What is Positive Parenting and is it Right for You?
Becoming a parent is one of the most, if not the most life-changing events for many moms and dads. It is also stressful as you will be faced with making a lifetime of decisions, some of which you know will be the right decisions, and others you will question. All of this is totally normal and a part of navigating parenting. However, before you become a parent, you may also be faced with the question of what type of parent you want to be and how you want to raise your kiddos.
We are going to explore positive parenting, as more and more parents are choosing to use positive methods when it comes to raising their kids.
What is Positive Parenting?
So, what exactly is positive parenting? Positive parenting is more about guiding your child and approaching them with love and kindness as opposed to punishing behaviors you may not like. A positive parenting approach minimizes power struggles with your children, and it’s also about creating mutual respect between you and your child.
When you use this approach, you help to teach your child more about the “why” instead of just what you want and do not want them to do. A positive parenting approach helps kids understand why they may have acted out instead of punishing them for it.
Rules and Consequences
There are a couple of different components of positive parenting. The first has to do with rules as well as consequences. It is important for these to be very clear and then talked about frequently with your child or children. Another important part of positive parenting is about listening to your child so that you can better understand them. (1)
When you practice positive parenting, and you have more than one child, it is also important to spend some one-on-one time with each one of your kids. Be fully present during this time. We have to remember that life is so crazy many of us are multi-tasking all throughout the day. This can be a huge reason why our kids act out. They may be acting out as a way to get attention. When you spend just a small amount of one-on-one time with each child each day, they won’t feel like they need to act in a negative way to get your attention.
“Time-ins” are also a huge part of positive parenting. Instead of putting your child in a time-out which can lead to anxiety, you have a “time-in” where you try to help your child deal with their emotions. Maybe this means setting up a little calming corner in their room and going there to take some deep breaths. If your little one is too young to understand the concept of deep breathing, you can sit down and read or color to help calm your child down. It is also super important to acknowledge the positive behavior and not just the negative behaviors. Be sure to acknowledge when your little one does something you like!
Lastly, a large part of positive parenting is about getting your emotions in check. We need to keep in mind that our kids are always watching us and our reactions, so we want to practice what we preach. Try to get ahold of your emotions before reacting to a tantrum or your child misbehaving. If you model how you want your children to react in certain situations, you may notice them pick up on healthier ways to respond to frustration and thus be less likely to act out.
What AreThe Benefits of Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting has many benefits for both mom and child including:
- Cut back on power struggles
- Support better emotional development
- Helps to reduce parents’ stress by being calm vs. reactive
- Helps you better understand your child’s needs
- Helps your child better deal with his or her emotions
- Helps you build a strong and loving relationship with your child/children
Is Positive Parenting Right for You?
Positive parenting sounds great on paper, but we have to remember that it’s not always easy! While your intentions may be to parent as positively as possible, being home with a toddler who is throwing a tantrum every hour can certainly make this difficult! The thing is that no parent is perfect, so don’t get hung up on being perfect with positive parenting all the time. If it’s something you want to try to see how your kids respond, remember that practice is key, and remembering the basics can help you set boundaries, stay consistent, and raise your kids in a positive and loving way.