What is respectful parenting?
At the highest level, Respectful Parenting is a style of child-rearing that recognizes children as innately competent people. This means that children (even infants) are deserving of the same respect, honesty, trust, independence, and forthright communication that we (ideally) afford to adults.
This leads children to develop more autonomy, confidence and competence, better communication skills, improved emotional regulation, and — most importantly — it leads to a healthier, more peaceful and enjoyable family life for all members of the family.
As I see it, the ultimate goal as a parent is to develop a healthy relationship with your child built on mutual respect and love. Respectful Parenting helps to make this a reality.
So what does that actually mean in practice?
The ABCE’s of Respectful Parenting:
Autonomy is encouraged
- Giving a child maximal control within safe limits
- Independent/uninterrupted play is prioritized
- Allowing children to be involved in caretaking routines and work towards independence
Boundaries are clear and consistent
- Setting kids up for success by creating a “Yes Space”
- Prioritizing self-care and personal needs for the parents and the child
- All emotions are okay, but all behaviors are not
- Holding boundaries while also empathizing
Communication is intentional and honest
- Telling the child what you’re going to do before you do it
- Giving kids a say – “Do you want the bear shirt or the striped shirt?”
- Allowing “wait time” for a child to process and respond to you
Emotions are healthy
- Helping children regulate emotions by supporting them through the feelings (co-regulation) and teaching skills to self-regulate
- Being upset, even angry, is allowed
- Feelings don’t need to be fixed
course we will discuss and demonstrate all these essential components and more.