Parenting is a challenging, yet a highly satisfying responsibility for parents, both the mother and father of the child. While parenting is a role every parent will perform by nature, Positive Parenting is a skill a parent or parents need to practice and develop. Let us have a look at the seven ways to practice positive parenting at home.
To start with, it is important that we first have a look at what is parenting?
What is Parenting?
Parenting is the process of caring and protecting children when they are growing, and supporting them physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally, in order to ensure their healthy development right from birth to adulthood.
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive Parenting is a technique or an approach that parents adopt to address the needs and challenges of a child. It is a technique that fundamentally facilitates children to be treated with respect.
What makes positive parenting unique and special, is that it helps in dealing with children effectively and nurture them without using any punitive methods.
When practiced well as a technique, it can make children demonstrate higher levels of empathy and respect for others. Most important of all, positive parenting can help both parents and children to function with autonomy, practice thinking skills, have a sense of self-respect and feel self-motivated.
The following are the 7 ways to practice positive parenting at home:
1. Mutual Respect
As the famous saying goes, “One should command respect and not demand respect.” To command or get respect however, it starts with self-respect and ends with giving respect. Parents should model by respecting themselves and have regard for the needs of the child, which is a way of respecting them.
As a parent therefore, you should respect the needs of your child and the situations your child is in. This way, you will develop respect for each other. Be it while at home or while your child is being transitioning to preschool, you have to understand the needs and the situation your child is in and accordingly provide attention, love and care.
2. Understanding the Motive behind a Behaviour
Fundamentally speaking, all behaviors have a motive behind it. Behind every behavior, there is always an intention. Take the efforts to understand why your child behaves in a particular way. Understanding the intention will make it easier for you to make your child demonstrate acceptable behaviours going forward.
For instance, when your child is throwing tantrums, in most if not all the cases, the reason behind the tantrums may be because of hunger, tiredness or sleepiness. That’s why dealing with the child’s behavior with understanding of the reason is far more important than just focusing on the negative outcome of it.
During transition to school, for example, children tend to show a lot of negative behaviors due to the stress and strain that they experience during the transition from being at home with you for 3 to 4 years and suddenly being put in a new situation and environment. Very few parents consciously take the effort to look at their child’s world view.
3. Understanding the Child’s World-View
Children move to different stages and phases of life according to their age. These stages and phases are accompanied with various developments and having different needs. For instance, once your child is able to walk without any support, they will expect more independence to move around their surroundings and explore the world around them.
The more they become independent and explore the world around them, their attitudes too evolves along with changes in their temperament and social-emotional skills. As a parent, it become important that you support these changes in your child.
4. Effective Communication
Parents should learn that children will listen to things better when they are invited to think and participate in conversations. Parents need to use appropriate and respectful language when talking to children. These are modeled by children in their environment and early learning settings.
5. Provide Encouragement
Encouraging your child is one of the best ways to practice positive parenting at home. It helps children develop confidence in the activities they perform and the abilities they possess.
Encouragement is a factor that’s external, meaning it is outside of your child, and can be received only from you, the caregivers, larger family members, educators and members of the community, among others.
Encouragement and appreciation enthuses and motives children to demonstrate patience, perseverance and put it their best efforts to accomplish a task.
6. Focusing on the Solution and Not the Problem
When parents blame their child over a problem incident, it only aggravates the situation and never solves it. Positive parenting deals with techniques of looking at an incident or a situation not as a problem, but only as a challenge.
As the famous saying goes: “You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.” As a parent, you are expected to be the force behind finding solutions to a challenging situation and not adding to it. You can do this, over time, by developing your problem solving skills in a creative manner (creative problem solving).
If there is one thing every parent should remember, it is this: Children learn what they see. Therefore, whatever they see their parent/s doing, is what they will learn. They either look at you as a problem solver or they look at you as someone who keep blaming and punishing all the time.
For instance, during the initial days or weeks of going to preschool, children tend to look at their experience of transitioning to school as a huge problem. The look at it as a problem because from their world view, they are being put into a new and uncomfortable place, therefore becoming reluctant to go to school.
Once you fully understand and empathise the reason behind the reluctance, you will no more look at it as a problem and reprimand or punish them but rather look at it as a challenge that all children go through and solve it by making them comfortable with love, care and empathy.
7. Making the Child Feel Comfortable
Due to their everyday work pressure and demands, parents are likely to go through a lot of pressure, stress and strain. As a consequence of it, most parents unknowingly vent their pressure on children when the child least expect it.
Unfortunately, the venting of pressure may sometimes lead to shaming or humiliating the child. That’s why it becomes important that you need to learn to manage stress (Stress Management) and be aware and conscious while interacting with your child.
It is important to be aware that children can learn new skills and master them well only if they are in stress-free environment. For kids to learn well, their need for a conducive learning environment has to be facilitated by the parents and caregivers, along with love, affection, respect and care. Only then will they feel comfortable.
Being good at anything new can indeed be a challenge for any parent, and you are no exception. The many ways to practice positive parenting at home may be something new for you, but only to begin with.
Always remember that everyone who is good at demonstrating a particular skill started trying it at some point in time – a time when they knew nothing. It was only by trying to demonstrating it, repeatedly, over time, they got to a place where they became good at it.
Positive parenting too is a skill that you can become good at. The question however, is whether you are willing to start it – today. After all, the greatest beneficiary will be your child.
Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.