Global Day of Parents
Happy Global Day of Parents! Yes, 1st June is a day dedicated solely to parents in order to celebrate all things ‘parenthood’ and the beautiful bond between parents and children across the globe.
In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly decided that an event needed to be created to recognise the essential role that parents play in raising their children. Nurturing a child - providing them with protection as they grow and develop is a massive responsibility. The event is closely linked to International Families Day which is also held annually on 15th May.
The Global Day of Parents recognises that parenting is far from easy and everyone approaches it in different ways. The awareness day provides an opportunity to get together to, not only to celebrate, but to also discuss different parenting techniques – what works and what doesn’t work these days?
It is a day of appreciation - recognising the lifelong commitment of parenthood and the effort that goes into creating a happy, loving and understanding environment. One style of parenting which has come back into fashion at the moment is called ‘Gentle Parenting.’ This is a style of parenting which focuses on treating children with respect and empathy. It is all about creating a highly positive relationship between parent and child. By modelling positive behaviours and by highlighting a child’s good qualities, he or she becomes more confident. The theory is that if children are treated with respect and compassion, they learn to trust and feel safe with their parent/care-giver. The British childcare expert, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, first coined the term ‘gentle parenting’ back in 2005 in her very famous book on the topic.
Some critics of the theory, have said that it is a lax parenting style and reward/punishment systems are more effective. However, its supporters slam the more authoritarian styles of the past and reassure that by providing children with carefully-explained, age-sensitive boundaries, they really can flourish. Meeting a child’s emotional needs and looking at the world from their point of view really lets them know you are on their side. By sympathising with children and not dictating to them, they learn to understand themselves and the world around them.
There are four main pillars or principles which underpin the technique of ‘Gentle Parenting’. They are:
- Empathy – How is your child feeling? What do they need? Why are they behaving in certain way? Is there a reason?
- Respect – Do you try to acknowledge that your child is an individual? Do you respect their preferences and needs? Do you endeavour to treat them as you’d want to be treated yourself?
- Understanding – Do you try to remember that your child isn’t an adult? Do you make an effort to ensure that your expectations of them are age-appropriate?
- Boundaries – Are the boundaries you set sensible? Do you think the boundaries you set help to make your child feel safe and secure? Are your boundaries consistent? Do you explain the reasons for your boundaries?
Another key feature of the Gentle Parenting Style is called the ‘Three Cs’ – Connection, Communication and Consistency. The idea is that by CONNECTING with your children through good COMMUNICTION, this allows them to know that they can CONSISTENTLY trust you. In this way, they are more likely to respect your approach to parenting and will willingly copy the example of good behaviour that you have set.
Child development researchers have found many advantages of the model. In summary, they are:
- Children know the ‘right thing to do’ by instinct and not because they want some kind of reward or fear a particular punishment.
- Creating close and deep emotional ties with a parent helps them to have a better relationship with their main care-giver but also enables them to create strong relationships of their own in later life.
- Practising empathy and kindness becomes second nature to the child – as it is frequently being modelled to them.
- Anxiety and depression are less likely to feature in the child’s life as they grow up to be more resilient and happier human beings who are fully able to regulate their own emotions and take responsibility for their own actions.
Pretty fascinating, hey? There are so many different styles of parenting out there which are constantly falling in and out of fashion. One thing is for certain though – being a parent is not straightforward and you just have to do what works for you! Here at Naturally Sheepskins, we just hope to make your lives a little easier by providing you with high-quality products which have been proven to help babies and children in numerous different ways – physically, psychologically and developmentally. The crux of the matter is - our products have been created ‘by parents for parents.’ We know that parenting is the hardest job in the world even when you’ve read all the theories – putting them into practice is a different matter. One thing we do agree on though is that parents deserve to be celebrated on this special day! So, three cheers for all the parents out there doing a wonderful job!