The Scientific Validation of Gentle Parenting

And what we know from the science, too, is that parents who do [this gentle parenting approach] instead of a more command-and-demand authoritarian type of parenting – it doesn’t change their children’s behaviour. 

Their children learn to hide their behaviours and, when they’re adolescents, the science says they don’t go to their parents when they’re in tricky situations. They go to their peers. 

When our children come to us with bad behaviour, it is often a symptom of a dysregulated nervous system. They’re saying, “I need help right now.” 

When we respond to them, we need to show up for them. Even when they say something like, “I wanted popcorn. Why won’t you give me popcorn?” And you’re like, “Really? Because I’m taking you to the movies and you’re going to say that?” You know, you get so upset about your child being “spoiled.” 

In that moment, if you respond that way, our child is like, “I just shared how I felt with them. I’m really disappointed and I shared that and I feel criticised – and that didn’t feel good.” 

When our children communicate with us and we respond in ways that don’t feel good to them, they will stop sharing with us.  

When we say, “I don’t want to hear it,” they internalise that. So that doesn’t mean I give them the popcorn. I can say, “I know you’re so disappointed. You wanted the popcorn. We’re not buying it today. And I know it’s disappointing. It’s hard to feel disappointed.” 

So, it’s not about the boundary. I’m going to hold the boundary, but it’s really about saying “yes” to our children’s internal experiences, showing up for them – and the science has our backs on this. 

Extended breastfeeding is supported by every health organisation around the world…If that works for you and your family and it feels right – do it. 

I want to empower you. You know your child. Trust your child. Trust your instincts. 

If anybody’s criticising you, listen, they might have a point. But don’t let it rule your life. 


Absolutely, and if they need the best reference book that I have found to date on why we do what we do for babies – your new book is it. I will unequivocally recommend it to every new parent, every existing parent – even if they already have a child, or two, or 15. 

There’s just so much great, compelling information in here and the world needs to know that there is some really smart gentle parenting advice that we know to be smart because we have the science to prove it. 

We don’t necessarily have to repeat these generational patterns that even you, and so many of the rest of us, have had. We can choose to do what works for our family. 

Science has our backs when we make what seem to be different decisions from so many around us. Your book provides exactly the kind of validation that we need as we go into gentle parenting. 

So thank you so much for writing it, for writing all the other books you’ve written, for existing. Thank you, also, for being a resource for people around the world who really just need to know “I can figure this out. This child might just make it to day 3 and day 4 and beyond, because it all feels new sometimes.” 

Tina Payne Bryson: 

And you know I think, too, we have to remember everybody’s kid is different. What works for one kid doesn’t work for the next. I think it’s important that we really follow our children’s lead. 

And I want to say to you parents, if you don’t have time to sit and read – and I’m actually writing an article right now for parents who never find time to read – all of my books are in audio form. 

I’ve done a lot of podcasts just like this one on No-Drama Discipline, Whole-Brain Child and on my website,, you can find tons of free content. 

I post on Instagram all the time, just helpful little snippets and resources, so you can find me there as well. 

But I want to say one final thing if it’s alright, Sarah, and then I’ll let you close this out. 

Parents, I just want to say to you – you sacrifice so much for your children. I know you do. If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re a parent who is really intentional, and we’re so good at sacrificing and giving to our children. 

But I want to say to you that you matter, too. And we need to really, really – and I’m so I’m such a hypocrite; I was terrible at this when my kids were younger and I’m better at it now – but you really do matter. Your children, what they need most from you, is you. And for you to be present. 

In order to do that, you really do have to take care of yourself. It’s one of the best things you can do for your kids. 

That is an important gift and an important takeaway, so thank you for that. I will do my best to implement that personally, and encourage the other parent seeing this to do that as well. 

We’ve got to keep working on it. 


Exactly. Thank you so much, Tina. 

Originally published here.

Sarah R. Moore is an internationally published writer and the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. You can follow her on Facebook,  Pinterest, and Instagram. She’s currently worldschooling her family. Her glass is half full. 

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