What is Positive Parenting?
“Because I said so!!”
How many times did your parents say this phrase to you? How often were you spanked as a child? How much yelling was there in your house growing up?
It’s safe to say that parenting styles have changed over the years. While spanking may have been deemed okay years ago, most parents agree now that hitting a child is not okay, for any reason. Shame and yelling are also, thankfully, out of fashion.
Many of today’s parents are trying to use positive parenting techniques instead.
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting refers to a parenting style that relies on warmth, nurturing, and mindfulness. This type of parenting reinforces good behavior and avoids using harsh forms of discipline.
Positive parenting has been shown to facilitate numerous favorable outcomes. It has been linked to better grades in school, better behavior, more positive self-concepts, less substance abuse, and better overall mental health.
Strategies for Positive Parenting
Positive Parenting has three main components:
1. Regulate Your Own Emotions
How often have you had a bad day at work and yelled at your kids when you got home? It is very common for parents, either consciously or unconsciously, to take their bad emotions out on their children.
To parent positively means you have got to get a hold of your own emotions so you only interact with your child in a kind, loving, and honest manner. It is easier said than done so this may mean taking a break, having a transition between work and home life, talking to your partner or a friend. It is important to remember we have to model emotional regulation as kids may not always do what you say but they do what you do.
2. Focus on Strengthening the Parent-Child Connection
Consider how each interaction with your child as an opportunity to strengthen the connection between you both. When a parent-child connection is strong, the child will feel safe and be able to trust. Each child is different and considering interests and love languages can be great strategies in building a connection. Also, play is the love language of every child and it releases happy and connecting hormones in the brain to increase closeness.
3. Love Your Child Unconditionally
Many punishment techniques throughout the years rely on a parent “withdrawing” their love. This conditional love can cause great emotional and psychological harm to your child. Instead, focus on being a coach and mentor to your child, offering them loving guidance and reassurance to help them manage their emotions and behaviors.
For an excellent resource, check out the Connected Parenting podcast created by Jennifer Kolari for specific techniques. Below are also some sources to further your education.
It can also be very helpful to get some help from a family or individual therapist who can help guide you in becoming the loving and compassionate parent you desire to be. Here at Authentic Connections Counseling Center we have many therapists who would love to support you individually, as a couple or family. If you would like to explore counseling options, please be in touch with our intake coordinator and we would be glad to assist you in finding an empathetic and safe therapist to explore the challenges related to parenting.