– Parenting Approach Linked to Child’s Developmental Challenges: Refusal to Spank Leads to Diagnosis

Many parents exhibit a strong dedication to their selected parenting method, whether they opt for authoritarian strategies or lean towards the gentle parenting philosophy. Nevertheless, at times, this fervor can overshadow what truly matters.

One mother came to understand this firsthand when divergent parenting approaches led to an irreparable discord with a close friend.

A mother’s account of how contrasting parenting styles impacted a cherished friendship.

The identity-concealed mom recounted her experience on Reddit as a means to “let off some steam.” She disclosed that her 3-year-old daughter “progresses at a slightly slower pace in terms of developmental milestones, a common occurrence due to a genetic condition.” She clarified that her daughter is not lagging behind and they are monitoring her progress to determine if any interventions may be necessary in the future.

During a casual interaction with a friend who also happens to be her daughter’s godmother, the situation took a turn. “We were discussing our respective parenting styles,” she recounted. “My friend, a mother of three, employs spanking as a disciplinary measure, a practice she is aware I do not endorse.”

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Little did she anticipate the profound impact this disparity would have on their friendship.

“After praising the behavior of her children and commending her eldest’s academic performance,” she narrated, “the conversation took a negative turn.”

“She expressed surprise at my daughter’s well-behaved nature for her age. I explained our commitment to gentle parenting and its positive outcomes,” the mother shared. “This led to insinuations that my child might become entitled, attributed solely to her being an only child, and that she would behave differently if she had siblings.”

As if these remarks were not hurtful enough, the final critique from her supposed friend was the breaking point. “She went as far as to imply that my daughter’s delayed development was a consequence of my parenting choices, prompting me to leave,” she recounted.

Cleveland Clinic delineates this parenting methodology as aiming to nurture confident, independent, and content children through empathy, respect, understanding, and the establishment of healthy boundaries. This parenting style places significant emphasis on age-appropriate growth.

In contrast to traditional parenting paradigms centered on punishment and reward, gentle parenting prioritizes enhancing a child’s self-awareness and comprehension of their actions.

Dr. Karen Estrella, a pediatrician, elucidated to Cleveland Clinic, “The essence is to act as a guide for your child rather than a disciplinarian.”

Gentle parenting essentially represents a shift in parenting dynamics. Rather than merely reacting to children’s behavior, it involves relinquishing some control to the children, treating them with the same respect accorded to adults.

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Gentle parenting does not equate to effortless parenting.

In her Reddit narrative, the mother underscored that her daughter’s upbringing has not been devoid of challenges.

“My child possesses a temperament that is far from easy,” she affirmed. “Addressing her behavior required consistency and boundaries. Despite my inclination to boast, I refrain from doing so. I take pride in her progress and the obstacles we have surmounted.”

Regardless of the perception that her daughter is overly indulged or “entitled,” the family’s journey has been anything but simple. Opting for a gentler parenting approach does not imply a smoother path. In reality, the absence of swift rewards or punishments based on behavior likely renders the process more demanding.

Irrespective of the ease or complexity of one’s parenting approach, passing judgment is never advisable. Unless there are grounds to suspect abuse or neglect, allowing individuals to navigate their familial choices autonomously is typically the most prudent course of action.

In a subsequent update, the mother disclosed that she has severed ties with her daughter’s godmother due to her unwelcome and hurtful remarks. “Just to update you all, I have already distanced myself from her,” she affirmed. “I am grateful that my child is young enough to move on from this without lasting repercussions.”