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What Is Slow Parenting?

Children need to space to stretch, grow, and play, but that does not mean that life (or childhood) needs to be fast-paced. “Slow Parenting” is a term that is gaining traction. No, it is not about moving at the pace of a snail, but about bringing balance back into the home. When parents practice slow parenting, they allow their child the time and freedom to explore the world on their own terms. Slow parenting cherishes quality over quantity, being in the moment, and making meaningful connections with your family. What are some surprising benefits?

You get to reconnect with your family! Lots of families that practice slow parenting find themselves “unplugging” for at least one day of the week. Logging out of Facebook and putting the phone down altogether can positively impact relationships. Taking the time to talk and really listen to each other is one of the most helpful things people can do in any relationship. It is crucial to carve out time where you can be fully present. Children and parents can learn so much about each other just by playing simple games together or engaging in outdoor activities that require teamwork and communication.

Slow parenting enhances exploration and creative growth, and not just for the kids! This style of parenting is all about learning and developing via discovering natural surroundings. By allowing children to be influenced by relationships and natural instincts rather than material objects, they are able to truly be themselves.  A parent that utilizes a slower manner of parenting may give their children toys, but not explain to them how they work therefore letting the child naturally figure out how to use the object. This will help develop independent and creative thinking at crucial moments during development.

Even if the idea of slow parenting doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, you can still take some cues from it. Start to embrace the idea of slowing down in general — listening more intently, engaging further, thinking more deliberately. Slowing everything down means allowing children to figure out who they are rather than what we want them to be. Interested in learning more? We love this piece in the Boston Globe. 

Image via mission-health.org