What is positive parenting?
As parents, we have the power. With just a few words, a calm tone or a raised voice, parents have the ability to inspire, hurt, heal or calm. How can parents channel that power to teach kids how to stay the course and grow to be strong individuals? Positive parenting, or what is also known as positive guidance, inspires, supports and gently guides happier kids to live healthy and confident lives.
Inspire the best in your child
Your children will model what they experience and what they see. When you show respect toward them, kids learn to respect you and others. On the flip side, studies have shown that children who grow up with physical discipline may show more signs of fear or aggression than compassion or encouragement. Their actions mirror those of a ‘fight or flight’ mentality. Their confidence goes down and their only concern is avoiding the punishment, not necessarily changing a behavior.
Parents can show inspiration in so many ways: positive acknowledgements, smiles, calm voices, boisterous cheers and comforting silence. These actions encourage growth and maturity. They focus on growing confidence rather than instilling fear and adding frustration. These behaviors don’t happen overnight. They emerge with time, patience and consistency.
Become a ‘positive parent’
- Stop yelling. Kids tune out quickly. Yelling will only instill fear and anxiety and cause kids to turn away or run and hide. They just want the noise to stop.
- Listen. The best support to provide to your kids is your full attention.
- Get down to their level. Parents tower over most children, which can feel intimidating to a child. Make it an even playing ground for discussion.
- Empathize, then be firm. Understanding your child’s fears, concerns, frustrations and disappointments is necessary. It’s the first step in the ‘positive’ process. Once your child is understood, being firm with rules and consequences is handled and accepted much faster.
- Play or talk with your child. Kids will talk the most when they are relaxed. That’s usually when they are playing or when they are in bed. Seize the moments and spend time interacting one on one. Observe behaviors of others and guide good choices on how to act appropriately and what to say.
- Love them openly. We are all at our best when surrounded by those we know love us. Even when kids have misbehaved, they still want to know that your love is unconditional. Keep that relationship strong.
- Be good to yourself and those around you. You child will take note.
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