THE POWER OF POSITIVE PARENTING
Positive parenting essentially aims at meeting the child’s basic needs and giving it the right direction towards leading a meaningful life.
Some of the strategies which are in tune with the philosophy of positive parenting are listed below.
- Provide unconditional love and acceptance to the child even when unapproved behaviour is being demonstrated. While this does not mean parents condone socially unacceptable behaviour, it clearly underpins the expectation that parents separate the child from his or her behaviour. It is the behaviour which is bad and not the child.
- Treat the child with respect and dignity, that is, treat the child as a ‘real’ person. Rule out communicating to the child that ‘We think we know better just because we are older’. Good parent-child relationships are about listening to what the child actually has to say and about respecting the child’s view. Treating the child like a person directly communicates to the child that appropriate behaviour is expected of him/her.
- Provide structure, that is, ensure that children understand how the world works and what to expect, as it prepares them and makes them feel secure. An important part of raising responsible children is encouraging them to take on a degree of responsibility for the choices they make and the consequences they must face.
- Nurture a child’s self-esteem as parental words and actions have a tremendous effect on a child’s developing self-esteem. Being generous with rewards – love, hugs and compliments can work wonders and are often rewards enough in themselves. Appreciating children’s achievements will make them feel confident; allowing children to work independently on little activities will make them feel capable and b. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing children unfavourably with others will make them feel worthless.
- Make time for children as children who do not get enough from parents, are often hyperactive or misbehave because they are longing for attention and being naughty is one way of being noticed.
- Be a model of desired traits as young children look at their parents as role models and imitate parents’ behaviour. The younger the child is, the more he or she tends to imitate the parents. The importance of teaching by example in parenting cannot be overstated.
- Be aware of one’s own needs and limitations as an effective parent for it is essential that parents recognize their strengths and weaknesses and attempt to work on the latter. Having realistic expectations from self, spouse, and children is a must for positive parenting. Parents do not and need not have all the answers. Do not set unachievable standards either for yourself or your children. Aim at manageable parenting and focus on the areas that need the most attention first rather than addressing everything all at once.
While parenting is a source of great pleasure and self-fulfillment, it is a complex process which has more responsibilities than merely giving birth to a new life. Helping children grow up and become well-adjusted individuals requires nurturing of their social and emotional development. Positive parenting has an indisputable role in impacting and ensuring the development of a well-rounded personality of children.