She stresses that gentle parenting involves understanding, patience and allowing children to express their emotions, with the goal of teaching them how to self-regulate.
Several parents are using the practice of 'gentle parenting' to practice a more connected and empathetic approach with their children. However, it does not make the parenting process any easier. Parents often wonder what difference gentle parenting can make because it can take quite a while to see results. A stay-at-home mom, Rachel Gibbs–who goes on TikTok by @rachonlife–shared her input on the topic. She posted a video explaining why gentle parenting is hard and takes time and what the ultimate goal of the process should be. Rachel is a mom to two toddlers, Samson and Hazel.
The mom constantly stresses that “Gentle parenting doesn’t look like it’s working until it does,” in several videos. While explaining the statement, she said, “I get a lot of flack when I talk about the fact that my toddler is very rambunctious, very precocious and does not have impulse control.” Gibbs remarked, “As someone who preaches gentle parenting and shares tricks on how to curb things my child has no control over, I’m just iterating information I have read online.” Elaborating further she said, “The thing with gentle parenting is that for the first time in generations, parents are looking at their children as children.”
She also mentioned how parents using the gentle parenting approach do not keep unrealistic expectations of their children. The reason why it gets hard is that gentle parenting involves a calmer understanding and requires patience. Sharing her example, she said, “I don’t expect my 2-year-old to sit at a dinner table at a restaurant for hours even if I preach how important it is.” She shared how people assume gentle parenting as “letting your child walk all over you.” Gibbs said, “He didn’t just walk all over me, I am treating him with the respect he needs. The restaurant environment is over-stimulating."
The mom also clarified, “We’re not teaching our kids to suppress their emotions, we’re teaching them how to self-regulate them.” Returning to her example, she said, “We’re teaching them that when they are in an over-stimulated environment, instead of having an outburst, they can leave.” The mom pointed out the fact that gentle parenting takes a long time because it is more about preparing your child for the future than the present. It has a future-oriented vision. Gibbs highlighted, “We do this now so that when they are adults with their own will and understanding and bigger emotions, they’ll know how to self-regulate.”
The mom added, “They’ve been taught that having emotions is okay. It’s just how and where we use and express them.” Circling back to the crux of gentle parenting, she said, “Any message can be conveyed when you can control your emotions.” She focused on the idea that this parenting approach is designed to teach children to emote better and to set them up for success in the future. “Everything we’re doing is modeling what they need to be doing,” she added. The mom concluded by saying that the approach is more of a consistent correction than punishment.
Parents on the platform let out a sigh of relief after understanding the whole point of the approach. @leah_kate17 said, “It’s the long game we’re playing.” @righteousriot said, “I am not raising a well-behaved child. I am raising a functional adult.”