'My family don't agree with my gentle parenting and tell me to shout at my son'

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Her family don
Her family don't agree with her technique and thinks she should just shout at her son (Stock Image) (Image: Getty Images)

As parenting styles differ from family to family, everyone has the methods that work best for them - but this might mean the way you raise your children is a lot different to the ways you were perhaps raised. There has also been a surge in the style of many new parents adopting the 'gentle parenting' methods, giving the child a lot of positive reinforcement. A turn away from a still dominant progressive approach known as "authoritative parenting".

What we would class as 'traditional' parenting uses techniques such as punishment and reward that shows authority over the child, whereas gentle parenting sees adults staying calm and never shouting, instead showing empathy and respect for the child feels - allowing them to process their behaviour and hold themselves accountable.

One mum has come under fire from her family as they don't agree with her gentle approach when raising her three-year-old who is susceptible to a tantrum and has told her she needs to tell him off more. She has shared her dilemma on a Mumsnet forum as she wrote: "Family think we should be tougher and shout more at my son, three-and-a-half for having tantrums sometimes.

"The tantrums are generally better than they were a year ago. But it still happens. For example, when he can't get his way, he sometimes cries and throws himself on the floor for a bit occasionally. Or when he is having lots of fun and it finishes, he struggles not to lose his temper in those situations.

"It's better, but it still happens. Everyone in my family just thinks he's naughty now and needs a good bog bo*****ing for doing it. Literally, that's what they think. Personally, I have been taking a more gentle approach all along. Shouting makes it last longer and doesn't seem to help really. I like to remove toys, remove him from the situation, go home, give him a time-out, turn the TV off, that kind of stuff. Rather than just shouting.

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"I always tried the 'I know you're frustrated we need to leave now. You were having fun and now we need to go and it's making you feel sad' kind of technique. I can't say it's been a huge success. But on average the tantrums are shorter than if you stand there shouting and making them more upset. I also just don't like shouting that much. What does everyone else think?"

Mums have been quick to support the mum in her situation, as many agree she shouldn't shout, with one Mumsnetter who simply commented: "Shout at your family and see if it makes them happier or angrier," and another who agreed and said "Some behaviour does need a firmer line - it's painful watching the way some parents pander to their children when they are acting up. But that doesn't usually mean shouting."

Niamh Kirk

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