Is Big Little Feelings Gentle Parenting?

Yes, Big Little Feelings is a form of gentle parenting that focuses on understanding and empathizing with children’s emotions to help them develop healthy coping mechanisms.

As a new mom, I was constantly bombarded with advice on how to raise my child. From books to online forums, everyone had an opinion on the best way to parent.

It was overwhelming and confusing. But then I stumbled upon a parenting philosophy that resonated with me: gentle parenting.

Gentle parenting is all about treating children with respect, empathy, and kindness while setting boundaries and limits in a loving way. It’s about understanding that our little ones are human beings with their own thoughts, feelings, and needs.

But as I delved deeper into the world of gentle parenting, I came across another term that seemed to be used interchangeably: Big Little Feelings.

What is Big Little Feelings? Is it just another name for gentle parenting? Or is it something different altogether?

Join me as we explore the world of Big Little Feelings and find out if it truly aligns with the principles of gentle parenting.

Key takeaways:

  • Big Little Feelings is a form of gentle parenting.
  • It focuses on understanding and empathizing with children’s emotions.
  • It emphasizes emotional regulation and teaches healthy coping mechanisms.
  • It aligns with gentle parenting principles but has some differences.
  • Incorporating Big Little Feelings can lead to meaningful connections and emotional growth.

Here You Will Learn:

Understanding Big Little Feelings

is big little feelings gentle parenting

To understand if Big Little Feelings is a form of gentle parenting, we first need to understand what it means. Big Little Feelings is a term coined by two moms who run an Instagram account and website dedicated to helping parents navigate the ups and downs of raising young children.

They offer resources, courses, and coaching sessions on topics such as tantrums, sleep issues, potty training, and more.

At its core, Big Little Feelings focuses on understanding children’s emotions and responding in a way that validates their feelings while also setting boundaries. The approach emphasizes the importance of empathy towards our little ones’ big emotions while teaching them how to regulate those feelings in healthy ways.

But does this philosophy align with gentle parenting? While there are similarities between the two approaches – both emphasize treating children with respect and kindness – there are some key differences as well.

Gentle parenting places more emphasis on building strong relationships with our kids through connection-based discipline techniques like positive reinforcement rather than punishment or consequences for misbehavior. In contrast,Big Little Feeling focuses primarily on emotional regulation skills development for both parent/caregiver & child which can be seen as complementary but not necessarily interchangeable concepts when compared against Gentle Parenting principles.

So let’s dive deeper into these differences between gentle parenting vs big little feeling philosophies so you can decide which one resonates best with your family values!

The Principles of Gentle Parenting

At its core, gentle parenting is about building a strong and positive relationship with your child. It’s about understanding that children are not mini-adults but rather individuals who need guidance and support as they navigate the world around them.

Gentle parenting emphasizes communication, empathy, and respect for a child’s feelings. It encourages parents to listen to their children without judgment or criticism while also setting clear boundaries that are age-appropriate.

As I delved deeper into the world of gentle parenting, I found myself drawn to Big Little Feelings – an approach that seemed to align with these principles. But what exactly is Big Little Feelings? Is it just another name for gentle parenting? Or does it have its own unique philosophy?

To answer these questions, let’s take a closer look at what makes up the principles of gentle parenting and how they relate to Big Little Feelings.

How Big Little Feelings Aligns With Gentle Parenting

As I delved deeper into the world of Big Little Feelings, I realized that it is indeed a form of gentle parenting. The founders of Big Little Feelings, Deena Margolin and Kristin Gallant, are both certified in positive discipline and have backgrounds in child development.

Big Little Feelings focuses on understanding children’s emotions and helping them navigate through them with empathy and respect. This aligns perfectly with the principles of gentle parenting which emphasizes treating children as individuals who deserve to be heard, understood, respected while setting boundaries lovingly.

One aspect that sets Big Little Feelings apart from other forms of gentle parenting is their focus on language. They believe that using specific phrases can help parents connect better with their children while also teaching valuable life skills such as emotional regulation.

It seems like Big Little feelings is a natural extension to Gentle Parenting philosophy – one that provides practical tools for parents to raise emotionally intelligent kids without resorting to punishment or shame-based tactics.

Benefits of Using Big Little Feelings in Your Parenting Style

As I delved deeper into the world of Big Little Feelings, I discovered that it is a parenting approach that focuses on helping children understand and manage their emotions. It’s about teaching them how to express themselves in a healthy way while also respecting others’ feelings.

