Understanding Gentle Parenting: What You Need to Know About this Compassionate Approach

Do you know what gentle parenting is? Stick around to learn more about this parenting approach! New parents find it challenging to search for recommendations on properly treating their child! While exploring the various forms of parenting, you have heard the term gentle parenting. So, what is it? This blog post discusses gentle parenting principles and how the style differs from authoritative, permissive, and neglected parenting styles.

What is Gentle Parenting?

A Woman Playing with her Son on a Bench // Healthier Baby Today

Gentle parenting entails raising a child through love and support and understanding their feeling. It originates with the suggestion that children should be embraced gently and encouraged to grow as they can and wish to. While gentle parenting works based on punishing, like some other traditional parenting styles, it is a very different approach focusing more on encouragement and understanding.

Fundamental principles of gentle parenting include:

Happy young mother embracing adorable little son while lying on floor // Healthier Baby Today
  • Respect for the Child: Why not only accept and validate the child’s emotions and thoughts but also respect their unique self?
  • Empathy and Understanding: The first important strategy involves acknowledging feelings.
  • Boundaries and Guidance: Effective parenting means establishing moderate and definite forms of behaviour for a child while educating them with kindness and tolerance.
  • Positive Discipline: Instead of concentrating on negative behaviours and using punitive measures to correct them, pay attention to desirable behaviours and support the children in replicating them. This means using natural consequences, problem-solving, and redirection.

The Four Parenting Styles

To better understand gentle parenting, it’s helpful to compare it to the other main parenting styles: Authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved are the four parenting styles that exist.

Authoritarian Parenting


  • Strict rules and high expectations.
  • Restriction and minimal allowance for the child’s changes and ideas.
  • From a disciplinary perspective, it mainly focuses on retribution rather than teaching.

Impact on Children:

  • This may lead to compliant and effective behaviours.
  • This may lead to low self-esteem, high-stress levels, and a lack of interaction with others due to fear of a mistake that may hinder personal decision-making.

Authoritative Parenting


  • Balanced approach with clear rules and expectations.
  • Encourages independence while maintaining control and guidance.
  • Disciplinary actions are supportive and aimed at teaching.

Impact on Children:

  • It usually leads to responsible children who possess self-regulation and appropriate social behaviours.
  • Builds confidence, motivation, and academic achievement.

Permissive Parenting


  • Few rules and gives in to all demands.
  • Highly responsive to the child’s desires and emotions.
  • Discipline is rare and inconsistent.

Impact on Children:

  • Decision-making is often impulsive, self-control is poor, and social situations can be challenging.
  • Scholars may have dilemmas on authority and discipline with their teachers or other members of society outside their homes.

Uninvolved Parenting


  • Lack of interest in the child’s life leaves them to their own free will.
  • There is no clear guidance, directives, or even concern.
  • This is a lack of emotional involvement and the inability to respond to stimuli.

Impact on Children:

  • The problem is linked to attachment problems, low academic performance, and even being emotionally pulled back from the world.
  • A minority of children may experience problems such as low self-esteem and difficulties in their interpersonal relationships.

How the Parenting Styles Handle Discipline

A Woman Helping her Young Son with his Clothes // Healthier Baby Today

Authoritarian Parenting – The Traditional Way

Example: A child is eating and accidentally spills his food on the plates on the table, and some of it starts to drop on the floor.

Authoritarian Parent Response: In response, the parent might condemn the child for being careless in a hurry. What you have to do is be much more careful! Now, you must clean up this mess immediately. They generally don’t oversee cleaning up the mess, nor do they give the child step-by-step directions on how not to spill something like that again. “The next time, you will get punished by a time out, spanking, or privileges being taken away.”

Authoritative Parenting – Gentle Parenting

Example: A child accidentally lets go of his utensils, and the food on them falls on the table and some on the floor.

Authoritative Parent Response: The parent may easily remain calm about the event. “This is how I assume your food fell; let’s clean it up.” Then, constructive criticism is made using the event as a teaching moment. ‘I suggest when eating, do not place your plate on the table’s edge because if the food overflows, it may fall.’ Occasionally, it is well understood that everyone makes mistakes.

Permissive Parenting

Example: It takes a moment when a child drops his food on the table, and it starts falling on the table.

Permissive Parent Response: The parent can get upset and wipe the mess without the child realizing they are a mess creator. “You just spilt your food; it’s fine.” They might need to iterate that it was wrong or talk about best practices to avoid such an act in the future. I have been lucky to encounter that statement in due time when an ‘accident’ occurs: “Accidents happen, don’t worry about it.”

Uninvolved Parenting

Example: A child spitting his food on the table sees it start falling on the floor.

Uninvolved Parent Response: The parent will remain indifferent to the spillage, and they will not have noticed it. They allow the child to handle the situation independently rather than just offering a guiding hand. In one of the aspects, the child may be made to understand how they are supposed to clean up on their own without being guided by the parent.

The Benefits of Gentle Parenting

Authoritative parenting encompasses an assertive yet responsive discipline style incorporating more assertive care and consideration. This approach has numerous benefits for both children and parents:

  • Emotional Intelligence: There are positive features for children, such as learning to regulate their feelings, becoming less stressed, and learning to take other people’s perspectives.
  • Strong Parent-Child Relationship: Trust and communication are critical indicators of a good relationship between a parent and an offspring.
  • Positive Behavior: Rewarding good demeanour and proper manners leads to people being polite or willing to cooperate where needed.
  • Self-Discipline: This method allows children to factor out their needs through threats or promises without external prompting.

Implementing Gentle Parenting

To bend the anger towards change and practice gentleness needs some change of perspective and approach. Here are some steps to help you get started: 

  • Practice Empathy: It is vital that the child’s opinion is considered and value is placed on their perception. For instance, if your child is angry and crying because of a broken toy, accept that they are angry and find a way to console them.
  • Set Clear Boundaries: Meaning, fairness, and transparency of rules have to be established. Those rules should not be changed very often, and the changes that happen should be easily understandable. Concepts like such rules should be set and not be altered often. Discuss these rules with your child and let them help set up or solve the practical issues of those rules to some extent if needed.
  • Use Positive Discipline: Teachers should emphasize passing knowledge more than the act of whipping the learner since this adversely affects their motivation. Take your child’s focus elsewhere, allow them to make decisions, and give them the outcome of their choices.
  • Communicate Openly: Create an environment where your child can confidently share ideas and emotions with you, knowing they will be supportively listened to. Listen to the opposing opinion, and always speak to your partner humbly.
  • Model Desired Behaviors: Children learn from what they are offered to see: parents. As with any learning, it is very important to model the behaviour and attitudes you want your child to emulate, prevailing over such traits as patience, kindness, or respect.


Photo of Woman Feeding Her Child // Healthier Baby Today

Gentle parenting is the kind of discipline that does not involve shouting, spanking, or punishing the child in any way; instead, it is about being sensitive and considerate to the needs of a child. With insight into the distinctions between authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting, one will recognize how gentle parenting can be a supportive and healthy form of child-rearing. Flexibility and tolerance may be helpful when performing gentle parenting when needed. Still, the positive effect of non-violent communication with a child and the relations between parents and the child is significant. You invested in gentle parenting, learned to combine it with your life, and enjoyed the benefits of deeper family relationships.

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