The rise of "gentle parenting" has introduced the use of scripted language to navigate interactions with children, but it is not without controversy.
The parenting style advocates for treating children with respect, granting them autonomy while setting boundaries, and breaking generational cycles of authoritarianism by using predetermined scripts that guide parents in handling discipline, emotional outbursts, and other various challenges.
While gentle parenting has its merits, the standardization of parenting through scripts overlooks the unique dynamics of each parent-child relationship and cultural diversity. Children can thrive under different parenting approaches, and parental intuition shouldn’t be squelched. The reflexive reliance on science and the internet for answers can exacerbate postpartum anxiety around precise speech, fears of permanently harming children, and overwhelm in seeking the one correct response to every situation. Human relationships are not so rigid. They require flexibility and understanding, not strict adherence to predetermined scripts.
Critics argue that parents who are engaged, clear about their values, and trust their intuition don’t need word-for-word instructions. While scripts can be helpful initially, the rigid framework they create leaves little room for parental judgment and individual expression. Ultimately, parenting is a nuanced journey that should rely on genuine feelings, intentions, and the parent's own perception of the situation.
Read more (via The Nation)