Our main goals as parents is to raise happy and healthy children, while instilling positive values that will stay with our kids throughout life. Many parents have chose positive parenting as a way to do so. Positive parenting is about making sure your child feels supported and loved, while also setting boundaries and expectations in order to help them reach their highest potential.
It can be difficult to know where to start when trying to incorporate these principles into your own approach towards parenting, so we’ve provided 5 key concepts of positive parenting that will give you a good foundation of understanding.
Positive parenting is a style of parenting that focuses on developing strong relationships between parents and children, encouraging positive behavior through kindness and understanding. The five basic principles of positive parenting are clear expectations, positive reinforcement, building relationships, problem-solving strategies, and consistency.
These five principles can be used by parents to create an environment in which their children feel safe, secure and loved. It also provides the tools for setting boundaries that are fair and consistent so kids know what is expected of them. Read on to learn more about positive parenting and the 5 principles of positive parenting.
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is defined as “a style of parenting that focuses on building strong relationships between parents and children, encouraging positive behavior through understanding and kindness”.
Positive parenting puts strong emphasis on building healthy communication, providing unconditional love and acceptance, setting appropriate boundaries and expectations, teaching problem-solving skills, and providing reinforcement when desired behavior is exhibited.
Benefits of Positive Parenting
Positive parenting can benefit both child and parent. When children grow up in an environment that is filled with unconditional love, respect, encouragement and understanding they are more likely to develop into confident, successful adults. They also learn how to express themselves without fear of judgment or punishment.
Parents who practice positive parenting techniques are more likely to have a better relationship with their child, which can help reduce stress and tension in the home. They often fins that their child’s behavior is more manageable and finds it easier to resolve conflicts.
The 5 Principles of Positive Parenting
There are many aspects of the positive parenting approach, and most parent will display a variety of different characteristics as their children age through life. Generally, there are 5 basics principles of positive parenting most parents can use to provide an environment which will help their children thrive. They are clear expectations, positive reinforcement, relationship building, problem-solving strategies, and consistency. Below we will cover each principle more in depth.
1. Establish Clear Rules & Expectations
It is important to set clear expectations with your child so they know what behavior is expected of them. Establishing expectations helps build trust, respect and consistency within the family unit and gives your child a sense of security. You can start by setting age-appropriate rules and guidelines. For example, you may decide that bedtime is at 8:00 pm for your 5 year old and 10:00 pm for your 12 year old. You may also expect your toddler to stay seated while eating and your teenage to complete their homework before playing video games.
Once exceptions are set within the home, you will need to communicate them clearly and establish consequences if consequences aren’t met, beforehand. For toddlers and young children you may need to reiterate expectations regularly, and often. Teenagers typically understand and retain this information easier.
Your children should also understand that there are consequences for not following the expectations you have set for them. This can be done through consequences, such as losing a privilege, taking a time-out, removing screen-time, or enforcing quiet time for thought provoking exercises. Set your consequences, the way you best see fit and stay consistent with it. Also see How to Discipline a Child Without Hitting: 5 Effective Methods for more information on setting consequences and disciplinary techniques.
When consequences are enforced consistently, your child will learn to trust and understand that you are in charge. This will also give them a sense of security as they grow up.
2. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is another important part of positive parenting. It is the practice of rewarding desired behavior with verbal praise, rewards or privileges. This can help children feel valued and encourages them to continue engaging in the desired behavior. This is often underestimated, as many are surprised to learn just how positive reinforcement works toward encouraging good behavior.
One way to encourage good behavior that leads to positive reinforcement is to model the behavior you wish to see in your children. Children are great influence by what’s around them and it begins in the home. It’s extremely important to lead by example, and praise your children when they pickup on those influences. Be sure to do this in a way that still allows your child their own creativity and space to be themselves, while looking up to you and your spouse or partner for guidance.
When we focus on good behavior and make a big deal out of it, more than we focus own the bad things, our children will shift their focus there too.
3. Building Relationships
Building strong relationships between parent and child is a crucial component of positive parenting. Positive parenting recognizes this and focuses on building strong, healthy relationships with their children by actively connecting with them. It begins with creating a safe and secure environment in which emotions, both positive and negative, can be expressed without fear of judgment or punishment.