One of the benefits of using Big Little Feelings in your parenting style is that it helps create an environment where open communication and empathy are encouraged. By acknowledging our children’s emotions, we can help them feel heard and understood, which strengthens our bond with them.

Another benefit is that it teaches children valuable life skills such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, and self-regulation. When we model these skills for our little ones by validating their feelings without judgment or criticism, they learn how to handle difficult situations with grace and maturity.

In addition to these benefits for our kids’ emotional development, using Big Little Feelings can also have positive effects on us as parents. It encourages us to slow down and be present with our children instead of rushing through daily tasks or getting caught up in distractions like social media or work emails.

Incorporating elements of Big Little Feelings into your parenting style can lead to more meaningful connections between you and your child while promoting healthy emotional growth for both parties involved.

Criticisms and Controversies Surrounding the Approach

While Big Little Feelings has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, it’s not without its fair share of criticisms and controversies. Some critics argue that the approach is too permissive and doesn’t provide enough structure for children.

Others claim that it can lead to entitled behavior and an inability to handle disappointment or failure.

However, proponents of Big Little Feelings argue that these criticisms are based on misunderstandings about the approach. They emphasize that setting boundaries and limits is still an important part of gentle parenting, but it’s done in a way that respects the child’s feelings and needs.

As I continued my research into Big Little Feelings, I found myself drawn to this approach more than ever before. The idea of treating my child with empathy while also providing guidance felt like a perfect balance between being nurturing yet firm.

But as with any parenting philosophy, there isn’t one right answer for everyone. It ultimately comes down to what works best for you as a parent and your individual child’s needs.

How to Apply Big Little Feelings Approach in Daily Interactions

To apply the Big Little Feelings approach in your daily interactions with your child, it’s important to understand and implement its core principles. Firstly, focus on building a strong connection with your child by actively listening to their thoughts and feelings.

This means giving them undivided attention when they speak, maintaining eye contact, and showing empathy towards their emotions.

Secondly, practice setting clear boundaries while still allowing for autonomy. Gentle parenting emphasizes the importance of providing structure without resorting to punishment or harsh discipline methods.

Instead of using threats or punishments as a way to control behavior, try redirecting your child’s attention or offering choices that align with acceptable behaviors.

Remember that gentle parenting encourages positive reinforcement rather than criticism or shaming. Praise and acknowledge good behavior whenever possible instead of solely focusing on correcting mistakes.

Lastly but importantly is self-regulation as a parent – modeling emotional intelligence can have a profound impact on how children learn to manage their own emotions effectively. By demonstrating healthy coping mechanisms such as deep breathing exercises during moments of frustration or stress you are teaching valuable skills that will benefit them throughout life.

Real-world Case Studies of Big Little Feelings and Gentle Parenting

These examples provide insight into how these approaches are applied in various situations and shed light on their effectiveness.

Case Study 1: Toddler Tantrums In this case study, a parent faced frequent tantrums from their toddler whenever they had to leave the park. Instead of resorting to punishment or coercion, they decided to implement gentle parenting techniques recommended by Big Little Feelings.

By acknowledging their child’s feelings, setting clear boundaries with empathy, and offering choices within limits, they were able to navigate these challenging moments more peacefully over time.

Case Study 2: Sibling Rivalry Another common issue parents face is sibling rivalry. In this case study scenario where two young children constantly fought over toys or attention from their parents, implementing gentle parenting strategies helped create a more harmonious environment at home.

The parent focused on fostering connection between the siblings through shared activities while also teaching them effective communication skills for resolving conflicts peacefully.

These real-world examples demonstrate that both Big Little Feelings and gentle parenting offer practical solutions for everyday challenges encountered by parents.

Essential Differences Between Big Little Feelings and Traditional Parenting Approaches

One fundamental difference lies in their approach to discipline. Traditional parenting often relies on punishment, such as time-outs or taking away privileges, to correct behavior.

In contrast, Big Little Feelings emphasizes connection and understanding as the foundation for guiding children’s behavior.

Another significant distinction is the focus on emotions and emotional intelligence. While traditional parenting may prioritize obedience and compliance, Big Little Feelings recognizes that emotions play a crucial role in a child’s development.

This approach encourages parents to validate their child’s feelings rather than dismissing or minimizing them.

