Respectful parenting involves treating your child with dignity and compassion, and following certain rules can help guide parents in this approach. Here are three key rules to keep in mind:
Rule 1: Speak to your child in a normal voice. Rather than using baby talk, which can be demeaning and may hinder language development, try using Parentese. This is where you modify your voice by raising its pitch, altering intonation, using mimicry, facial expressions, and smiling. It's also helpful to speak slowly and enunciate each word distinctly.
Rule 2: Let your child express their emotions. Studies have shown that allowing people to fully experience and express their emotions, including crying, can lead to reduced distress and negative feelings. Instead of interrupting or suppressing your child's emotions, give them the space to express themselves fully. Afterwards, talk to them about why they were upset and try to help them understand their emotions.
Rule 3: Set boundaries and consequences for your child's behavior. Explain to your child in advance what is allowed and not allowed, and why. Consequences should be logical and fair, and should be explained in advance. For example, if your child is prone to throwing toys around and breaking things, set a boundary that this behavior is not acceptable and explain the reasons why. The consequence could be losing a privilege, like screen time.
By following these three rules, you can help foster a more respectful and compassionate relationship with your child.