Does parenting ever leave you feeling discouraged, short-tempered and all-around frustrated?
Aggravating behavior from your children initiates those feelings, and then your own reaction to their behavior makes you feel even worse. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s one that’s not particularly good for you or your kids.
If you’re ready to break free from parenting styles that have both you and your kids feeling defeated and discouraged, give positive parenting a try. Read our full positive parenting solutions review here.
Ahead, we’ll review the basics of positive parenting and learn simple ways that you can apply this practice in your own house.
What Is Positive Parenting?
Some parents are strict. Others are permissive. By setting clear expectations and providing loving encouragement, positive parents fall in the middle of the spectrum.
Here’s what positive parenting looks like:
Lets Kids Know What You Expect of Them
Kids do well with boundaries, so positive parenting doesn’t seek to get rid of them. Instead, this parenting approach encourages you to be clear about your expectations so that kids know how to operate within your boundaries: “You may play outside after your homework is finished.”
Gives Children the “Why”
You can be authoritative without being authoritarian. Positive parents explain why rules or decisions are the way that they are. This not only helps kids understand why you have the expectations that you do, but it also transmits your values. For example, “We eat vegetables with dinner because they have good nutrients” teaches children to value healthy choices.
Lets Children Make Choices
Giving children opportunities to choose helps them feel empowered and equips them with skills that they will need throughout life. You don’t have to grant free rein, but you can offer two options to decide between, such as packing grapes or apples for lunch.
Allows Natural Consequences
Often, what naturally happens after children do wrong speaks more than punishments from you would. For example, forgetting a lunchbox at home means eating school lunch. You can also use logical consequences, which are consequences that make sense. For instance, children who forget to return library books are responsible for the fines.
Leaves Room for “Yes”
Saying “no” all the time is discouraging, so look for opportunities in which you can phrase your answers in terms of “yes.” Rephrasing doesn’t necessarily change your basic answer, but it feels more encouraging. For example, if your child asks to have a school-night sleepover, you could respond, “Yes, that would be fun! Let’s plan it for Friday.”
Postive Parenting Versus Strict Parenting
You may have grown up with strict parents who told you what to do and punished you if you didn’t do it. This approach has a tendency to leave kids angry and resentful. Compare this to positive parenting, which gives kids the opportunity to make choices and experience logical consequences.
Postive Parenting Versus Permissive Parenting
In permissive parenting, the boundaries are removed. Kids are free to do as they see fit and they don’t face discipline for their choices. It may sound like a parenting approach that kids would appreciate, but it can leave them feeling unsettled, and it doesn’t teach behavior regulation. Positive parenting, on the other hand, gives firm boundaries within which kids can operate.
Is Positive Parenting Good for Both Kids and Adults?
If you’re like most parents, you probably want a method of parenting that is good for everyone in your house–not just the kids or just the adults. Fortunately, positive parenting has rewards for both generations.
Benefits for Kids
4 out of every 10 kids don’t have good relationships with their parents. Positive parenting helps children develop emotional connections and strong bonds with their parents.
Positive parenting is beneficial for kids’ brain development. Research has demonstrated that these techniques can help overcome the effects of childhood poverty.
Benefits for Adults
What parent doesn’t want the hope that parenting will get easier over time? For many children, research has shown than positive-parenting techniques are effective at improving behavior over the long-term.
Positive parenting can give you another hope for the future: the confidence that your kids will raise your grandkids well. Research shows that the effects of positive parenting can continue on to the next generation.
Positive Parenting and Your Family
You can begin positive parenting with your kids at any age. It’s never too late to start. From toddlers to teens, kids will benefit from this shift in your parenting style.
Through positive parenting, your children will learn how to make good choices, accept logical consequences, and understand more about how the world works. As for you, positive parenting will help you experience more peace in your home and will give you hope for the future.