All of the coaching techniques I teach with my clients, in my programs and write about here in this blog are based upon the fundamentals of positive parenting. Positive parenting is parenting that is authentic, comes from the heart an ensures that a child always feels loved. It is associated with better outcomes for children and parents. Parents who practice positive parenting are concerned more with long-term goals and maintaining a strong emotional connection with their child every day that the day to day tasks. The underlying foundation of all positive parenting techniques is the responsiveness of a parent to their child’s emotional needs.
There are 5 features of positive parenting:
- Parenting style
- Parental involvement
- Parental self-care
1. Parenting Style
Parents who practice positive parenting have an affectionate parenting style. They have a focus on supporting and maintaining a strong attachment between themselves and their child. They hold realistic expectations for their child’s physical, mental & emotional capabilities in line with their developmental level. They are consistent and follow through with what they tell their child. Parents will apologise to their child whenever necessary with no blame placed upon the child. For example, avoiding phrases such as “I’m sorry I yelled but if you had listened to me I wouldn’t have had to”.
A positive parent acknowledges that they are a primary influence in their child’s life and take responsibility for the example they set. The concept of “do as I say, not as I do” is not present in a positive parenting household, nor do parents say “because I told you so.” A parent who is striving to teach their child emotional control ensures that they are a good role model by expressing their emotions in a healthy manner.
I have previously written on the 4 main parenting styles and you can read my blog by clicking here: What Is Your Parenting Style?
Positive parenting is concerned with the emotional well-being of children. Praise and feedback are unique for each child’s individual requirements so that the child at all time feels loved, respected and safe.
Parents focus on the positive behaviour from their child. Discipline techniques are focused on helping the child learn from the situation and their mistakes. Positive parents do not smack, shame or use time-out techniques. They work with their child’s unique strengths to help them develop emotional intelligence, control and appropriate behaviours within their own timeline.
Positive parents support the uniqueness of their child and foster his or her own interests without putting their own expectations upon their child. Children who are parenting through positive parenting techniques feel that they are supported at all times, not just when they achieve certain goals. Children are not made to feel like failures, disappointments or as if they are required to do something for their parents’ happiness.
Positive parenting does not end with interactions with the child. Parents advocate and support their child in all situations. This can include advocating for their needs in external situations including at daycare, preschool, school or in social environments. They are active participants in any therapeutic relationships with medical or allied health professionals.
Parents support their child’s relationships with immediate and extended family and friendship groups. They help guide their child to maintain honest and respectful relationships and help only when necessary with friendship disagreements (aka no micromanaging!). Parents are interested in their child’s friends and encourage them to come over to the house or meet in social situations so that their child feels that their parent is interested in their friends.
4. Parental Involvement
Positive parents put a high level of importance on being as involved with their child’s life. This does not mean that they are present 100% of the time or are required to be stay-at-home-parents. They put a premium on spending quality 1:1 time with their children where they are fully present and often engaging in child-led play. This 1:1 time could be as little as 10-15 minutes each day and is part of the daily routine. They listen to their children without interrupting. They are emotionally attentive and respectful to their child needs.
Children who live in two-parent households receive consistent involvement from both parents who work together as a team. In co-parenting (two household) families both parents continue to put a priority on consistent parenting techniques and work with an agreed parenting plan. In single-parent families or where one parent is against positive parenting strategies, the positive parent does not bad-mouth the other parent or overcompensate. They strive to be a strong, solid primary attachment figure.
5. Parental Self-Care
Parents who use positive parenting techniques are self-aware and reflective. They understand that the strategies they choose to use with their children are not often easy, but they are committed to them because of the benefits they have. They are aware of how they cannot parent from an empty cup and look after themselves on a daily basis. They eat well and exercise, maintain personal friendships, take regular periods of downtime and have realistic expectations for themselves.
Parents are aware of their own limitations and regularly read and investigate new techniques, attend talks and workshops and seek out professional support when necessary. They know that the more parenting skills they learn the easier and more enjoyable it is to be a parent. They forgive themselves when they have a bad day and let go of behaviours that no longer fit within their value system.
Positive parenting is not easy. It is a parenting strategy that takes commitment, hard work, and daily focus to be a conscious parent and break free from patterns of reacting to children’s behaviour. Most importantly positive parenting is not perfect parenting. There is no such thing as the perfect parent, just like there is no such thing as a perfect child. Positive parents always strive to do their best and learn as many techniques as possible to help support themselves to be the calm, connected and conscious parent they want to be while forgiving themselves and moving on when they make a mistake.
If you’d like to dive deeper into any of this with me and discuss how you can be a more positive parent then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would rather message you can message me on Instagram @blissedoutmums or Facebook.