Epi #93. Gentle Parenting vs. Traditional Parenting. Key differencesJan 02, 2024
Gentle Parenting vs. Traditional Parenting. Key differences
As we welcome 2024, it's the perfect time to reflect on our parenting journey.
I was raised under traditional parenting, and now I have practiced gentle parenting with my children since 2012.
I am going to guide you through the profound differences between these two parenting styles, sharing insights from my own transformation and how they might illuminate your path forward as a parent.
Section 1: Understanding the Dynamics
Traditional parenting often operates on a "power-over" dynamic, prioritizing obedience and discipline often through punitive measures.
It's a world where children are expected to conform to parental authority without question.
In contrast, gentle parenting shifts to a "power-with" dynamic.
This approach views children as whole individuals with their own needs, thoughts, and feelings, deserving of respect and empathy.
Instead of demanding blind obedience, gentle parenting fosters cooperation based on mutual respect and understanding.
Section 2: Nurturing Emotional Connections
In traditional settings, affection might inadvertently become a tool for manipulation - withdrawing love to enforce discipline.
However, gentle parenting decouples emotional connection from behavior management.
It champions unconditional love, ensuring that children feel valued and secure regardless of their actions.
This approach nurtures an environment where children are motivated by an internal desire to reciprocate understanding and respect rather than fear of punishment.
Ex. A parent promises her child to go out for ice cream after school. At school drop-off, the teacher reports the child was off task and not listening to the teacher.
Traditional parenting takes away the ice cream outing to teach the child a lesson. That special bonding moment with the parent was conditional for the child.
With this same example, the parent who practices gentle parenting has it clear that school behavior has nothing to do with their bond and connection, so he decides to go out for ice cream despite the child’s school behavior.
Once at home, the parent talks to the child about the school behavior and develops a plan to make sure the child is on task and listens to the teacher the next day.
The child feels supported, understood, and empowered.
Section 3: Fostering Open Communication
Growing up under traditional parenting, I often held back from sharing my true feelings with my parents, fearing judgment or punishment.
This communication gap is common, where children learn to withhold their thoughts or seek advice elsewhere.
Gentle parenting, however, encourages open and honest communication. It creates a safe space for children to express themselves fully, knowing they will be met with understanding and not retribution.
This open dialogue fosters trust and strengthens the parent-child bond.
Section 4: Rethinking Discipline
The concept of discipline undergoes a significant overhaul when shifting from traditional to gentle parenting.
Where traditional methods might rely on punishment to curb unwanted behavior, gentle parenting seeks to understand the underlying needs or feelings driving the behavior.
It focuses on teaching and guiding rather than punishing, addressing root causes to foster lasting behavioral change.
Example: I remember getting spanked for not stopping my tantrums when my parent said I needed to stop or not being allowed to leave the house and join my family in fun outings when my parents received a bad report from school.
These practices shut down my behavior but did not address my underlying needs.
I was an undiagnosed autistic girl, and I had many support needs.
In the classroom, I often failed to stay on task because my support needs were not met, and my parents thought the solution was to isolate me even more and not take me to family outings on the weekend.
This, far from helping me, just created resentment towards school, to the point that I used to make myself sick by not going to school.
Gentle parenting discipline is not focused on shutting down behavior, but in guiding our children on what they need to be successful in the areas they are struggling with.
If I were my parents, I would try to understand why it was so challenging for me to stay on task and to address the root of the issue.
Section 5: Embracing Growth and Learning
A fixed mindset often accompanies traditional parenting, resistant to outside advice or new methods.
Gentle parenting, however, thrives on a growth mindset.
Parents actively seek knowledge, resources, and support to continually adapt and respond to their children's evolving needs. It's about being open to learning and growing alongside your children, just like Izamar, one of our coaching clients, who embraced this journey and witnessed a remarkable transformation in her family dynamic.
She is a Mexican mom who decided to raise her son differently from the traditional way she was raised.
She enrolled in HIC Parenting and lived a massive transformation after working for 14 weeks with my team HIC Parenting.
Izamar’s story after working with HIC Parenting:
Consider what kind of relationship you want with your children.
If the journey of gentle parenting resonates with you, remember that it's not just about changing tactics but embracing a whole new perspective on raising children - one that values empathy, respect, and mutual growth.
If you're ready to dive deeper and explore how this approach can transform your family life, I encourage you to listen to the full episode of "The Parenting With Understanding" podcast for more insights.
For personalized support to bring peace to your parenting and raise emotionally healthy children in 2024, I encourage you to book your Free Parenting Assessment call with me or one of our HIC Parenting advisors.
On our time together, we are going to learn about your needs, desires and you will get a roadmap that fits your needs, and finally you will decide if you are going to enroll in HIC Parneting or you prefer to apply your roadmap on your own.
To book this free call, just go to apply.hicparenting.com, choose a time and date that works for you, and I will see you there.