Does Positive Parenting Work?
I was talking to a friend the other day about gentle parenting and whether it ‘works’.
By the word ‘work’ many people mean ‘getting our kids to behave’. Its very easy for us to fall into that perception of our kids, its what mainstream parenting tells us we must do. However, thats not the goal of positive parenting, and I’ll explain why….
As human beings, we are very much focused on instant gratification.. we tend to prefer short term gain without thinking about the longterm. For example, for anyone who wants to get healthy and lose weight, often we’ll put off the percieved ‘pain’ of eating healthy food for the instant plesure of the ‘naughty’ treat, even though that short term pain will lead to the long term plearsure of having a healthy body and looking fantastic whilst brimming with energy. Or maybe you really want to overcome a fear of something, but you’ll put it off becuase you dont want to experience that short term ‘pain’ even though the pride, happiness and freedom of overcoming our fears is just on the other side.
With mainstream parenting techniques, its about getting our children to ‘behave’ in the short term, (instantaneous gratification for the parent) at the expense of the negative impact on the longterm relationship.
However with gentle parenting, its about putting the relationship with our children first. The goal is creating the most loving, connected relationship we can. Its about looking for ways to add to and improve the relationship in all situations. Does that mean its always pretty in the short term? No. We may still have our toddlers drawing on the walls, pulling the cats tail or hitting their baby brother over the head with a favorite toy. But in those moments, its the goal of gentle parenting, to find ways to connect and guide our children to more suitable outlets for their emotions and needs.
So my answer to this question is Yes, gentle parenting does work if your goal is to have a close connected relationship with your child. I’m willing to go through the ‘pain’ of having my kids express their true feelings, I’m willing to consistently meet their needs and help them find positive ways to meet their own needs when they are ready, and I’m willing to be very present with them to help guide them in the world to the best of my ability becuase I know the long term pleasure will be worth it.
Would love to hear your thoughts below.