When a newborn arrives, every new parent wants to be a great parent. During the parenting journey, every parent gets confused while trying to find the best way to raise their kids. But there is a solution to this confusion, positive parenting!
With many well-researched resources available at their disposal, every parent can raise their child to be a great adult. You can focus on your kid's bonding, fun, and happiness without compromising their growth and responsibilities.
If you are a parent looking for tips, methods, and advice to effectively raise your kids, this article is just for you. With these actionable steps, you'll be able to adopt positive parenting and nurture your child in the most affectionate way possible. Get reading, and let's start with the types of parenting you need to know.
What are the types of parenting?
To understand positive parenting, you need to get familiar with all parenting styles first. Once you realize how they work, it will be easy for you to understand what positive parenting is.
- Authoritarian parenting
Authoritarian parenting emphasizes discipline and rules; thus, parents can often resort to intense scolding, yelling, grounding, and spanking their kids. If you are aware of this parenting method, you must also know that feedback to improve parenting techniques is often regarded as disobedience, more like talking back.
Due to parents' high expectations and lack of warmth in behavior, authoritarian parenting raises children with low confidence, higher depression cases, anxiety, and socializing issues.
- Permissive parenting
Parents who prioritize freedom over rules and responsibilities their parenting style is called permissive parenting. Such parents tend to lay minimal responsibilities on their children and offer an environment with low guidance and more indulgence.
This method may seem like a great parenting method, but contrary to this perception, kids raised with this parenting method seem to have issues with rules and responsibilities. As this method focuses more on indulging the kids, kids may struggle with their emotions and realism later in life.
- Neglectful parenting
As the name suggests, neglectful parents neglect their children, which eventually hinders the kids' development. Such parents do not focus on children's moral development and let their kids navigate the path alone.
It is very obvious that this parenting lacks warmth and isn't favorable at all. Children raised this way struggle with almost everything during their childhood as well as their adulthood.
- Authoritative parenting
Often confused with authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting is another parenting method. This method of parenting focuses on rules, but the parents are open to receiving feedback as well.
Such parents understand that conversations need to be open, so they convey the reasons behind rules, treats, conversations, and everything that goes. Positive parenting falls into this category of parenting.
What is positive parenting?
Positive parenting isn't just a parenting style without facts; it is a well-researched concept that has a universal definition. After reviewing 120 articles, Seay and colleagues (2014) defined positive parenting as:
"Positive parenting is the continual relationship of a parent(s) and a child or children that includes caring, teaching, leading, communicating, and providing for the needs of a child consistently and unconditionally."
Multiple definitions of positive parenting combined give us a clearer picture of it. It has some common basic characteristics:
- Open Communication
- Emotionally warm
As per research at Gottman Institute, positive parenting follows a specific path. It isn't just through good intentions, conversations, and responsibilities will your child flourish, you need to connect to them too. Here are five main steps for positive parenting for parents:
- Emotional awareness
- Connecting with kids
- Being good listeners
- Labeling emotions
- Finding solutions
Now that you know what is positive parenting, here is what you need to know beforehand.
What should you know before following positive parenting?
Before you start the positive parenting journey, there are a few things every parent needs to know.
- Positive parenting isn't a one-size-fits-all method. It can be more or less involved than other parenting styles, and you just need to find your own comfort space.
- This parenting style needs practice. This practice involves modeling good behavior, calming your kids, and teaching them all sorts of things; you can not master it in a day, it might even take a longer time than you anticipate, but it is normal.
- You need to be open and accepting of feedback. Your kids may be learning new things, but you'll be learning too. So keep your mind and your ears open.
- It will require a lot of patience. As you learn new things, receive feedback, and keep practicing, you'll need a whole lot of patience. But this is a part of every parenting style, isn't it?
- Understand your child's reasons
There is a reason behind every step a person takes; it doesn't matter if you are a child or an adult, the reasons influence everyone. When kids throw a tantrum or are not at their best behavior, there is a reason behind that.
Your kid's need for attention, lack of words for self-expression, pile up emotions, and more can overwhelm your child, and it can result in sudden outbursts. This can be the reason why your child didn't want to play with their favorite toy or why they started crying over a jelly bean.
Even your kids may not know the reason behind it, but there certainly is a valid reason. It's up to parents to fish out the reasons behind their child's behavior because it isn't possible for kids to come up to you and say, "Hey, I'd like some attention." or "I do not know why am I feeling this way, can we talk about it today?"
When your kids have an outburst, go ahead and ask them about how they are feeling? They may not have a clue what pent-up feelings may have caused their outburst; they sure know what they are feeling right now.
