Positive parenting is an approach centered on respect, communication and collaboration. It encourages parents to show empathy and understanding towards their children, while holding them accountable for their actions. Positive parenting, similar to Montessori pedagogyPositive parenting makes children feel loved and supported, which in turn promotes positive development and self-esteem. Positive parenting is becoming increasingly popular as an evidence-based method of raising children to be respectful, self-reliant and emotionally fulfilled individuals. Positive parenting helps parents connect with their children by showing them respect and understanding. Children learn to regulate their emotions and thus their behavior, a skill they can carry into adulthood.
Positive parenting can be challenging, but it's beneficial for parents and children alike. That's why we're introducing you to the basics of this method of education and why it's become so popular.
What is positive parenting?
Positive parenting is a child-rearing method that uses a child's intrinsic desire for social connection and emotional self-regulation as a guide to good behavior. This differs from traditional parenting methods that use extrinsic rewards or fear-based punishments to coerce a child into good behavior. A gentle parent works with children to help them identify and confront the emotional motivation for their bad behavior, and teaches them ways to redirect their frustrations to behave appropriately.
While this method discourages the use of traditional punishments such as spanking and time-outs, it does not make parents permissive. Setting and maintaining limits is the cornerstone of successful positive parenting. Parents must set unwavering limits and maintain them consistently, without punishment or disrespect for the child's physical or emotional needs.
Positive parenting is reactive; a parent supports the child's need for emotional support and doesn't react to the ways in which bad behavior can affect or trigger the parent. This means that gentle parents must remain calm in the face of chaos and work hard to manage their own emotions too. Learning to become a model of empathy, respect, limit-setting and self-regulation is the best way to pass these skills on to your child.
How does positive education encourage good behavior?
Positive parenting encourages the use of time-outs to teach children to manage their feelings and discourage bad behavior. The parent stays with the child, and once the child has calmed down, communicates with him or her about the situation that triggered the unacceptable behavior. A gentle parent tries to empathize with the child's feelings, clearly denounces the bad behavior and explains why it's bad, then suggests better ways of responding to similar situations in the future.
But positive parenting isn't just about discipline; it's also important to encourage your child's good behavior. Praise your children sincerely and specifically when you catch them behaving well. Compliment your child's efforts and virtues rather than appearances or natural talents. This positive reinforcement encourages your children to behave well, and lets them know exactly what behaviors you're proud of and why they're important to you.
What are the advantages of positive education?
Unlike traditional educational methods, positive parenting doesn't use fear-based punishments to force children to obey. These systems often focus on punishment and obedience rather than teaching children appropriate behavior, emotion regulation and empathy. Positive parenting guides children towards appropriate behavior by fostering a secure emotional bond between parent and child. It creates a safe environment for children to learn to manage their frustrations and acquire problem-solving skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
Children whose parents are loving but firm do best throughout childhood and into adulthood. What's more, these children have the strongest relationships with their parents throughout their lives. Years of research have shown that children raised by authoritative parents are the most likely to grow up to be secure, self-reliant and empathetic adults. Positive parenting is a subcategory of authoritarian parenting, as it requires caregivers to be highly attentive to children's needs and to demand that they respect the limits they have set.
Positive parenting is also great for parents, as it makes them kinder, more patient and emotionally intelligent people. It's hard to be a gentle parent; staying calm when you're frustrated by your child's explosive behavior is no easy task. But positive parenting asks caregivers to be reactive, not reactive. Reactive parents lash out at their children to force them to obey. These children are extrinsically motivated to behave well only by the threat of punishment or the promise of reward. Reactive parents respond to the child's need for emotional support before setting a limit and redirecting the child to better behavior.
Children who are intrinsically motivated to behave well (thanks to parental bonding and emotional regulation) are more likely than extrinsically motivated children to behave well and make good choices in the long term. Parents, too, become more generous and empathetic people when they practice positive parenting at home.
Is positive education a trend?
Positive parenting is gaining ground on social networks because caregivers are beginning to recognize the benefits of this method, and are constantly discovering new ways to connect with their children during the most challenging times of parenting.
Today's society is more aware of treating people with respect, and this is reflected in the positive parenting behaviors that are gaining in popularity. After generations of punishment-based education, we are beginning to see the harmful effects of these methods and the benevolence of treating our children with the respect, love and guidance they deserve.