20 Feb Positive Parenting – What, Why, How and When
What Is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is discipline without punishment. Parents focus on teaching children not just what to do, but why. Positive parenting means training children to use self-control. The word “discipline” has nothing to do with punishment. The root of “discipline” is “disciple,” from the verb “to teach.”
Why Use Positive Parenting?
Often referred to as positive discipline, positive parenting focuses on behavior, not people. There are good and bad behaviors, not good and bad people. Positive discipline is therefore encouraging, instead of discouraging.
Setting clear expectations and limits help children learn personal responsibility, and helps them feel safe and secure. By moving away from using shame to influence behavior, children are more likely to make changes in their behavior. Shame makes children believe there is something wrong with them, that they are stupid or worthless.
How to use Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is a way of life. Parents must remain calm and reasonable, in sometimes the most difficult situations. Every aspect of raising children is an opportunity for positive parenting.
When a child misbehaves, parents must look at the reason for the misbehavior, no matter how silly that reason might seem. The child is misbehaving for something they view as valid, and when the parent addresses that reason directly, the child will feel acknowledged, even though they did not get what they wanted. Although the child might still be grumpy, they will not feel the need to misbehave.
Example: A child hit her sister. Ask the child why she hit her sister, and she will provide you the reason. The sister took away her toy and she became frustrated. In the moment, teach the sister the importance of asking to use the toy, and for the child to use her words when she becomes frustrated.
Positive parenting is rewarding good behavior, correcting negative behavior in a calm, loving way, and pointing out to the child how that behavior affects other people. It allows the child to make choices for themselves.
Does Positive Parenting Mean YES All The Time?
Absolutely not. Parents who stay in control of their emotions and approach issues in a kind way still say NO when a child cannot have, or do, something they want. Saying NO in a calm way is just as good, if not better, than a screaming, mean NO.
As stated earlier, being firm in setting limits, and consistency in enforcing consequences helps children know what to expect, and base their own decisions on that expectation.
Does Positive Parenting Work?
It does, with plenty of patience and practice. It is not about getting results overnight. It is about consistently teaching behavior that you want your children to emulate. Children need repetition to learn anything, and this is no different. It may take more time than you would like, and you may teach the same lesson several times, but do not despair, when your child gets it – it is very rewarding and the benefits for your child will last their lifetime.