- Identify what might be troubling your little one; give a thought over your actions, their actions, and what they might need. Maybe they are not having a good day at school or playtime, or maybe they want more of your attention. Once you figure it out, you'd make better decisions about calming your child.
- Positive parenting suggests you give your child a chance to express themselves before they throw another tantrum. For example, if your kid(s) tend to make a stir when you get to work, they likely do it for attention. To help them, you can play with them before you start working, and when you start, you can ask them to stay quiet.
- You can also ask your child to come up with solutions for their issues. Simply asking what they would like to do or giving them a few options will help your child help them identify and channel their emotions.
Tip: Ask your children to make a list of things they want to talk to you about when you are busy. This way, they will stay occupied, and you can understand what goes inside their mind.
- Communicate clearly
Even if your child is very young, they shouldn't doubt the things you expect from them. Keeping your expectations clear allows children to make rules for themselves; with expectations, kids get a better idea of what needs to be done over time. All this together makes room for discipline and thoughtfulness, and it also helps your child to pinpoint their misbehavior.
Children do not have the same critical thinking, thus you need to be clear with your directions. You need to be in charge of the give and take during conversations and promote a heart-to-heart dialogue.
Not only will this positive parenting technique help your child be disciplined and happier, but it'll also strengthen your parent-child relationship. So, clear communication is a critical point for being a great parent and raising children who can depend on you and trust you with their feelings.
To make dialogues with your child better, here are some simple points you can follow daily that will help every parent looking for a little help:
- Every time you settle down for a meal together, it may be dinner or even breakfast, make sure to convey to your child that they need to sit at the table together. If you set this expectation and make it a habit to follow through, your kids will know it is meant to be this way, and you like it.
- Whenever your child doesn't like any food item, teach them to convey it to you. You can ask them why they do not like it, what if you give a small amount of it, or offer something else that's as healthy; it will allow your child to open up to you and instead of hearing, "Ew! I don't like it.' you'll have a well-behaved answer.
- If you are going out, tell your kids what you will be doing beforehand. Inform them you'll have fun, there will be breaks, you'll eat well, and it'll be a good time. This will help your kid understand that the long trip you are taking isn't boring, and they should stay calm because there is a time and place for fun.
Ask kids to pick up their toys after playtime, bring their mugs to the kitchen, and show them their school diary at the end of the day. Discussing your kids' responsibilities is a good way to follow positive parenting.
- Stay consistent
Consistency is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your children. If you are warm one day and distant on the other, or even if you communicate with your child one day and barge on them on another, your kids will not trust you.
It will take a toll on your child's health, and they'll not be able to open up to you. Similarly, if you are not following a routine, it is easy for your child to lose their way. Consistency is a basic foundation stone for positive parenting and is needed for the success of the method.
But is it really that easy to lay back and be consistent? Nothing is certain; even a well-planned strategy can fall flat if a routine isn't in place.
Strategies can change, plans can get canceled, and responsibilities come your way; it is a little harder to be consistent and maintain a routine than you'd want it to. But you can make it easy by forming habits that are easy to follow.
- Maintain a daily routine. It doesn't need to be strict; it just needs to give you an idea about the day.
- Help your kids establish a routine for themselves. It doesn't need to be even orderly, just assign some activities they need to do every day. For example, assign them to brush their teeth twice a day, collect their toys, finish their homework, fill one coloring page a day, do one drawing, and more such things.
- Take reports every day. Don't be super strict with it, just let your kids know the routine forms habits that'll help them for life.
Tip: Try to follow your daily routine even during vacation time or holidays. It'll help your children maintain the habit without a break, and they'll stay consistent.
On top of all this, parents have one more thing to communicate to children, the importance of mindfully using technology. These days kids stay engulfed in technology; whether it is the TV, tablet, or mobile phones, there is no getting rid of them. You can communicate a policy for technology too!
- Instead of handling your kids these screens to calm them, use other methods like drawing or coloring.
- Schedule a time for kids to use the devices. Convey the message that this is the only time they get to use the devices and after, they'd need to have fun without them.
- Discuss the consequences of abiding and not abiding by the rules. Be clear and communicate them with love as you do not want to scare your kids, you want to inform them instead.
- Add this time bracket as a part of your kid's daily routine, and make sure you follow through.
- Nurture your parent-child bond
Kids are ready to throw a tantrum, get scolded, or even cause a ruckus just to get acknowledged by you. It is their way of asking you if you see them? Well, do you?
As mentioned in the first point, your child needs your attention. They want to be seen, appreciated, and of course, they want to have fun with you, this is one of the leading causes of outbursts in children. Positive parenting not only intends to help your children with channeling their emotions, but it also aims to help you and your child strengthen their bond.