Communication style also sets these two approaches apart. Traditional parenting tends to rely heavily on commands and directives from parents without much room for negotiation or discussion with children.

On the other hand, Big Little Feelings promotes open communication by encouraging parents to listen actively, empathize with their child’s perspective, and engage in collaborative problem-solving.

Furthermore, traditional parenting often places an emphasis on external rewards like stickers or treats for desired behaviors while using punishments for undesirable ones; whereas Big Little Feelings focuses more on intrinsic motivation by helping children understand how certain behaviors align with their values or contribute positively towards relationships.

Tips for Navigating Challenges in Implementing Big Little Feelings

Here are some suggestions to help you navigate the challenges that may arise:

1. Educate Yourself: Take the time to thoroughly understand the principles of Big Little Feelings and how they align with gentle parenting.

This knowledge will provide a solid foundation for implementing this approach effectively.

2. Practice Self-Reflection: As parents, it’s important to continuously reflect on our own emotions and reactions when faced with challenging situations.

By understanding our triggers and working through them, we can respond more calmly and empathetically towards our children.

3. Seek Support: Connect with other parents who are also practicing Big Little Feelings or gentle parenting approaches.

Join online communities or attend local support groups where you can share experiences, seek advice, and gain encouragement from like-minded individuals.

4. Communicate Openly: Establish open lines of communication within your family unit by encouraging everyone’s thoughts and feelings to be heard without judgment or criticism.This fosters an environment where everyone feels safe expressing themselves authentically.

Set Realistic Expectations: Remember that change takes time; don’t expect immediate results overnight.It is essential to set realistic expectations for yourself as well as your child during this transition period.Be patient while allowing space for growth at their own pace.

Practice Consistency: Consistency is key when implementing any new approach. Consistently applying the principles of Big Little Feelings will help create predictability in routines which ultimately leads children feeling secure.

Evolving Your Parenting Strategy With Big Little Feelings As Your Child Grows

With Big Little Feelings as a foundation, you can continue to evolve and refine your approach in a way that supports their emotional well-being.

One key aspect of evolving with Big Little Feelings is recognizing that as children grow older, they become more capable of understanding and expressing their emotions. This means that you can gradually shift from simply validating their feelings towards helping them develop the skills needed for emotional regulation.

For example, instead of solely acknowledging when they feel sad or angry, you can start introducing strategies like deep breathing exercises or teaching them how to use words to express themselves effectively. By doing so, you empower them with tools for managing challenging emotions independently.

As children enter different stages such as toddlerhood or adolescence where new challenges arise (e.g., tantrums or peer pressure), it’s crucial to adjust your responses accordingly while still maintaining the principles of gentle parenting advocated by Big Little Feelings.

Remember that each child is unique and may require individualized approaches within the framework provided by Big Little Feelings. Stay attuned to your child’s specific needs and temperament while incorporating age-appropriate guidance into everyday interactions.

By continuously adapting alongside your growing child using the principles outlined in Big Little Feelings’ gentle parenting approach, you create an environment where they feel supported emotionally throughout every stage of development.


What type of parenting is big little feelings?

Big Little Feelings is a type of respectful parenting.

What is gentle parenting examples?

Gentle parenting, for instance, involves not hastily stopping a child’s tears but remaining composed, acknowledging the child’s strong emotions, and encouraging safe expression of negative emotions.

What does Big Little feelings teach?

Big Little Feelings offers an online course that encompasses a variety of toddler topics including tantrums, discipline, mealtime, screen time, adjusting to a new baby, parent preference, and sleep.

What the heck is gentle parenting?

Gentle parenting is an evidence-based approach that emphasizes empathy, respect, understanding, and boundaries, aiming to cultivate happy, confident children through compassionate actions and consistent boundary enforcement.

How does Big Little Feelings approach discipline?

Big Little Feelings advocates for a disciplinarian approach that focuses on understanding and guiding children’s emotions, instead of punishing negative behaviors.

In what ways can gentle parenting influence child development?

Gentle parenting influences child development by fostering emotional health, enhancing social skills, promoting self-control, and cultivating a strong parent-child connection.

How can Big Little Feelings principles be integrated into daily parenting routine?

Big Little Feelings principles can be integrated into the daily parenting routine by using empathetic listening to validate children’s emotions, deploying distraction and redirection methods when necessary, and consistently reinforcing positive behavior.