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Why ‘Responsive Parenting’ is All the Rage!


Responsive Parenting

Parenting is a wonderful experience. It is the act of raising and caring for our little ones but there is so much more. It goes beyond the biological connection, doing everything to protect our babies, and giving them a good life. Many studies suggest that ‘nurture’ is more important than ‘nature’, which means the environment in which children are raised and their influences affect them more profoundly than hereditary. As parents, what we pass on to our children genetically is out of our hands. But how we chose to nurture them is a conscious choice.


You may have heard that what are four main styles of parenting:

  1. Authoritarian Parenting – Parents make rules and the offsprings must follow them. One step wrong and children are punished. Parents command absolute respect and discipline is primary. There is little to no flexibility and very less nurturing. 

  2. Authoritative Parenting – Parents are more nurturing and try to develop close bonds with their children. Discipline is used to correct the child rather than to punish them. There is better communication and children are given the opportunity to contribute to decision-making. 

  3. Permissive Parenting – Parents have few expectations and barely set any rules. Here, children tend to figure their own way with few limitations imposed on them. This style is closer to friendship than parenting. 

  4. Uninvolved Parenting – Parents are typically not involved in their children’s lives. They do the bare minimum to raise them but often have no expectations, provide no guidance, and generally stay out of the way. There is very little nurturing.


Today, let us dive into a fresh style of parenting called ‘responsive parenting’. It does borrow from other styles but there is a uniqueness in its approach as it is meant to be child centric.


So, what do responsive parents do?

  • They are extremely sensitive to the needs of their child. 

  • They accept their child’s feelings and respond to them warmly. 

  • They are empathetic and get down to the child’s level to understand their emotions. 

  • They have realistic expectations of their little one and nudge them towards achieving them. 

  • They answer questions; no matter how silly or repetitive. They make sure the child’s curiosity is entertained. 

  • They reason with their child, explaining why something is done in a particular way or why a certain behaviour is wrong. 

  • They try to protect their child’s emotional well-being by being actively present. 

  • They practice what they preach consistently. This allows the child to model adult behaviour.


How do children benefit from responsive parenting?

  • According to research, responsive parenting strategies positively helps in child development. Children tend to perform better cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically. 

  • They develop healthy, secure attachment with their parents or caregivers. 

  • They become better problem solvers. They understand that they can rely on their parents, and this gives them the confidence and independence to venture out on their own and make sound decisions. 

  • Responsive parenting results in a calm home. The little humans who grow up in such an environment feel loved, and have better control over their emotions, which has a positive effect on their mental health. 

  • The young ones display fewer behavioural issues when they have nurturing parents or caregivers who are engaged in their lives. 

  • Most importantly, children feel valued. They find trust in relationships and happiness in the unconditional love that their parents show them. This builds a solid foundation for them as emotionally healthy adults.


Our parenting style is influenced by our personality, our experience with our parents, and our awareness. Even responsive parents have their bad days and mess up. This is perfectly all right! The little ones are not looking for perfect parents; they are looking for loving parents who consistently strive to give them their best.


So, do not worry about making mistakes or getting angry occasionally. It is healthy to apologise to your children. Tell them that you made a mistake and would like to correct it. Reconnect with them if you had a fallout. Having your child see a vulnerable side to you and how you go about dealing with that can set a big example for them.


Responsive parenting is about being attuned to your little one’s needs. Lead from your heart just as we try to do at Dibber. At the centre of everything is our heart culture that is designed to make children feel valued and strengthen their relationships.

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