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The Gentle Parenting Book: How to raise calmer, happier children from birth to seven

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We are an achievement-obsessed culture. We expect so much from our children that we sometimes miss the point of childhood. This book takes that idea head-on and teaches parents about the power of play.

Perhaps it happens at the beach, when you're screaming into the wind and sand for your child to stay close to you. They seem content to scurry away, pretending that they have never seen you before. You wonder how you can keep them safe when they aren't even listening to you. In other words, this strategy works only if it is establishing healthy, predictable family rhythms that both you and your child feel comfortable with.

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Real-world examples of gentle parenting will look different at different phases of your child's development. Peters gives some examples: Admittedly this book is more aspirational than most, but that’s kind of what’s so brilliant about it. Yes, it’s a gentle parenting book, but the author’s subtle humor helps you navigate the highs and lows of parenting with purpose in a way that just makes sense.

If a kindergarten-aged child doesn't want to go to school and expresses their emotions with yelling and crying, the gentle parenting response would not be to dismiss their reaction. Instead, you would comment on your child's reaction and validate them. The goal would be to communicate understanding in an effort to help your child regulate their emotions, calm down, and get ready for school. That all sounds wonderful, in theory. But does gentle parenting actually work? We asked a parenting expert for the pros and cons of this approach. What is gentle parenting? Gentle parenting is a fairly new approach to parenting. It's also hard to objectively quantify how many people are doing it and how they are applying the philosophy. That means that there isn't a lot of clinical research diving into how gentle parenting affects children as they grow into adults.How can you use gentler parenting techniques to ensure you're setting your children up for success later in life? Enter Scaffold Parenting. Adults who have empathy and care for other people are a gift to the whole world. Gentle parenting is a way you can start to instill those value in your children. It also fosters independence, self-confidence, and many other virtues.

It could even be a moment that happens in your therapist's office, when it dawns on you that you'll do anything to raise your children in a safer, calmer, happier home than the one you grew up in. The way gentle parenting looks on a practical level will vary from family to family. But the central tenets of empathy, respect, understanding, and healthy boundaries should inform the way that all "gentle" parents make decisions. What exactly is gentle parenting? It's a parenting style that emphasizes compassion over confrontation, setting clear boundaries for your children, and understanding their developmental needs. It's parenting without shaming or blaming. It's not perfect — nothing in parenting is perfect. And you won't get it right 100% of the time, so you need to give yourself grace for that. Parenting is hard. At some point, you're probably going to absolutely lose it in front of (or even directed at) your children. Gentle parenting is a form of positive parenting that emphasizes understanding a child’s behavior through empathy and respect, giving choices versus commands, and responding in a way that considers a child’s intellectual and developmental levels," explains Dan Peters, PhD, a psychologist and host of the Parent Footprint podcast. You've probably heard by now that Danish people are the happiest people on Earth. This starts in childhood. With this book, you'll learn how time together, calm discipline, and strict boundaries make for the happiest and most confident people in the world.There's nothing that excites me more than evidence-based practice, and this book is full of it. Naumberg understands that at some point, it's going to hit the fan. She gives you concrete, honest advice for dealing with yourself while you deal with your kids.

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