telling them what to do. It’s essential to help your child grow and develop by giving them a voice and making them feel heard.
Gentle parenting requires a lot more patience, empathy, and communication work than other parenting styles. Because of this, it can be difficult to learn and implement. However, with patience, practice, and the right support, gentle parenting can create a loving bond between parents and children that lasts for life.
No Quick-Fix Solutions
Gentle parenting requires a long-term commitment, and there are no quick-fix solutions. It takes time and effort to create a habit of empathetic and respectful parenting. It’s an ongoing process that requires consistency, understanding, and patience. Additionally, the path of gentle parenting is often personal and unique to each parent-child relationship.
This is usually the cause of parents struggling to stay consistent with gentle parenting. It’s easy to become frustrated when results don’t happen right away, but it’s important to remember that the outcome will be lasting and beneficial.
Consistency in parenting is critical, but it can be challenging to maintain when practicing gentle parenting. It takes a lot of effort to stay consistent with gentle parenting practices like setting boundaries, being empathetic, and following through with consequences. For example, if your child is testing your patience, using a gentle approach can be more challenging than just yelling at them. Gentle parenting requires staying true to your values and principles, even when it gets tough.
Gentle parenting is hard, but not impossible. It requires a lot of inner work, patience, and resilience, but it can also bring a lot of joy, connection, and growth. By recognizing the challenges and obstacles that come with gentle parenting, parents can prepare themselves better, seek support and guidance, and learn from their experiences. They can also remember that parenting is a continuous journey, not a destination, and that they are doing the best they can with the resources they have.
Gentle parenting is a beautiful way to connect with your child and raise them with empathy and respect. So let us embrace the principles of gentle parenting and create a more compassionate and just world for our children and ourselves. With consistent effort, gentler ways of parenting can become second nature, creating a beautiful and long-lasting bond between parent and child.