Parenting does not always mean pampering and loving the kids all the time; it involves using a firm tone and technique whenever necessary. If you are a parent or a guardian of young kids, then you can understand this statement better. But is it always necessary to raise your voice or impose an opinion on your child for trivial issues? Or can there be more effective techniques of handling your little one without actually getting upset or even hurting their feelings? Read on this post, to find out all about positive parenting which will help you understand your child better and handle the situation in a practical manner!
What Is Positive Parenting?
The term positive parenting has become increasingly common these days! But what exactly does it mean? And most importantly, how do we adopt it?
On a first glance, positive parenting looks like all good and positive without any reaction towards the bad behaviour of your kid. However, on the contrary, positive parenting does not mean that you cannot reprimand when your kid behaves badly. Positive parenting does not merely mean being nice to your children even when they don’t deserve it. Positive parenting is a philosophy and strategic method which is based on the principle that as parents, our relationship with our kids is the most important thing, and how we can help develop their self-confidence. Positive parenting focuses on discipline and raising the kids to become a self-reliant and responsible individual who treats others with compassion, respect and gratitude.
What Is the Best Age to Start Positive Parenting Your Child?
Well, practising positive parenting essential guide right from the beginning is highly recommended. The best age to start the approach of positive parenting begins right at the infant level. Research indicates that children below one year are highly benefited with a positive parenting approach. Positive parenting approach results in a secure parent-child relationship. A secure attachment between parents and children is related to positive developmental outcomes like self-esteem, trust, self-competence, etc. Hence it can be said without a preamble that positive parenting should begin as early as possible.
Benefits of Positive Parenting
Below mentioned are some of the benefits associated with the power of positive parenting approach:
1. Stronger bonding between parents and children
It is very important to develop a strong bonding between parents and children, and positive parenting helps you with that. This approach, with the help of behavioural development techniques, helps increase the trust between parents and children. This is because the children will have positive conversations more frequently with their parents as a result of positive parenting. These positive affirmations, along with an optimistic outlook attribute towards a stronger relationship. Strong bonding with your kids will give them the confidence to readily come to you with their problems and any questions they have as they grow older. Especially when your kids come to their middle school or high school, they will encounter more events, and complex social-life problems and most kids are a little reluctant in sharing their experiences with their parents. However, a positive parenting approach will encourage the kids to involve you in this phase too.
2. Better and effective flow of communication
The importance of communication is known to all of us in every aspect of our lives. Communication is an inevitable aspect of a positive parenting approach. The main principle of the positive parenting approach is to encourage a positive and pleasant conversation with your kids as against harsh and negative way. This can be done by encouraging the kids to have an open talk about their thoughts, beliefs and feelings and also guiding them on how good behaviour choices can spread good feelings and happiness. Effective communication works best when it is a two-way process. So, it is highly recommended that you also share your experiences and feelings with your children on a regular basis. Listening is as important as speaking! Make sure that you are patient enough to listen to all the stuff your kids have to say.
3. Higher self-esteem and happiness
Positive actions, mutual trust, and effective communication will definitely result in a happy environment at home and thereby boost the self-esteem of your kids. As a parent being less punitive and focusing more on encouragement and improvement will help children get a positive approach in life. It holds true not just for kids but for adults too, as we see mistakes and imperfections as an opportunity to improve instead of getting into self-consumed guilt and negativity then it helps us to develop positive behaviour. A happy and pleasant environment at home means less stress for both parents and kids!
4. Sets a positive example for kids
Setting up an inspiring and good role model for your kids is extremely important and quite challenging! Young kids learn to behave, looking at the examples set by their parents. Often, abusive and bullying parents will either have disturbed kids or kids who grow up to become as abusive as their parents. In contrast, kids with parents who have a gentle approach towards most complicated issues will have a similar mild and friendly approach towards life. For instance, if you have a habit of spanking your kid if she does something that you have asked her not to do, then she will also have an instinct of hitting other kids in school if they do something similar.