Connecting with children and nurturing your parent-child bond may sound like a humongous task to many new parents, but it is actually easy. If you follow simple and thoughtful steps daily, you'll have a parent-child bond like no other. Spare time from your day and adopt these activities for you and your child's bonding time.
- Get into the habit of reading with your kids. Even if your kids don't know how to read yet, you can read to them. This is how kids get introduced to the magical world of dreams, magic, and lessons. This habit enriches your kids with stories, creativity, and imagination and helps you form a sweet bond.
- When your kid is doing something on their own, appreciate them. Even if it is as simple as bringing water for themselves, wishing you a good morning first, or completing their homework on time, a pat on the back does wonders.
- Positive parenting isn't all about lessons and serious stuff; you can just cook something and talk to your child about it. Tell them about the recipe, traditional dishes, and ask them about their day, it can be a good bonding conversation too.
- Get coloring with your little ones. Coloring pages are a great way to bring out your imagination on paper while relaxing. You can talk about your favorite colors, animals, birds, and anything. Coloring is the secret to a good time.
- Crafting is another amazing activity to nurture your parent-child bond. You can choose from low supervision crafts to ones that require work from you too. Whenever you have time, do not forget to tell your child they are seen and loved.
- You can bond over a walk as well. Go for a walk in the evening, after dinner, or a fresh morning walk, it'll refresh you and your bond.
- Encourage your kids for an outing or an outdoor activity. It'll help their physical development while they have fun. A beach picnic, playing catch, basketball, and more such things will help your kids bond with you easily.
Insight: Do not reward your child to bond with you. Yes, rewards may sound like a good idea, and you might think they are a part of positive parenting, but they influence your kids negatively. Rewarding your kids ineffectively can induce entitlement and bad behavior in them.
- Use positive words
Positive words, affirmations, and other forms of communication have a stronger effect on kids than scolding them. If you repeat something to them a million times, it won't affect until you caress them and communicate with love.
Negative forms of communication, like scolding, intimidating body language, beating, make everyone resistant to any advice. Even if you have your kid's best interest in mind, scolding them won't make them listen to you.
True discipline comes when a person is ready to accept their routine. Imposing a timetable on your kids by scolding them won't do anybody any good, but if you talk to them and share the reason behind it, they'll be much more accepting.
You don't need to search for positive parenting tips; here is everything you need. Follow these tips to help discipline your child with positive words:
- Avoid the use of negative words like "no" and "stop." These have negative connotations attached to them from the very beginning. Replace saying, "Stop hitting your brother!" with "Hands to yourself."
- Instead of saying "Stop yelling," it would be better to say, "Talk quietly," and you can show them how.
- When your child loses their calm and throws a tantrum, replace saying "Don't shout" with "Take a deep breath, tell me how you feel?"
- If you are in a meeting or your child keeps popping up in between your conversations, you need to say "Excuse me please" instead of "Stop interrupting."
- Avoid invalidating your child's emotions by saying, "It's not a big deal," start saying, "Tell me what's wrong? Let's work through this."
Tip: When your child is upset or overwhelmed in any way, make sure you do not try to discipline them at that moment. They are already too occupied to understand the advice you are offering. You'd want to acknowledge their emotions first, calm them, and then proceed.
Positivity sows the seeds of good behavior and encouragement nurtures. When your child feels appreciated, they'll adopt better habits and stick to them.
- Model positive behavior
Once Mahatma Gandhi met a woman who requested him to ask her son to quit consuming a lot of sugar. Mahatma asked her to come back with her son after a month. When she did, he simply advised the son to leave sugar.
Confused, the lady asked Mahatma Gandhi why he waited for a month to advise his son when he could've done the same earlier. To this he replied, he had to leave sugar himself first.
This is an example to show that the best type of teaching comes through modeling the lessons. You can teach your kids all you want, but if they'll eventually do what they observe you doing.
If you do what you preach, your kids will follow. That's why it's parents' responsibility to adopt good behavior before they go on about positive parenting. To model positive behavior:
- Try eating healthy. Even when you are serving different foods for you and your kids, you can still make a nutritious meal for yourself.
- Just like you've asked your kids to decrease the use of screens and devices, you need to show them you are doing it too. You can share your screen time by watching something fun or educational together.
- When your child wants to let their imagination run wild, sit down and fill some coloring pages with them. It'll relax you, and you'll have a good time too.
- When you are asking your child to calm down, make sure you are calm too. Relax and teach your kids to be relaxed too.
- Use the three golden words, sorry, please, and thank you. Be grateful for things and apologize when you are wrong.
Hope this article helps you understand positive parenting. These tips will help every parent try a simple yet effective approach to parenting to nurture your children to become mindful adults. Use these helpful tips, share them with your loved ones, and have a great time parenting!
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