Although positive parenting is a newer way to parent, it has proven to be a pretty successful way to encourage your children and facilitate a positive loving relationship with them. Continue reading to find out what positive parenting really is and how you can make it a part of your parenting style as well as the advantages and disadvantages.
What Is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is all about encouragement and communication with your children. It’s a style of parenting that involves guiding kids through life with inspiration, support and guidance. Some psychologists say that these efforts will produce happier, more confident children.
Positive parenting isn’t about saying ‘yes’ to everything and it isn’t about not setting any rules. There’s a fine line between a positive parent and an authoritarian. You definitely want to remain warm and open, but make sure your children still view you as an authority figure. You can be strict and firm while still loving them and treating them with respect.
Keep the line of communication open even when you’re trying to be firm and you’ll go far. If they feel they can trust you, they’ll be more likely to want to follow your rules—especially if they’re able to be open about how they’re feeling.
How Can I Incorporate It Into My Parenting?
Incorporate positive parenting into your current parenting style by altering just a few things. First of all, listen to them. The most important aspect of positive parenting is fostering a healthy relationship with your kids, something that is best done by taking their perspective into account.
If you listen to what they have to say and consider their opinions, they will feel like they are a part of things instead of feeling like you are the parent lecturing or disciplining them. Play with them, talk to them and spend time with them. The more relaxed they feel around you, the more willing they will be to open up.
Playtime and bedtime are two extremely relaxing times so if there are things you want to discuss with your kids, considering doing it during those activities. Maintain a level of empathy when your child tries to discuss their dreams, hopes, fears, sadness or ambitions. Encourage them to continue to talk to you about anything and everything; let them know they are heard.
On a similar note, your tone is incredibly important when it comes to positive parenting. Don’t yell at your kids under any circumstances. Raising your voice is not going to encourage them to listen to you or to respect your wishes. Instead, it will trigger a fear response or cause anxiety that will make kids tune out and try to think of anything but what you’re saying. Their focus will be entirely on the noise and the stress and they will want nothing more than to get away from it—definitely something that is not a part of positive parenting.
Similarly, tone isn’t the only thing that can be intimidating. Some kids are frightened by stature. If you’re towering over your child while trying to talk to them, get down on their level and they will feel more like they can chat with you.
One last important thing you can do to practice positive parenting is to love your children—openly and unconditionally. Don’t let anything they do change the way you treat them or feel about them. Show them how much you care with little gifts, gestures and words. This is an important aspect of raising a positive, happy child into a kind and stable adult.
In addition, love those around you. Treat everyone positively as your kids will always be watching. If they see you treating others poorly, it will confuse them. It’s better to just practice what you preach and show them that love is an important aspect of every relationship they will have with those around them.
Children often excel in school when positive parenting is involved. Whether they were previously doing well or not, they are sure to improve with slight changes to your reaction. When they have good grades, it’s natural to celebrate them, but when their grades suffer, don’t discipline them. Instead, spend more time studying with them until their grades improve. Avoiding punishments and concentrate instead on solving problems—and teaching your kids to solve them too.
Enact these things with tiny changes to your everyday actions. Add more smiles, cheerful voices, patience and even some silence sometimes. With consistency, your children will adapt your behaviors and be as positive and optimistic as you hope.
Sometimes parents forget that bad behaviors aren’t stemming from wanting to misbehave, but from cognitive responses in brains that aren’t capable of comprehending why you want them to do something a certain way.
The Advantages of Postive Parenting
When you treat your children so positively, they will pick up on it. The example you set, both with them and with the world around you, will teach them to respect others and treat them as they’d want to be treated. A parenting style filled with compassion and encouragement teaches them that that is the correct way to solve a conflict, rather than instilling ideals of violence and pessimism.
Children are less likely to act out when they have such positive relationships with their parents. They tend to get better grades in school and are less likely to partake in negative behaviors like drinking or smoking cigarettes as teenagers. They are already confident and comfortable in their own skin at that point and don’t want to rebel.
When kids that were raised with positive parenting become adults, they tend to be successful and happier than other children. In addition, they are likely to raise their kids with the same ideals and techniques their parents used on them, continuing to spread the positivity.
The Disadvantages of Positive Parenting
Overall, there aren’t many disadvantages to positive parenting. Some people may think that there is not enough discipline or strictness involved in this style of parenting. Others may think that positive parents are too lenient and raise children who don’t know how to handle anyone lashing out or criticizing them, which may cause problems in the workplace. But overall, children tend to be confident enough that none of that matters. Positive parenting is a fantastic method to teach your children that they are loved, encouraged and can succeed at anything.