The advantages of light parenting
Some of us grew up in families where beating children was acceptable. The idea behind this method of discipline for some parents is to ensure that children stay on track.
These days, beating children is no longer an accepted form of discipline. In 2017, the South African Supreme Court ruled that “parents who beat their children are no longer able to bring specific defense before a criminal charge”.
After the verdict, many parents and guardians wondered how to discipline their children. The answer can lie in gentle parenting.
Sarah Ockwell-Smith, author of The Gentle Parenting Book, notes that when compared to standard forms of parenting, “Gentle parenting is different – it’s not a label of a set of rules, but a method of parenting that takes into account the needs of the parent and child of current science and child psychology. It means educating with empathy, respect, understanding and boundaries.
Ockwell-Smith says the benefits of this parenting style are happier parents and smarter children. Children also have greater self-esteem, are better at school, are more resourceful, and have better brain development.
Here are two ways to incorporate gentle parenting into your life.
Engage with the action, not the child
Parents sometimes use derogatory terms when disciplining a child. It is not ideal to tell a child that they are bad, silly, or irresponsible if you are reprimanding them. Verbal abuse can damage your child’s self-esteem and permanently damage a child’s brain structure. The better way is to speak politely and respectfully to them and help them understand why what they are doing is considered wrong. “
Small children are often unable to regulate their emotions and can act out. Instead of punishing them, the Child Mind Institute says the best a parent or guardian can do is stay calm, validate the child, and help them figure out what went wrong. The next step is to give them feedback on how to better deal with the situation.