Positive Parenting - Hows & Whys Of It
Created by Nandini Muralidharan Updated on Feb 27, 2018
The most common refrain that you hear when a parent justifies yelling, harsh punishment or authoritarian treatment of a child is “well, we were brought up like this, and we turned out fine.” The truth, however, is far from it. We didn’t turn out fine, because it’s the same cycle all over again – inability to channelize anger positively, or the need to control. And this could just have been the way it was for generations before us. So how do we break out of this unhealthy cycle and adopt positive parenting as a way of life? Read on to find out.
What Is Positive Parenting?Simply put, positive parenting is to nurture your child, focus on her strengths and help her grow. Growth, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Emotional Intelligence is quite underrated, but is of utmost importance for a child’s wellbeing. Positive parenting involves loving your child unconditionally, no matter what. Threats and punishments are the obstacles to overcome to be a positive parent.
Why Is Positive Parenting Important For A Child?A parent-child relationship can affect everything about a child’s life. So, here’s why positive parenting is important for your child:
Security:When a parent helps a child feel secure in a relationship, a child can grow without fear of abandonment (a very real fear in young children), and without trust issues. This means, parenting without threats, or expressing love conditionally. “Since you broke that toy, I’m not going to read your bedtime story today” – this is a classic example of conditional parenting, and it only seeks to strengthen your child’s insecurities
Social skills:When a child grows up with positive parenting, it helps strengthen her social skills and relationship with others around her, too. When she has seen her parents expressing empathy and kindness around her, automatically, this reflects in her interpersonal relationships
Mindfulness:Allowing a child to express emotions freely and not bottle them up helps a child connect with herself. And this leads to a strong individual who isn’t afraid to express views and opinions
Impact on self-esteem:Your relationship with your child has a huge impact on her opinion of herself
Tips For Positive ParentingNow that you have seen why positive parenting is important, let’s see how we can be positive parents. Does it mean you need to let your child break toys and not say anything? Absolutely not! But the answer lies in guiding him with kindness and love instead of threatening him or punishing him. Here are some tips:
Work on yourself:Before you can parent positively, it is important that you address any concerns you might have, yourself – too much stress with juggling work and home, marital issues, health concerns and so on. Unless you help yourself, it is difficult to be the parent your child needs.
- Get as much help as possible at home if you find yourself stressed all the time
- Take breaks regularly to get some time for yourself and do something you love
- Reflect and find out what your parenting style is, and why it is that way. You might have issues from your own childhood that affect how you parent. Learn to let go of these and start on a clean slate with your child
Unconditional Parenting:Your child needs your love, unconditionally. Expressing your love cannot be based on how your child behaves.
Consider this scenario –your child has thrown a tantrum and hit a sibling, and is refusing to stop tearing his books. Enough to make you lose your cool, right? So as a result, the natural reaction is that you give him a timeout and tell him there won’t be story time before going to bed
- Instead, go ahead with story time, cuddle in bed, and let the storm pass. This way, your child is sure that you love him no matter what, and that you don’t withhold your love because of his behavior
- When he has calmed down talk to him about why his behavior isn’t acceptable. He’s more likely to accept reason when he’s calm
Don’t assign labels:“He’s always so stubborn!” or “he’s always naughty” or “she’s so aggressive” – these labels affect children much more deeply than we realize. You can correct behavior, but never assign negative labels to your child
Pay attention to your child:Lives are now ruled by technology and gadgets. Texting while having a conversation or being distracted by social media when your child is speaking to you is a sure shot way to being disconnected. The message received by your child is “this email is more important than you” – it’s that simple. So put your phone aside and really pay attention to what your child is saying. Listen well and you will learn so much more about your little one
Set limits with kindness and empathy:When your child is definitely crossing a line, first reassure him with empathy and kindness, and then don’t hesitate to set the limits. For e.g., “I know you’re angry because your sister took your toy away, but biting her isn’t OK. Can you tell your sister that you’re angry with your words? “
Every parent seeks to do what’s best for her child. And one might argue that whatever is done is for the child’s wellbeing. But remember that the message that your child receives can be very different from the one you think you’re sending out. Ultimately, your child needs to know that you love her. Happy Parenting!
Did you find this blog on positive parenting, useful? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!
| Mar 01, 2018
Thanks for the article, deep down we feel we should not yell and the next minute we ask sorry but what's the use to repent later when the moment is gone. This article helps me to look back and think.
| Feb 28, 2018
sometimes it's because of the baggage that we carry, our children unintentionally get to bear the brunt. what we need to remember is they do not deserve this harsh kind of behavior and attitude.. positive parenting is very important for children . a hug is magical and can do wonders. thank u so much for this useful write up!
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