I did a video stating that gentle parenting was privileged parenting and the internet lost its mind. Before we dive into my statement let me clarify what gentle parenting is. Gentle parenting is a parenting technique rooted in raising a child with consistent boundaries and without what many consider child abuse. So, providing calm clarifying instructions, keeping calm while remaining authoritative, refraining from yelling or hitting your child etc.
So How is That Privileged?
After all, it costs nothing to treat your child with kindness, right? What people dismissed is the core of gentle parenting is emotional regulation. You cannot implement this parenting technique if you cannot control your emotions. Now ask yourself, when is it easiest to control my emotions? For most humans it is easiest to have a peaceful home, control their emotions and implement this parenting technique when...
They have access to adequate mental health resources such as therapy and support groups
They have assistance raising their child such as affordable childcare and grandparents
Their basic needs are taken care of such as water, food and shelter
Let Me Use My Sociology
for a sec and tell you… these things on this lovely list are considered privileges. If you cannot afford to feed your child and they dump out the pot of spaghetti your stress level and response will look vastly different than someone whose basic needs are met.
If you have a therapist or support groups your ability to work on yourself will lead to improvement within your emotional regulation hence making it EASIER to gentle parent. I think most people stopped listening after the word privilege because we all want to feel like we have pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. But guess what? It doesn't matter. No one gets a prize for how much they have been through or survived and for people that use their own misfortunates to shame others who have more but struggle it is also truly sad.
Also, I think a lot of people heard “white privilege” as if that is the only type. Too many comments stated things like “What does race have to do with parenting?”. I literally never mentioned race. In fact, I used my own privileges as examples.
The fact that Addy is being raised with both parents at home, the fact that as someone who is self employed I have more control over my schedule, the fact I have access to mental health services etc. These are all things that are more supportive of a gentle parenting lifestyle and that many do not have access to.
Privilege is not specific to witness although White privilege is VERY real. Okay now that that’s out the way…
I never stated any parenting technique was impossible if your circumstances were not conducive. I did state that it would be more challenging and we as humans need to understand what we are up against so we can prepare accordingly.