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In an effort to raise well-rounded and empathetic children with the least amount of generational and childhood trauma, gentle parenting offers caregivers methods to healthily rear their little ones. 

Still, and as a social media user recently pointed out, going the “soft” route when instilling discipline leaves some moms feeling like their children aren’t heading in the right direction.

“This gentle parenting sh*t ain’t working. My kid bad af,” a social media user posted on Instagram. 

“But I’m not even going [to] claim the word ‘bad,’ she continued. “But moms, please give me advice cuz I’m trying to stick in there with this gentle parenting, but he’s trying meeeeee.”

Many fellow moms and women flooded the comments with their own mommyhood experiences and advice on gentle parenting. 

“I’m just here for the comments cuz my child make me look like I don’t discipline her at all,” one vented. “And I don’t cuz I have PTSD from getting my a*s whipped, but boyyyyy she be begginggggg for it!!! The crazy thing is she do not play wit her dad like that.”

“Pop pop time buy a fly swatter!! Cause I be gentle [but] the kids be trying,” another wrote.

Insightfully, one person chimed in and said, “Gentle parenting is deep because you have to hold yourself very accountable. It’s okay to apologize to your child after you’ve done something harmful. They’ll respect you more for it later on. And gentle parenting is not an exclusion of discipline for the sake of the child’s mental health, it’s an exclusion of the detrimental things you learned growing up and reframing a healthy parental/child(ren) structure.”


Gentle Parenting

Gentle parenting is an “evidence-based approach” that leans on implementing empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries, according to Verywell Family

In addition to it ideally helping caregivers raise happy and confident children, the method encourages parents to practice age-appropriate discipline for their child’s stage of development.

Research claims that the method makes children less anxious, more independent and more aware of how to handle their emotions in societally acceptable ways. 

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Based on various levels of responsiveness and demandingness toward a child, CNBC reports that there are also four main parenting styles: permissive, authoritative, neglectful and authoritarian. 

The outlet highlighted that researchers believe authoritative parents “are more likely to raise independent, self-reliant and socially competent kids.”

Authoritative parents are said to be both highly responsive to and demanding of their kids. 

In practice, the parenting style looks like leaving the pathway of communication as a two-way street, enforcing clear rules and expectations with practical consequences, turning mistakes or bad behavior into learning lessons where the child can reflect, and parenting in consideration of a child’s “thoughts, feelings and opinions.”

While every child is different, a good parent is attentive and acts accordingly when a different parenting approach better suits their child’s current needs. 

That said, gentle and authoritative parenting may be useful in supporting you along the way. 

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