This trend is is rooted in building a strong relationship with the parents and child, where they are open to chat about feelings, expectations, wants, needs, self-regulation, and reasonable discipline. We also call it a “trend” as it’s not a documented concept rooted in research; it is instead a way for people to express and talk about parenting choices in an easy way.
However, as Aliza Pressman, Ph.D., co-founding director and director of clinical programming for the Mount Sinai Parenting Center, notes, gentle parenting is really just another variation of authoritative parenting. She notes you don’t need to get caught up in the semantics of this, as it’s really all the same concept: You want to raise a kid with sensitivity and warmth, while also measuring out reasonable expectations and boundaries.
“Any of these trends is not necessarily better than the others, it’s a lot of semantics,” she says. “If it works for you, and it improves your relationship of your child, then that’s great.”
Another thing to note: Gentle parenting is also highly culture dependent. How being “gentle” to children to one family or culture might look different than other. That’s OK.