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In this guest post, Karoline inspires parents to adopt a respectful approach to raising successful and wholesome children. In our home, we practice respectful discipline, and gender-specific toys are adored by our children and highly regarded by us, parents. We acknowledge the great value they carry for their upbringing. Yet I want to point out that parents all over the world have a different view and take on whether gender-specific toys are beneficial for their children.
The four ‘classic’ parenting styles are defined as authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. Each style has its own approach, ranging from exercising a great amount of control (authoritarian) to being detached from one’s children (uninvolved). Studies indicate that of these four, the style that most leads to good self-esteem, health, and wellness, is that of authoritative parenting. This style involves setting rules but being fair and explaining the reason for them. There is a fifth parenting style, however, that is increasingly holding sway among parents who like to see their relationship with their children as teamwork. It’s called gentle parenting, and it works to create happy, whole, confident children thanks to qualities such as kindness and understanding.
What Are the Four Elements of Gentle Parenting?
Gentle parenting involves respect, understanding, boundary-setting, and empathy. Like authoritative parenting, it does involve setting rules and relying on age-appropriate discipline so that children grow to be responsible and accountable. Kids are encouraged to express their feelings, and they are taught skills like emotional regulation and assertive communication. They are shown how to handle frustration and other difficult emotions by modeling themselves on the calm, gentle behavior of their parents.
Respecting Your Child
Being a gentle parent begins by respecting children. It also involves supporting children’s interests instead of imposing one’s own on them. For instance, parents may encourage children to play with toys that are not gender designated. These can include building blocks, zoo animals, art materials, puzzles, puppets, wagons, and similar. These toys steer clear of stereotypes created by advertisers and manufacturers. Children select the toys that appeal to their authentic interests and passions, instead of those deemed ‘correct’ by companies and marketing professionals. Respect also involves aiming to speak in a language that strikes a chord with one’s child, and respecting their boundaries. The child is allowed to be themselves, pursue their interests, and express their wants and needs without fear of criticism, shame, or judgment.
The Benefits of Gentle Parenting
Study after study has shown the negative effects that ignoring kids (or hovering over them, ‘tiger-style’) can have. On the contrary, a 2016 study by researchers at Kobe University found that children who receive positive attention and care from their parents tend to be happier, have greater academic success (and higher incomes), and have a stronger sense of morality. Supportive, gentle parenting involves giving children high levels of independence, trust, interest, and time. It is to be contrasted with strict parenting, which grants children a low level of independence and which involves strictness in daily life. It is also very different from indulgent, easygoing, or harsh parenting. Interestingly, children who received high levels of attention combined with strict discipline did grow up to report higher salaries and academic achievement, but greater stress and a lower degree of happiness.
Gentle parenting involves supporting your child throughout their growth and maturity. It has a strong emphasis on support and on working together as part of a team. It involves spending plenty of time with children, showing an interest in them, and allowing them the independence they need to reach their full potential.
respectful parenting resources you might find helpful
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Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
What’s the single most important thing you can do during pregnancy? What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums? Scientists know.
The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline
Written by best-selling parenting and children's book author and mother of six, L.R.Knost, 'The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline' provides parents with the tools they need to implement the Three C's of gentle discipline--Connection, Communication, and Cooperation--to create a peaceful home and a healthy parent/child relationship.
The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
The Self-Driven Child offers a combination of cutting-edge brain science, the latest discoveries in behavioral therapy, and case studies drawn from the thousands of kids and teens Bill and Ned have helped over the years to teach you how to set your child on the real road to success. As parents, we can only drive our kids so far. At some point, they will have to take the wheel and map out their own path.
The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and
In The Talent Code, award-winning journalist Daniel Coyle draws on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured.
Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries
Keeping your love on. It’s a hard thing to do. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do. But if you want to build healthy relationships with God and others, learning to keep your love on is non–negotiable. Adults and children alike thrive in healthy relationships where it is safe to love and be loved, to know and be known.
The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish
This game-changing book shows us the extraordinary results of focusing on our children’s strengths rather than always trying to correct their weaknesses. Most parents struggle with this shift because they suffer from a negativity bias, thanks to evolutionary development, giving them “strengths-blindness.” By showing us how to throw the “strengths switch,” Lea Waters demonstrates how we can not only help our children build resilience, optimism, and achievement but we can also help inoculate them against today’s pandemic of depression and anxiety.
THE NEMECHEK PROTOCOL FOR AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS: A How-To Guide For Restoring Neurological Function
The Nemechek Protocol for Autism and Developmental Delay is the most scientific and refined approach to reversing the devastating effects of autism, ADD, ADHD, SPD, and the myriad of other developmental disorders. Dr. Nemechek's approach frequently triggers rapid and often breath-taking improvements in children within only a few weeks. And surprisingly, the protocol employs common and natural supplements and avoids the countless homeopathic remedies and antibiotics frequently prescribed to children that are often both toxic and expensive.
The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three
This rich but brief introduction is based on the author's 50 years of experience as a teacher, parent, grandparent, school consultant, government consultant, speaker, and oral examiner for Montessori teacher training courses. Montessori guidelines presented here have held true all over the world, no matter what the culture of the child, for over 100 years and prove to be as true now as ever. It is the goal of this book to help parents look for, discover, appreciate, and support the mental, physical, and emotional needs of the child in the first three years of life, in their own culture.
Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+
The word "Montessori" is not legally protected and is used sometimes in ways that have little to do with authentic Montessori practices. In this book the author, who has almost fifty years of AMI Montessori teaching and consulting experience and work as an oral examiner for teacher-training courses, briefly presents authentic Montessori practices for ages 3-6 (the primary class), ages 6-12 (the elementary class), and ages 12-18. Here are ideas for using Montessori principles in the home.
What You Should Know about Your Child
The Montessori Method is scientific education based on a sound knowledge of childhood. In this volume, Dr. Montessori examines the physical and mental development of the child in its early years and discusses what she considers to be the basic truths underlying the child’s nature, growth and development.
The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method, With Illustrations - ORIGINAL AND COMPLETE EDITION, by Maria Montessori.First Edition.The Montessori Method of Education, developed by Italian physician Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children. Montessori's method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.The Montessori method views the child as the one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.
Maria Montessori speaks to parents
Maria Montessori was very much aware of the role of the parent, and their need for a clearer understanding of her ideas. She responded to this need by giving special lectures for parents during her training courses and congresses. Regrettably, she never found the time to write a book especially for parents. The Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company has now collected 11 lectures in which Maria Montessori addresses parents, explaining how they might better understand their own role in the development of their child. Paula Polk Lillard, an internationally respected Montessori author, wrote the Foreword, in which she also describes her transition from a traditional public school teacher to a Montessori mother, teacher and trainer.
The Secret of Childhood (Montessori series Book 22)
The book The Secret of Childhood is divided in three sections, dealing in turn with early childhood development, the author’s educational method, and the relation of the child to society. First, Montessori talks about the new-born child who is not only a body ready to function as a body, but also has a spiritual embryo with latent psychic capacities.