Discipline is a controversial topic for conscious and gentle parenting because there are different perspectives on what discipline means and how it should be implemented.

Traditional approaches to discipline often involve punishment and control, such as spanking, time-outs, or grounding, which can be harmful to a child’s emotional well-being and can erode the parent-child relationship over time. Conscious and gentle parenting, on the other hand, prioritizes connection and mutual respect between parent and child, while still providing appropriate guidance and structure.

What is the best way to discipline children then?

However, within conscious and gentle parenting communities, there can be disagreements on the most effective ways to discipline children. Some parents may prefer natural consequences or logical consequences, while others may use positive reinforcement or empathetic communication.

What are natural or logical consequences?

A natural consequence for a child is an outcome that arises naturally from their behaviour or actions, without the parent having to impose a punishment or consequence. It is a way of allowing the child to experience the consequences of their choices in a natural and logical way, without the parent having to intervene.

For example, Tshimo insisted on wearing her winter school jacket to school on a sunny day. I wanted to encourage her to not do that and realised that I was getting upset because she was not listening to me. I  and my husband decided to let her go to school with that jacket, and that was the last day it was worn.

It’s similar to how she learned that the oven is hot by touching it several times after we encouraged her not to. We are obviously not crazy parents and had to supervise that experience, but she had to touch the hot stove to learn that the stove is hot. We kept insisting that she should not touch but our talking was not lesson enough. It’s important to note that natural consequences should always be safe and reasonable and not put the child in danger or harm. Additionally, parents should still provide guidance and support to their children, and help them learn from their experiences in a constructive way.

Additionally, some parents may feel that a lack of discipline leads to permissive parenting, while others may feel that strict rules and consequences can be just as harmful as punitive discipline.

What is permissive parenting?

Permissive parenting is a parenting style that is characterized by a lack of boundaries and limits, and a reluctance to enforce rules and expectations. Permissive parents tend to be lenient, indulgent, and non-demanding and may avoid confrontation or setting limits in order to avoid conflict with their children.

Overall, the controversy surrounding discipline in conscious and gentle parenting highlights the importance of open communication and a willingness to adapt and adjust approaches based on the needs of each individual child and family dynamic.

Is conscious parenting permissive parenting?

No, conscious parenting is not permissive parenting. While both parenting styles prioritize building a positive and supportive relationship between parent and child, there are key differences in how they approach boundaries and expectations.

Conscious parenting is an approach that emphasizes the importance of understanding and responding to the needs and emotions of both the parent and the child. It prioritizes open communication, empathy, and respect, while also setting clear and reasonable limits and boundaries. Conscious parents recognize that their children are unique individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and perspectives, and they work to create a safe and supportive environment where their children can thrive.

In contrast, permissive parenting tends to avoid setting limits or enforcing boundaries in order to avoid conflict or upset. Permissive parents may prioritize their children’s happiness over their long-term well-being and may allow their children to make all their own decisions, without providing guidance or structure.

Conscious parents believe in setting limits with their children but do so with loving-kindness and empathy, which looks different from how it has been done traditionally.

Just because it is not mean does not mean it is not discipline.

Do you find it easy to set limits with your children?