5. Reduces negative behaviour
One of the biggest nightmare parents have is of their kids having a streak of negative behaviour in them! Parenting often becomes a struggle with young teens who try to get away with their irrational behaviour while avoiding punishments. It is very important to understand that as parents, you still need to set control limits for your kids. The only difference is that positive parenting encourages you to adopt positive alternatives to negative actions.
6. Enhances mutual respect
Along with a positive outlook and open communication, another important aspect of positive parenting is developing mutual trust between parents and kids. Rules are extremely important for kids, but you need to make them understand why those rules are made instead of just stating that they are supposed to follow your orders. For instance, you have made it clear to the kids that they are not supposed to go out without taking your permission. Now, you need to tell them that it is for their safety that you need to know their whereabouts at all times so that in case they are in trouble you can come to their aid and keep them safe!
Best Positive Parenting Techniques to Follow
Here, we have some useful tips for positive parenting that you can adopt:
1. Exercise a just and firm positive parenting discipline at home
Being kind and respectful to others can set perfect examples for your kids to follow as we all know children learn by mimicking their parents. It also helps to maintain a calm and serene atmosphere at home, which will help your child to keep calm and be receptive to logic even at times of difficult situation.
2. Try to be creative and non-punitive
It is inevitable that your kids will, at times, throw tantrums or misbehave intentionally. During those times it is highly recommended that instead of imposing punishments, you can be more creative with the impositions you can give them. A creative and non-punitive approach encourages even the most difficult children to learn new behaviour.
3. Handle the situation with patience
Positive parenting is a gradual and long term discipline that will not give you a result overnight. You need to be patient enough with your kids if you wish to see any real change in them. Repeated practices, patience and positive discipline will prove to be very rewarding and beneficial in the long run.
4. Understand the age-related behavioural pattern
There is a huge difference in the parenting principles for toddlers and teens! Brain development and age-related behavioural pattern in kids is something that as parents, you need to understand and act accordingly. For children below three logical reasoning and sound judgement may not work, but for older kids, you can adopt inductive discipline by giving them choices.
5. Set clear and consistent limits
As parents, you need to set clear rules and limits that have to be followed. Explaining the consequences of violating those limits is also important. You also need to see to it that the rules are consistent and followed through at all times.
6. Take time out to gather your thoughts
There will be moments when you’ll be totally exhausted and angered by your kid’s behaviour. At this time, it is recommended to take some time out cool down gather your thoughts and get back to your kids with an open mind. When your mind is disturbed and angry, you’ll simply blow up the conversation, and it may lead to more damage than good. Regular meditation also helps promote mindful parenting techniques.
7. Take time to understand the reason behind an action
It’s true that children often misbehave, but there is always a reason behind why they misbehave, even if it’s a petty thing. For children, it’s important enough that’s why they misbehave. If you make it a point to address this cause directly, then the child would feel acknowledged and understand instead of getting upset.
8. Give them a learning opportunity
This is more effective in the case of older kids when they are old enough to listen to reason. For instance, the consequence of breaking a toy is that she won’t be able to play with that toy anymore. Also, encourage them to speak off why they are angry. This will help develop their communication skill and completely let out the anger instead of keeping it in their mind for a considerable amount of time.
9. Avoid taunting and shaming
Consider this statement ‘You are a 7-year-old when are you going to grow up? Stop behaving like a baby!’ Such lines have negativity attached to it that also causes a shaming effect in children and negatively impacts their self-esteem. Instead, talk it out with kids let them know that it’s not an appropriate behaviour without shaming or taunting them.
10. Practice positive parenting for the personal development of the child
As parents, we often tend to comment and correct the kids for their negative behaviour, but at the same time, you also need to appreciate and acknowledge if they do something beautiful. Ensure that your child gets more attention for her good behaviour than her bad ones. This will encourage her to do more of the good work and maintain a positive self-identity.
Having an open, friendly and peaceful relationship with your kids can give you a sense of fulfilment and contentment! Positive parenting tips are essential for healthy child development and also help you tackle behavioural issues with kids at different stages of their lives!