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Traditional Or Gentle Parenting: Which Kind of Parent Are You And Which Is Best?
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Gentle or traditional parent ka ba? Ano ba yung difference? Madaming misconceptions for both styles–and it can be hard to decide what kind of parent you want to be.

    The term traditional conjures up an image of a because-I-said-so parent, punishment, and discipline that many of us grew up with. On the other hand, gentle parents have a reputation of being malumanay and permissive. Ano ba talaga ang best way?

    In this episode of Usap Tayo, Smart Parenting moms and dads talk about their different parenting styles, their basic principles and misconceptions.

    Traditional parenting comes from a place of authority

    “Hindi dahil traditional, palo agad!” Edroy Lim, professional host and dad to one daughter exclaims. 

    “As a traditional parent, I don’t hit kids but I discipline them,” says traditional parent Dyan Gyas, mom to two kids and newborn photographer.

    Jonathan Uy, dad to two daughters, also identifies as a traditional parent. “For me, mas ok yung traditional way, habang bata pa hinhulma na natin.”

    Traditional parenting is often defined as an authoritarian way of parenting that uses a reward and punishment system, which may include physical punishments, time-outs, and other ways to correct behavior.

    RELATED: I'm Not A Gentle Parent, Am I Bad?

    On the other hand, it can include earning rewards, privileges, and different types of freedom, which depends on the age of the child and values of the parents. For example, earning rewards for good grades.

    “I’m more on the reward side, I’ll give you a reward if you do this, do that.” Dyan says. Consequence is important to traditional parents, and is a cornerstone of the traditional style.

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    “Palo, andun parin, consequence nandun parin, but the anger part and the shouting part is different.” Edroy explains. “When you’re angry, never discipline your children.”

    Jonathan adds, “Once na nagbigay ka ng punishment sa bata, after nun, siguraduhin mo na i-explain mo sa kanila kung bakit mo ginawa.”

    'When you’re angry, never discipline your children.'' –Edroy Lim

    Gentle parenting: explaining the why’s

    Geli Tamayo, working mom to two sons, identifies as a gentle parent. She says “It’s always the why, it’s always the lesson na kadikit to whatever punishment you give.”

    It doesn’t mean that you never discipline your children and let them do anything they want. “Hindi ako super gentle na, meron din akong pagiging authorative, kailangan mo pakita na galit ka.”

    Victoria Dang, mom to one son, author and mom-fluencer, is firmly on the gentle side as well. “Gentle parenting is about finding ways to communicate even in a calm way, even when they’re wrong.” Victoria explains. “In gentle parenting, [there’s] explanations and consequences.”

    RELATED: 3 Gentle Parenting Myths and The Truths Behind Them

    “Ang pinaka-main reason is to give them the answer to their whys,” Geli agrees. “As kids, toddlers, lagi yan may why.”

    Gentle parenting encourages parents to explore and be curious about their children’s emotional state and mindset, in order to foster partnership between the parent and gentle.

    [Gentle parenting] doesn’t mean that you never discipline your children and let them do anything they want.

    This style often turns to alternative methods for discipline. For example, riding through tantrums and understanding the reason for the tantrum, instead of stopping it or sending them to their room.

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    Deciding your parenting style

    Your personal beliefs and experiences will help you determine the best style that works for you. Edroy explains that part of his reasons for choosing traditional parenting is the Bible, quoting Proverbs 13:24.

    Victoria adds that she chose to be a gentle parent because she grew up with authoritative parents. “I experienced how traditional they are, and I really didn’t like it.” As parents, our morals and values help us decide how we want to shape our kids and their futures.

    1. Set parenting goals

    It’s important to set goals as a parent–for your children and for yourself. Ask yourself what kind of parent you want to be. Do you want to be calm parent? Increase your patience or figure out your triggers? What do I want out of discipline and what do I want to teach my children?

    While you develop your parenting style, it’s important to make mindful decisions. For many parents, this is a discussion that starts even before pregnancy.

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    2. Know your kid

    What worked for your eldest may not work for your bunso, dahil iba’t iba ang mga personality nila. Know also that discipline and rewards shift with age – sending your 5-year-old into a timeout might work for them at 5 but not at 7. All though we’re not above bribing a 15-year old with ice cream and a movie–some bribes work at every age.

    3. Read up!

    There are many resources available online that can help you research and figure out a parenting style that suits you and your children. Many use different concepts from gentle and traditional parenting such as positive discipline. Look for science-backed books like thedoesn’t mean that you never discipline your children and let them do anything they want. Whole-Brained Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD that can help you not only understand your child’s emotion, but also their stage of development.

    RELATED: It Took Rica Peralejo 7 Years To Become A Calmer Parent

    4. Be a united front as parents

    It’s also important to consolidate and have agreements with your partner, if you have one. Jonathan mentions that before he disciplines their kids, he asks consent from his wife. Your style of parenting will be more effective if you and your partner agree and parent together, not separately.  It also helps your kids, as they know what to expect and can’t play one parent against the other because you’re both on the same page.

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    RELATED: What Is Authoritative Parenting And How You Can Practice It By Being 'Democratic'

    Traditional and gentle parenting are only two of the many parenting styles that are around today. Choosing one style doesn’t mean you only stay in one style forever. We all know parenting is a forever learning experience and things are not set in stone. You can adjust as you go.

    MORE STORIES ON PARENTING STYLES:

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