Positive parenting, also known as loving or gentle guidance, is a set of guidelines for parents to keep their kids disciplined. It is also a belief and a way of living. The main objective of positive parenting is to build a strong and committed relationship between parents and children based on open communication and mutual respect.
There are three major parts to positive parenting:
- Parents set rules and discuss with their children about the consequences of not following these rules.
- Parents help children understand why they are being punished if they break rules. Children should be taught to obey rules because they want to and not because they are afraid of punishment.
- Parents talk and listen to their children to understand their thoughts and feelings and to correct any misunderstanding they may have.
Do remember, positive parenting does not mean a lack of discipline. As a parent, you still have to watch out for poor or bad behaviour and correct it. Children must bear the consequence of bad behaviour. However, the way in which you correct your child should be in a manner that encourages positive behaviour.
Benefits of Positive Parenting: Both parents and children stand to benefit a lot from this style of parenting.
- For children: Positive parenting helps builds a strong bond between the parent and the child, and promotes overall healthy development of the child. Children grow up to be more resilient and empathetic. They are better equipped to manage relationships as they grow up into adults.
- For parents: Positive parenting means conducting an honest and open stream of communication with children. They also lead by example so that children learn to seek positive solutions to problems at home. It’s important for kids to see how their parents resolve their differences and return to being loving and caring, even though they may have some heated arguments once in a while.
As a parent, such turmoil will be part of their lives, but if they are upset or stressed out, their children will also feel the same as them. However, if parents are happy and relaxed, this feeling will radiate all over the home and to their kids too.
How to execute Positive Parenting:
Here are some ways by which parents can use positive parenting in their daily lives:
- Lead by example: If parents want their kids to behave in a particular manner, they should show their kids how, so they can learn by watching their parents. Every time children interact with their parents, they pick up something that their parents want them to learn. So, parents should use these experiences to teach them not just by instruction but by observation too.
- Play with kids: It is important for kids to play in childhood because they learn a lot through playing. Their brains are kept engaged, they absorb many things around them and they connect with other kids. Here’s how parents can use this medium to conduct positive parenting tactics:
- Puppet shows: It is not necessary to have an elaborate puppet show as this might intimidate little kids. So, parents should keep it simple by using sock puppets, for example. Children should be encouraged to perform a scene or tell a story. Through this medium, kids listen closely and learn a lot.
- Roleplay: This is a good teaching medium for kids by which they can learn correct behaviour, depending on the situation. Not only will they enjoy themselves but they will learn subtly but surely.
- Visuals: When parents use visual cues like picture cards as a teaching medium, they can teach their kids short and easy lessons like numbers and words and their meanings.
How schools can collaborate: Children can feel good about school and be good at it if their parents and teachers have a good relationship. Such a bond shows the child that he or she can trust their teacher because you as their parents do so. The child understands that this positive relationship brings together the most important people in their small world.
For this, good communication between both parents and teachers is essential. If parents need to know how and what the child is learning, the teacher also needs feedback from the parents about the child’s social development and learning abilities. Here are some ways to help connect with the teachers or school.
- Parent/Teacher conferences: These conferences give both parties the chance to improve their communication about their child’s performance. With a positive relationship between parents and teachers building up, they can jointly formulate strategies for the child’s welfare.
- Host an Open House: A few teachers can get together and host an open house to which parents of students can be invited. Such informal events give parents a good opportunity to have an insider look at what the child does all day.
- Teachers should be available to parents: If parents have any anxieties about their children at school, teachers should make themselves available for a parent-teacher meet according to the former’s convenience. If this isn’t possible, teachers should set aside certain hours through the day during which parents can meet them.
Tips for successful positive parenting: If a child’s behaviour gets a parent down, the latter can help the situation with these tips:
- Spend valuable time with their children: Parents need to find some time each day to devote to their children to give them individual attention. They should make an emotional connect with them to makes them feel special. Once this is a regular feature, children won’t do what they’ve been doing. In fact, parents will see a definite improvement in their behaviour.
- Are they sleeping enough? Perhaps not. This could be one reason why children are cranky and irritable. A little help from their doctor about the children’s sleep schedule would help. If it’s less, advancing their bedtime would help. With a little more sleep, they will certainly feel and behave better.
- Maintain a daily routine: Children love to work to a routine, so they should follow a daily routine that goes on until bedtime. Give them the freedom to decide how they wish to go about their routine. If your children are still very little, make out a routine in the form of pictures and put it where they will see it every day.
- Let them help with household work: If at a very young age, parents can teach their kids to help with housework, they will fall into the system early in life. At first, they should be given easy tasks to do which will give them confidence. Doing household chores will also bring the entire family closer together.
- Allow children to be problem-solvers: At some point in their childhood, all siblings quarrel with each other. It’s natural. However, when parents step in to stop them from fighting, things can only worsen. When parents set out to punish one of the children quarrelling, the other children get the message that they are right and the one being punished is the offender. Instead, parents should encourage children to find their own solutions to the problems they face. This will habituate them to seek solutions to conflicts as they grow older. If parents must get involved, care should be taken that they don’t choose either one side, but ask enough questions to figure out a solution that will make all concerned happy.
- Simplify family rules and be firm: Parents shouldn’t scare off kids with a long litany of family rules. Instead, they should win their confidence by paring them down to just a few so that it’s easy for children to know what’s important and follow them. Children should know that there would be a reward for them for following the rules and punishment for not following them. Then, they should be left free to make their own decisions.
- Rewarded good behaviour: Parenting is not just about punishing bad behaviour. Parents should reward their children for their good behaviour. Just a word of praise for one’s good behaviour can do wonders for a child’s self-esteem. Children only crave their parents’ attention. So, to catch parents’ attention, they might even go to the extent of behaving badly. Instead of this, induce positive attitudes like praise and rewards for good behaviour.
- Listen and talk to their kids: When children speak, their parents should listen to them. If they are involved in an issue, parents should listen to both sides of the story and then pass judgement or give advice.
- 9. Observe mood swings and guide accordingly: All kids will go through mood swings once in a while. Kids of today have a lot going on for them. School, homework, extracurricular activities, exams, peer pressure and more. So it is quite possible for a child to get overwhelmed once in a while and exhibit this via mood swings. As a parent, be watchful about these mood swings and help them manage this. Here are some tips:
- Be understanding: Don’t get angry at them, try and understand from their point of view. Ask them what they are feeling and let them be if they don’t want to share anything. Let them know you understand what they feel.
- Stay calm: Don’t react and tell your kids they are overreacting. Don’t criticize. When they get moody, speak to them in a calm yet firm tone.
- Look for something that will calm them down. Identify things that can calm your child. Maybe a good book, or a place in their room where they can sit and listen to music. Get them to play games if it will help manage their moods.
Positive parenting can easily bring the results parent’s desire, if they plan well for it. By thinking fast and taking long-term decisions, they will definitely see good results. But most of all, they should be consistent with their actions, or their kids will be confused.