TikToker Laura Love (@lauralove5514) is a busy mom who frequently shares parenting and Montessori-related content featuring her two adorable toddlers. Recently, Love posted a video of her three-year-old, Carter, modeling “gentle parenting,” a new philosophy that’s been gaining traction on TikTok.
The phrase “gentle parenting” was coined by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a British childcare expert and author of “The Gentle Parenting Book.” Ockwell-Smith says the parenting style can be summed up in three words: understanding, empathy, and respect.
The clip begins with Carter playing in a cardboard box while his little brother tugs at the sides, anxious for his turn. “Jonah, I know you want a turn, but now it’s my turn,” the toddler explains, showing understanding. “You can have a turn when I’m done.”
Carter empathizes with Jonah by telling him, “I know it’s hard to wait sometimes.” Despite these efforts, the one-year-old’s response isn’t as gentle. Grinning ear to ear, Jonah places his tiny hand over his big brother’s face.
“Gentle, please,” Carter reminds as Jonah pokes and prods his face with mischievous wide-eyed curiosity. “That’s my body, and I said ‘no,’” he tells Jonah, setting a clear boundary.
“I don’t like being poked,” Carter says to get his little brother to respect his personal space. Jonah then hugs his big brother, who responds by confirming, “I like that,” instead of getting jabbed in the eye.
“Gentle is nice, huh?” Love says from behind the camera before gently but firmly telling her youngest, “That was not nice to poke his eye. We don’t poke people, okay?”
“That’s my body, and I said NO! That is so powerful. Good job, mom,” one user applauded.
“He communicates better than most adults. I love it,” gushed another viewer.
Because gentle parenting is a new approach to childcare, it’s nice that videos like this one already show the positive effects.
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