Quality time spent together, as well as regular communication, demonstrates to your children that they are valued and appreciated members of the family. This involves setting aside time for your children, listening to their thoughts and feelings, playing together, reading stories or books that promote positive values, and teaching them life skills such as problem solving, socialization, and emotional regulation.
In addition to spending quality time together, you can also stay connected with your children through regular communication. This can be done by keeping the lines of communication open between parents and children at all times. Ask questions about their day, talk with them about the issues and challenges they are facing, encourage active participation in their goals, provide positive feedback, and reinforce good behavior.
By consistently demonstrating these behaviors, you will be able to create a strong connection with your children, while effectively communicating your expectations for them.
Building relationships that are based on trust, respect, understanding and acceptance is the foundation of positive parenting. Establishing a positive, supportive relationship with your children will ensure that they understand their place in the family and feel supported to grow and develop.
4. Problem-Solving & Conflict Resolution
Teaching children problem-solving strategies helps them develop the skills to think through difficult situations or conflicts. By helping your child identify and work through their own problems, they gain self-confidence and learn how to make responsible decisions on their own.
This is extremely important as they grow older and begin to venture out into the world. Having a firm understanding of how to problem solve and handle conflict will be invaluable.
To begin teaching your children problem-solving strategies, start by role-modeling effective behavior. This means staying calm and composed when a difficult situation arises. It is important to demonstrate how to take a step back, assess the situation logically, think of potential solutions, and decide on a course of action.
There are time when we may need to resolve a conflict with our spouse, family member, or even respond to our children’s behavior. If w do so by raising our voice, being aggressive, using fear tactics to get our point across, our children will pick up on this and may mimic similar behavior. Rather than responding with aggression, take a step back and try to stay calm. This can be difficult in the heat of the moment but by taking control of our own emotions, we can model constructive problem-solving skills that our children can then use to handle their own conflicts.
In addition to role-modeling, it is also important to provide guidance when teaching children problem-solving skills. When conflicts arise between siblings or between your child and another person, help them evaluate the situation from all angles and suggest possible solutions. Discuss what could have been done differently and encourage them to come up with a plan for next time.
Involving your children in the process of problem-solving and conflict resolution is an invaluable part of positive parenting. By teaching them how to think through difficult situations, you are equipping them with the skills they need to make smart decisions and handle conflicts responsibly.
Children need to know that their parents will respond the same way every time a certain behavior is exhibited so they can trust that the boundaries set are fair and not arbitrary. This consistency provides security for children, which helps them form healthy relationships with their parents and other adults in their lives.
It is important to be consistent with both discipline and rewards. This way, children know exactly what is expected of them and understand the consequences for their actions. Having consistent rules encourages children to take responsibility for their behavior and makes it easier for parents to set boundaries that are respected by all family members.
Consistent parenting also requires that parents take a unified approach, which means both parents should be on the same page and agree on the rules and expectations for their children. If one parent enforces a certain rule while the other does not, this will send confusing signals to your child and make discipline more difficult.
When parenting is consistent and boundaries are clearly communicated, children feel secure and supported. They learn that their parents are there to help them make wise decisions and develop important life skills. This helps build strong relationships between parent and child, as well as teach children how to handle challenges they will face in the future.
By providing consistent structure, discipline, and support, parents can ensure their children have the tools they need to become confident, secure adults.
Conclusion: Final Remarks
Positive parenting is an incredibly rewarding experience, but also a challenging one. As parents, it is important to not only provide your children with the love and support they need to grow, but also equip them with the skills they need to handle conflict, make sound decisions, and become successful adults.
By setting consistent boundaries and rules, communicating openly with your children, modeling positive behavior, and teaching them problem-solving skills, parents can ensure their children have the tools they need to succeed. With consistent positive parenting, children will feel secure and supported, learn self-discipline, and develop confidence.
Parenting is an ongoing process that requires patience and dedication. By setting a positive example and providing guidance, parents can give their children the tools they need to grow into successful adults.