Mental toughness and gentle parenting may seem at total odds at first glance, but whilst they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive, communication remains the key.

Mental toughness doesn’t mean being harsh or rigid; it involves resilience in the face of challenges, adaptability and the ability to stay calm under pressure.  These qualities can be very beneficial in parenting too – for instance, being mentally tough can help parents stay composed and patient when dealing with difficult situations or behaviours from their children, as anyone can attest to having dealt with a toddler meltdown in a supermarket! 

Gentle parenting, on the other hand, focuses on building an emotional connection with children, encouraging empathy, communication and understanding – but this also means ‘positive discipline’ techniques are out, rather than saying ‘no’.

Whilst there is a clear overlap in communicating effectively, are we creating issues in the longer term for the next generation?  Are we failing to prepare children for the harsh realities of the world and not equipping them with the tools they need to thrive?

Teaching children resilience, perseverance, and the ability to cope with adversity is crucial for their long-term success and well-being. Mental toughness plays a key role here by helping parents set appropriate boundaries and expectations, teaching children the value of hard work and determination.

Ultimately, effective parenting involves being adaptable and responsive – and that is where mental toughness comes into its own. 

Penny Mallory is one of the world’s most inspirational speakers on Mental Toughness, as well as a sought-after Coach and Workshop Facilitator.