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Parenthood encompasses seemingly endless challenges that can make even the most experienced parents frustrated and confused. And parents can face such challenges across each developmental stage of their children. 

Nevertheless, nearly everyone tries their best to be great parents. And the good news is that you have one extremely valuable parenting model to follow that child experts even highly advocate, and that is – Responsive Parenting. 

6 Benefits of Being A Responsive Parent

All you need to be a responsive parent is patience. The first and most sensitive part is to attune to the child’s needs, concerns and emotions. And then the responsive part is to offer them the necessary level of reassurance and support. Overall, it is simple yet powerful.

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All you need to be a responsive parent is patience. The first and most sensitive part is to attune to the child's needs, concerns and emotions.

So What is Responsive Parenting? 

This refers to an interactive parenting style where parents understand or know their children’s physical and emotional needs. And they respond to those needs, interests, and feelings warmly and consistently. 

Responsive parents are compassionate and react promptly to their kids’ needs. As a result, children feel emotionally intense and supported. 

Benefits of Responsive Parenting

Researchers have observed an association between responsive parenting and refined cognitive outcomes in children for many years. For instance, a study showed that children who received contingent and prompt caregiver responses learned language more quickly. 

Even according to WHO, parents’ or caregivers’ warm and prompt interaction with the children is essential as it has many benefits for the kids. For example, they experience better psycho-social development and more immunity to diseases. 

All you need to be a responsive parent is patience. The first and most sensitive part is to attune to the child's needs, concerns and emotions.

Forms secure attachment

Responsive parenting helps to promote secure attachment in a child. This is because parents or caregivers first form an emotional bond with the children, and this ’emotional bond’ is attachment. 

However, this emotional bond or attachment becomes more robust and secure as the parents meet their kids’ needs. Responsive parenting stimulates a sense of trust, safety, and protection within the children. 

Secure attachment brings about many positive changes in life. For example, children learn to create positive things in their lives. 

Improves cognitive health

Many studies have revealed that maternal responsiveness often positively affects children’s language, social emotions, skills, and cognitive development. As a result, these children possessed higher cognitive growth and IQ (Intelligence quotient) at four-and-a-half years of age.

Moreover, they even performed better at school by seven years of age. 

Behavioral benefit

Responsive parenting is also known to have a strong association with children’s responsiveness and behavior. 

A study in Chicago on a sample of high-risk youths showed that 16% of those with moderately responsive mothers and 26% of mothers who were the least responsive in early childhood had unruly behavior disorders by their then-age. 

On the contrary, children with the most responsive mothers didn’t develop any behavior disorders. They even seemed not to respond to other children’s behavior problems. 

In another study, researchers found that responsive parents’ kids faced relatively less bullying at school. Moreover, children who experienced positive parent interactions in early childhood developed better social skills that protected them from bullying.

Improves physical health

Studies have also revealed that responsive parenting can escalate growth in children born with low birth weight. In addition, maternal responsiveness also has been found to reduce the childhood obesity rate in at-risk kids. 

On the other hand, children tend to develop chronic illnesses due to unresponsive parenting. As a result, they can have cardiovascular disease, early death, and hypertension. 

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Reduces toxic stress

Positive family interactions are essential for mental health. A positive parent-child relationship boosts a child’s socio-emotional skills, empathy, and self-esteem. 

A child can suffer from toxic early-life stress without parents’ support, which can hinder the child’s mental development. With responsive parenting, you can protect your children from the adverse effects of stress. 

Develops problem-solving skills

Remember that the key to the success of responsive parenting is patience. Your child might seek your help for an activity they should do independently. In that case, keep helping them patiently. They will gradually develop skills to solve any issues independently and won’t require any more.

For example, if your child is seeking help to paint, assemble the color box, brushes, and water. They will learn it and gradually start to do everything on their own. 

Benefits of Being A Responsive Parent

Responsive parenting is quite simple – stay attuned to your children’s reactions and emotions and respond promptly! 

Of course, your reaction should be developmentally appropriate and supportive. This is all your children need for positive development, especially in early childhood. 

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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