Very often, ‘gentle parenting’ doesn’t go with black parents. The stereotype is that black parenting styles are associated with abusive characters, including physical punishments, humiliation, and disregard for children’s boundaries.
Statistics show that Black parents tend to be much harsher when disciplining their kids, and there are historical contexts that explain why. Black parenting styles reflect the cruelty and trauma we endured during slavery. In response, Black parents frequently discipline their children in ways akin to how plantation owners mistreated slaves.
Another reason Black parents tend to evade the ‘gentle’ part of parenting is the need to raise children who see the racist society they grow up in as what it is so they don’t end up perpetuating the Black stereotype.
However, this does not mean black parents cannot raise responsible and well-groomed children who can function in society without force.
In this article, we’ll talk about Black gentle parenting. Is it possible? And if it is, what do we stand to gain or lose?
What is Gentle Parenting?
According to Forbes, gentle parenting is a philosophical approach to raising kids. This parenting style consists of four major elements —respect, understanding, empathy, and boundaries — focusing on nurturing the habits and qualities you want in your child with compassion, and enforcing healthy and consistent limits. Unlike other lenient parenting styles, gentle parenting has the potential to impart priceless lessons that last a lifetime.
Black Gentle Parenting: How Does It Work?
Gentle parenting aims to establish a connection between the parent and child—a safe place where the child is empowered to face life squarely, solve problems, and make good choices independently.
With the four major elements of Gentle Parenting, we’ll define a working mechanism for Black Gentle Parenting.
Respect is reciprocal! This statement is also applicable to parenting. Respecting your child is essential if you want to practice gentle parenting. Rather than imposing your opinion on your children, model it for them. Talk to your child the way you’d like someone else to talk to you. That way, you also earn respect from your child without having to ask for it.
Understanding is necessary for any relationship to work – the same goes for your relationship with your child. If you want to practice gentle parenting, you should check to see if your child’s behavior is age-appropriate and understand that your child’s behavior only reflects what they are dealing with, not necessarily out of disrespect for your authority.
Approach your child’s behavior with curiosity. Is your child unable to cooperate because they’re tired? Hungry? Uncertain of the requirements? Or is distracted by something else that needs attention? These questions will help you understand your child better.
Empathy and understanding go hand-in-hand. When you understand the needs and feelings of your child, you have more insight into why your child acts in a certain way, and you can be there for them.
Empathy creates spaces for a deeper connection between you and your child.
Gentle parenting advocates insist that boundaries are essential and should be upheld in a firm yet compassionate manner. These boundaries are like rules which help your children understand what is expected of them. To avoid unnecessary frustration, they should be things your children can do.
The mechanism of gentle parenting is designed to avoid any use of punishment to evoke a particular or desired reaction. Shaming, punishment, beating, and the like will only tamper with the connection you have formed with the child.
What Are The Pros And Cons of Black Gentle Parenting?
- Your child will develop into an independent, resourceful, confident, and resilient adult. Gentle Parenting helps children acquire basic problem-solving and emotional skills to help them navigate life.
- Gentle parenting enables you to create a bond with your child, providing a situation where they can talk to you about anything, their challenges, and even secrets. It will also help them understand what healthy relationships ought to be.
- Gentle parenting will help you model your child in the right direction and serve as a basis for many other positive social skills. It will lay the foundation of their character.
Gentle parenting, especially for a black is not for the weak. It is something you actively do and dedicate yourself to doing.
It requires lots of patience and tolerance and may take work to accomplish. However, the secret is to use the four pillars of gentle parenting and to treat your kids like complete human beings with needs, feelings, and emotions. Read Also: Choosing The Right Sport For a Child With Special Needs