As we continued exploring the best parenting options, we came accross ‘Reflective Pareting’. Reflective parenting views children’s behavior as meaningful communication that helps parents better understand their children. This approach to parenting sees the ability to reflect on the meaning behind a child’s behavior as being at the heart of sensitive, reflective parenting and as a key to strengthening parent-child bonds.
One of our beliefs is that children act/behave for a reason, and the better we understand those underlying reasons, the better our relationship with them will be. Since this is at the core of what we do and believe in at Smooth Parenting, we were happy to learn about Reflective Parenting and how they support the same principles about the relationship between parent and child.
Reflective parenting asks the parent to consider how her thoughts and feelings affect the child’s experience and vice versa. It aims to develop reflective functioning skills in parents through listening, observing, and thinking about the intentions and feelings underlying the child’s behavior. Rather than a formulated approach, reflective parenting guides parents to evaluate and look within themselves in order to be a strong, reliable container for their children’s emotions. In this way, parents are able to skillfully and thoughtfully approach any situation that arises.
Reflective Parenting is all about our unique human capacity to take another’s feelings, needs, intentions, thoughts and behaviors into consideration before we act and / or respond to our child. It is characteristics like these that can help us to be the best role model as parent that we can be for our children. Like many well intentioned parents, our first choice is to be thoughtful and respectful, especially when under stress. But we’re not always successful, so reflective thinking is an available tool for us to unlock elements of the intimate parent / child relationship in order to understand the subtle and non-verbal cues a child puts out.