What Is Positive Parenting And How Does It Work?

Updated August 23, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Parenting positively is a parenting style characterized by empathy and having a strong parent-child connection. Growing up, you probably experienced at least one parenting style (or more). Each style is formed based on different opinions about parenthood, discipline, and childhood development. As you may have guessed, some parenting styles have better outcomes for children than others.

Parenting positively is a way for parents to teach self-control and discipline their children without destroying their sense of self. Other parenting styles can fall short in these areas, leaving both parents and children feeling frustrated and unheard.

Many parents and professionals are starting to see how a positive, mindful parenting approach has benefits over authoritative parenting or more permissive styles. Strict or physical discipline undermines the lesson you're trying to teach and can backfire, leaving children with things like behavioral problems. Permissive parenting, on the other hand, often leads to children who like to push their limits.

So, How Does Parenting Positively Work?

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Parenting positively (also known as peaceful parenting) is not as easy as deciding you will be more positive without any follow-through. Being a positive parent takes commitment and effort, but it does get easier once you get the hang of it. As a positive parent, you're committing to three things:

1. Controlling Your Emotions

After a stressful day, do you find yourself feeling drained, irritable, and short-tempered? Sometimes when parents have a bad day, they unintentionally create a more negative environment at home. You may yell or be frustrated by your child's crying or whining. On days like this, sometimes things seem to escalate from bad to worse quickly.

As a positive parent, it's essential to acknowledge your negative thoughts and feelings, but you should try not to let them affect your overall mood and interactions with your kids. Consider things from your children's perspective when situations arise and determine what they need. Taking a few deep breaths before reacting can help keep the home calmer and happier.

2. Maintaining And Strengthening The Parent-Child Connection

Being a parent is a long-term commitment, but it shouldn't feel like a job or a chore. Think of each day as an exciting new challenge where you get to see your child grow, learn, and interact with the world. Your job as a parent is to keep your kids safe, nurture them, and encourage them to be the best they can be. Are you up for the challenge?

A lot can change when you come to parenting from a more positive perspective. Good communication is a vital parenting skill. When your child does something wrong or acts up, think about why it's happening. Instead of yelling and making the situation worse, get on your child's level and talk to them. Rather than getting angry and repeating what your child shouldn't have done, take the time to explain why what they did was wrong and what they could have done instead.

3. Loving The Child Unconditionally

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From childhood to adulthood, the parent-child relationship is important, so parents should ensure their kids know they are loved unconditionally.

Some parents put so much pressure on their kids to do good in school, follow the rules, or live up to certain expectations. Over time, kids can start to think that their parent's love and acceptance depend on those things. As a positive parent, you must let your children know that you will always be there for them. Your kids should know they are loved through good and bad, success and failure.

Examples Of Parenting Positively In Action

The commitments you make as a positive parent involve being empathetic and taking on the role of providing guidance instead of punishment. Positive parents need to improve their self-awareness to control their emotions. They know that how they treat their children now directly impacts how their children see and feel about themselves as they get older.

To give you an idea of how the principles of parenting positively can be applied to your daily life, here are some examples of parenting positively in action:

  • Get down on your kid's level when you talk to them, hold their hands, and wait for eye contact so you know they're listening.

  • Thinking about their needs when they act up: are they hungry, tired, or bored?

  • Pausing before reacting negatively (instead of saying, "Stop whining right now!" say, "Please use a calm voice to talk to me.")

  • Using positive language("You're helpful," "You make me proud," "It's okay to make mistakes")

  • Listening to your kids empathetically and paraphrasing what they say so they feel heard.

  • Going outside and doing something together as a family when your kids start to misbehave

Taking on a new parenting style is hard, especially if you've just learned about it. In addition to reading up on the subject, parents struggling to change their relationship with their kids can seek help from a counselor who works with families and is knowledgeable about parenting positively.

Online Therapy Can Help

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Want To Discuss Concerns Related To Parenting Or Something Else?

If you're about to become a parent for the first time, or you're having issues with your children's behavior, you might be interested in learning more about different parenting styles. Some parents aren't even aware of their parenting style. Each has benefits and drawbacks, and it's up to you to choose which is best for your family.

Parents who follow a positive parenting style aim to create a relationship of mutual respect with their children. Instead of punishing children when they act up, positive parents look for the reasons behind the behavior. They explain why the behavior was wrong and what proper behavior would be in that situation to give kids a positive example.

If you need help changing your parenting style or coping with other parenting challenges, online therapy can help. With online treatment, you don’t have to worry about commuting to an office or being on a waiting list for an available appointment. When you sign up for online therapy, you’re matching with an available therapist who can start helping you right away. You attend sessions from the comfort of home or anywhere you have an internet connection, and you can communicate with your therapist via phone, text, email, or video chat. Research shows that online treatment is effective, too. In fact, one review of 14 studies showed that online treatment is just as effective as in-person therapy. If you’re ready to start, take the next steps with Regain.

Takeaway

If you want to change your parenting style, remember to be patient with yourself. Changing your habits and learning to think more before reacting can take some time, but it's worth it. Remember that resources like books, the internet, and online or in-person counseling, can help you succeed on your journey to becoming a more positive, peaceful parent.

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