A few years ago, the term “gentle parenting” really took off in the parenting world. Countless books, podcasts, and social media accounts were dedicated to teaching parents how to lead with connection, consciousness, and sincerity. The problem is that the term “gentle” leads to a lot of parents scoffing at the idea because no one wants to be a doormat to their four-year-old, right?
One mom recently discovered the term “connected parenting,” which is very similar to gentle parenting but takes away the stigma that may come with thinking that parents just let their kids walk all over them (that’s called permissive parenting, by the way!).
What is connected parenting?
Connected parenting, founded by writer and Child and Family Therapist, Jennifer Kolari, is a parenting technique often related to attachment parenting that focuses on building a lifetime connection with children.
Connected parents provides parents with an approach that is neither authoritarian nor permissive to relate to their children and guide them in their development. Connected parenting encourages parents to communicate, teach, and relate to their children on a deeply personal level.
Connected parenting can also be known as conscious parenting, or, yes, gentle parenting.
In order to practice connection-based parenting, the art of focus and relation need to be at the forefront of all parenting decisions. That means for play interaction, conversation, and even discipline, there needs to be a moment of connection between the parent and the child.
Connected parenting vs. gentle parenting
“I just saw this term called ‘connected parenting,’ and I don't like the term ‘gentle parenting’ because nothing about me is gentle,” Nicki joked. “Field hockey all American here. I didn't do that by being f**king gentle.”
Nicki explains that connected parenting is about working with our kids, creating fair boundaries, and not demanding respect from our children that we didn’t earn.
“Anyway, connected parenting, that tells me more about myself than any other term I've ever heard,” she says.
“It's like, ‘Hey, you want to be a bitch to me? I'm going to stop you right there because you're not allowed to do that.’ But then also I understand I'm not, I'm not allowed to just be a bitch to you either, even though I'm the mom. That ain't fair. That's not life.”
Nicki goes on to say that she’s open and honest with her daughter about their mother-daughter relationship, admitting that she doesn’t have it all figured out.
“So, let's work our way through things together. Let's talk openly about sh*t. This is my first rodeo. Actually, that's what I say to my daughter, ‘This is my first rodeo.’ My first time being a mother to an eight year old — harder than I thought. This is harder than I thought, and then she'll laugh ... she understands, okay, connected,” she says.
Her caption on the video reads: “Imagine being raised by a mom who owns her sh*t and doesn’t try to control you, supports you fully and works her ass off to grow daily, as a woman?”
We’d all be better off, I think!