Positive Parenting: What It Is and Why It Works
The Power of Positive Parenting: What It Is and Why It Works
Do you remember the dunce hat in school? If so, you likely remember the misbehaving child having to don an embarrassing hat and face the corner of the classroom for hours. You may remember facing physical pain from a cane or ruler if you goofed off in class. If these methods sound outdated to you, you might be ready to try out a new way of nurturing kids that is spreading and, in the process, is essentially changing the way adults raise children.
Known as more of a way of life than a childrearing method, the term positive parenting refers to a gentler approach to disciplining children. Many parents were raised by adults who believed the only way to get a child to act appropriately was through fear. Parents who grew up in a home with authority figures who believed that children should be ‘seen and not heard’ or that spanking a child was acceptable may have a tough time embracing this version of discipline.
The proponents of positive parenting agree that there’s no reason to subject a child to spanking, an act that many now label corporal punishment. Since children learn by watching, what are they learning when they see Mom or Dad using hitting as a way to communicate? Positive parents advocate using a docile system of parenting that relies on guidance and communication.
The advocates of positive parenting believe the benefits of using communication over physical force are many. These benefits include forging a strong bond between parent and child. This bond can shape a child’s ability to bounce back after struggles, instill confidence, and have a positive impact on the child’s overall development. Using positive parenting teaches a child to use their words instead of their physical strength to communicate anger.
Even if you’re a parent who believes in the power of a gentle swat on the bottom, all parents can generally agree on one thing: moms and dads want a happy, peaceful home and healthy children. There are multiple ways to encourage positive behavior from your children without physical punishment.
Here are a few ideas for how to implement positive parenting in your home:
- Use Time-outs. Taking kids away from a volatile situation can help defuse tempers and provide both the parent and the child time to calm down. While embarrassing the child in front of their peers isn’t encouraged, taking time to breathe and reassess is beneficial.
- Increase Responsibility. When you add chores to your child’s list, you’re giving them an opportunity to make restitution for inappropriate behavior, which is a great way to positively parent. When there is a defined consequence, a child will learn to think before they act. Even younger children can understand this concept.
- Take Away Privileges. Without making love conditional on behavior, positive parenting involves temporarily removing privileges, such as attending a party or the use of a cell phone, to outline the expectations of appropriate behavior.
Parental actions have an influence on a child’s development and self-esteem. The way parents show love and display how to deal with emotions will impact a child far beyond the time in which they live with their parents. By using guidance and establishing consequences, parents can gently lead their children towards choosing healthy behaviors and being accountable for their actions.
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