7 Positive Parenting Tips To Help You Raise Happy, Healthy, and Thriving Kids
Having been certified in Positive Parenting, and then teaching hundreds of parents how to take an empowering, positive approach to raising children, I realized that many modern-day parents want to avoid making the mistakes their parents made in raising them.
Parenting is filled with pitfalls and challenges – and love and joy. As a mom of three young children, I certainly understand well how some days or moments can be draining, frustrating, or overwhelming, while others could be fulfilling, rewarding, or ecstatic. The key is to be grounded in a foundation of strong parenting principles, so the lows don’t go too low.
The parent who wants what is best for their child tends to be sensitive to the child’s needs, temperament, and developmental stage. The essentials of Positive Parenting are based on a key principle: We can assume children are born with good intentions and a sincere desire to do the right thing.
By teaching mutual respect and encouraging kids to act properly, we can use positive instructions to discipline and raise healthy children.
Almost a century ago, two Viennese psychiatrists introduced positive parenting techniques to the United States. The parenting practices focus mainly on teaching how to exhibit better behavior in the future rather than punishing past poor behavior. Yelling, power struggles, and hostility do not have to dominate the parent-child dynamic.
Positive Parenting techniques help parents:
Raise kids with higher self-esteem and mental well-being.
Show their kids how to be resilient and self-confident.
Teach kids effective ways to approach school.
Encourage better social problem-solving skills for their children.
Experience lower levels of stress, which translates to less stress for kids.
Here are 7 positive parenting tips to help you raise happy, healthy, and thriving kids:
Model Good Behavior: Kids pay attention to you when you least expect it. They will mimic others -- and you are around them for many hours in a day. You are their primary role model. Exhibit kindness and respect – to your children and to others. They will reflect these behaviors. The same is true for negative behavior. Yelling, humiliating, name-calling, or being rude to others or towards your child could come back to haunt you. Children can sometimes mirror who we are, for better or for worse.
Focus On Why A Child Behaves Badly: Once you identify the cause behind a child’s behavior, you can begin to address it. Providing good emotional support to your child, and encouraging them to speak freely will help you get to the bottom of the matter.
Punishment Doesn’t Always Work For Really Young Kids: When a child behaves poorly, the first need is to diffuse the situation. Stop what is taking place and separate the child from the activity or individual in question. A time-out is helpful. Allow things to cool down. Don’t criticize at that moment – just find a way for the offending behavior to cease. Punitive punishment of a child can build resentment and rebellion. Focus on teaching the optimal behavior rather than merely punishing the unwanted acts.
Be Clear & Committed About What You Communicate: Empty threats won’t get taken seriously, so only tell a child what you are prepared to do – and then back it up. Be consistent and firm.
Understand What Is Age-Appropriate Behavior: Behavior is influenced by a child’s brain development, so a two-year-old throwing a tantrum is due, in part, to the development of his or her brain. In such cases, kids won’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. Instead, use redirection over reasoning or providing consequences.
Be Patient. Never Despair: By investing in your child to teach them proper behavior, you will reap a pay-off. At first it seems very challenging and it’s easy to lose your cool. But if you can just remind yourself that these things take time and that it is a worthwhile endeavor, you will feel good about what you are doing even if you don’t immediately see progress.
Make Everything A Learning Opportunity: Most children are not old enough to reason until age three, so any misbehaving moments need to be turned into a problem-solving opportunity. Teach them how to think, not just to do what you want. Tell them why, show them how, and give them many chances to succeed. Teach them about feelings – how theirs are important – and yours.
By taking a Positive Parenting approach to raising our kids we will do society, our kids, and ourselves a huge favor.
A.K. Spurway, certified in Positive Parenting, is a mom of three young children. She is the founder and CEO of www.Nanducket.com, an island-inspired lifestyle brand, and the best-selling author of Ack! The Nantucket Duckling. Her mission is to help the newest generation to be more self-confident by teaching them that their differences can be their superpower.