Positive parenting focuses on teaching good behavior using kind and firm parenting techniques.
Positive parenting is not a vague concept of being nice to our children when they don’t deserve it. It’s a parenting philosophy and strategic method based on the idea that our relationship with our children is the most important thing, and that we can help children develop self-discipline
Benefits Of Positive Parenting
FEWER BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
Decades of studies have shown that using positive discipline yields positive outcomes in terms of the child’s behavior and emotional growth.
CLOSE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP
A positive parent does not need to punish their child to correct problematic behavior. There is no more yelling, power struggle, or hostility. As a result, the parent-child dynamics change, and their relationship improves.
BETTER SELF-ESTEEM AND MENTAL WELL-BEING
Children raised with positive parenting have higher self-esteem. They believe they can do things as well as most other kids.
GREATER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
Positively parented children enjoy more academic success4,5. A better parent-child relationship resulting from this parenting style is also highly associated with school performance.
As a parent you give your children a good start in life—you nurture, protect and guide them. Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child.
1. Set boundaries
Having boundaries in our relationship with our children is key to being successful in positive parenting. Having, and enforcing, boundaries allow us to remain patient and calm because we feel respected and that our needs in the relationship are being met.
A good way to know when you need to establish a new boundary is when you are feeling exasperated, impatient or angry by a recurring behavior or situation.
You will be a better parent if your own needs are being met and your child will see a wonderful example of how to advocate for their own needs in a relationship.
2. Build connections to gain cooperation
Do you remember having a substitute teacher as a kid? Did anyone listen to them? Probably not. Children need to feel a connection to an adult to listen to them. This is a good thing—you don’t want your child listening to any random stranger who tells them to do something.
But it also means your child is more likely to listen to you when they feel connected to you. This is the problem with punishment. It puts you at odds with your child, diminishing your connection and making it less likely your child will do what you ask.
If your child is going through a rough patch with behavior, try to build in a little extra one on one time to connect. This does not need to be a long stretch of time, but it does need to be frequent and focused. Yes, it is not easy for most of us living in this part of the world due to our tight schedules and road traffics but we can work this out.
3. Be firm, but loving
So much of positive parenting is in the tone. You can be firm and hold your children to high expectations, while still being loving.
Decide what rules are important to you, clearly communicate them to your child, and be consistent with enforcing those rules. Being a positive parent does not mean letting your child walk all over you. It does mean trying to maintain a calm, loving tone when your child needs reminders about the rules.
It can be hard to put into practice in our busy, frazzled lives, but children absorb everything around them, and this definitely includes how we treat them.
Final Thoughts on Positive Parenting
Positive parenting is significantly different from traditional harsh parenting. It requires a different mindset and parenting behaviors.
But with patience, persistence, and (plenty of) practice, you can turn disciplinary moments into valuable lessons for kids.