You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Questions I am asked about Responsive Parenting…

After talking to groups about Responsive Parenting, I found these were some of the most common questions and concerns parents had.  Take a look…do you have others?   Post your thoughts!

I am worried if I always respond to my child, I will spoil him. 

Responsive parenting is not being indulgent, it is responding appropriately to a child’s needs.  That means parents learn when it is time to say “yes” and when it is time to say “no”.  In the first few months, a baby’s wants and needs are one in the same.  A parent should respond to a baby’s cry consistently and quickly.  This builds trust, a baby learns that the world is a great place.  When I am hungry I am fed, when I am wet I am changed, when I need touch I am held.  It is not possible to “spoil” an infant in the first few months.  It is possible to be responsive and learn your baby’s cues so that you will know the difference between wants and needs later.  This type of parenting is not about indulging, it is about knowing what a child needs at each developmental stage, and responding to those needs.  Spoiling is responding to your child inappropriately…consistently giving your child what he wants not what he needs.

I am worried that being responsive will make my child clingy.

Responsive parenting actually results in children that are more likely to be less clingy as toddlers and preschoolers.  When a child’s needs have been consistently met in a loving way, they have a secure base from which to explore the world.  Children who do not trust the relationship with their parent often tend to cling and be afraid to venture out.

I don’t want to become a helicopter parent!

Responsive parenting is NOT helicoptering.  A parent who hovers consistently doing everything for their child will have a child who is unable to become independent.  A responsive parent knows their child well enough to know when it is appropriate to allow their child to struggle a bit and experience some frustration and natural consequences. This builds a confident child who can deal with the ups and downs of life.  Responsive parenting supports the tasks of normal growth and development; helicopter parenting ignores those tasks and keeps a child dependent.

Does responsive parenting support discipline?

Yes!  Discipline is a cornerstone of responsive parenting.  Responsive parents know that loving, consistent discipline is something that a child needs!  Setting limits builds security.  Remember, responsive parenting is giving a child what he needs, not what he wants all the time.  Boundaries and discipline may be something that upsets your child in the moment, but it is what your child needs.

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.



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