“Positive parenting – sometimes called positive discipline, gentle guidance, or loving guidance – is simply guidance that keeps our kids on the right path, offered in a positive way that resists any temptation to be punitive.
Studies show that’s what helps kids learn consideration and responsibility, and makes for happier kids and parents.“ – Dr. Laura Markham
There are many benefits to taking a positive, intuitive approach to your parenting style. The main ones being a happy home and your children feeling appreciated and respected, 10 other reasons include:
1. A More Peaceful Home
Positive parenting leads to peaceful parents, which leads to more peaceful children. If power struggles are a problem in your home, this approach greatly reduces them. Punitive approaches create conflict which put you against your children. With positive parenting, you work with them to promote better behavior, which naturally leads children to fight less for their autonomy and you to struggle less for control. Open communication and peaceful resolution are the keys.
2. More Confident Kids
Children receiving positive parenting are more confident than those parented by other methods. While punitive parenting focuses on their faults and shortcomings, which often leads to low self-confidence. Positive parenting focuses on the behaviors you want from your child as well as their successes. This focus builds a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-confidence, which are essential for your child to grow into a happy adult.
3. More Confidence in Your Parenting Skills
Positive parenting is about doing what feels right. When you follow your instincts, you feel like a better parent. Have you ever punished your child and felt terrible about it? Perhaps you even went into another room and cried because doing so broke your heart. If it makes you feel that bad, there has to be a better way. And there is!
When you positively parent your child, you trust your instincts. This confidence comes through to your children. Being confident in your parenting abilities is part of what makes your child feel safe and secure. If you feel like you don’t know what you are doing, your child will pick up on that.
Ever notice how an infant responds when someone who isn’t confident with them tries to hold them? They cry. When they hand the crying baby over to someone who is confident in what to do, they calm down. If infants can sense this confidence, so can older children.
4. A Stronger Parent-Child Relationship
Punishing a child teaches them they can’t trust you as you might hurt them. Whether this pain is emotional or physical, children don’t understand that you are trying to do what is best for them. Our children were not born knowing the rules. They only understand what we teach them and if it is hurtful, all they know is that the person they love the most has hurt them. This leads to mistrust in the relationship.
Trust is an essential part of the parent-child relationship. When you tell your child “it will be okay” you want them to believe you. You want them to know they can count on you when they need you. Without trust in you, your child has no sense of a safe center from which to explore. They feel a deep-seated insecurity and mistrust of the world that affects them well into adulthood.
5. Fewer Behavioral Issues
Children parented positively have fewer behavioral issues. This is because of modeling. Children act out what they learn from you in the home. If punitive or aggressive behaviors (even simple verbal threats) are used at home, your children are more likely to display these behaviors in other environments. This is especially true for children with any sort of developmental delay or disorder like A.D.D. or autism.
Act the way you would like them to act, with kindness, consideration and emotional intelligence. There are many tips for dealing with difficult behaviors which can help you create cooperative relationships through a loving approach.
6. Less Aggressive
Studies show that children of negative parents are more likely to be aggressive than those from positive parenting households. This is again due to modeling the behaviors they see at home. If your child learns how to manage their frustration and anger through open communication without punishment they will be less likely to act aggressively towards others.
7. Fostering Independence and Self-Control
Positive parenting is about encouraging and teaching good behavior in children. It also encourages them to behave not out of fear of punishment, but out of a desire to feel good. When you use negative discipline, your child may behave, but it will be out of fear. But what happens when your child grows up and no longer fears your consequences?
You want your children to learn to manage their impulses because it is the “right” thing to do, not out of fear of being punished. You want them to learn that they get a good feeling (positive reinforcement) when they do a good thing. This is how they can develop self-control and a clear sense of right and wrong, which will serve them throughout their lifetime.
8. Happier Kids
Kids with positive parents tend to be happier than those from punitive parents. Studies have shown a link between “negative” parenting and depression in the teen years and even into adulthood. Those children from positive parents have a much lower incidence of depression. This is as a result of children having higher self-esteem and more positive relationships with their parents as well as others.
9. More Empathetic
When you positively parent, you model empathy for your child. Instead of engaging them in what not to do, you let them know you understand how they feel, this is the seed of empathy. The best way to teach your child this important skill is by example. You will soon notice your child showing empathy, too. Perhaps they will show kindness by giving a friend a hug or sharing their favorite toy. You’ll know it when you see it, and it will make it all worth it.
10. Less Stress
Conscious positive parenting allows you to relax and enjoy your children. When you have a peaceful home with no power struggles and kids who actually want to do the right thing, you spend more time enjoying them instead of constantly trying to keep them out of trouble. You can play, become creative in the way you teach your kids how to be happy. This is the greatest advantage of positive parenting! After all, they are only little for a short time, spend that precious time with them wisely.
Positive parenting is considerably difficult, but with enough time and energy, it is the best way to be a parent. The outcomes of positive parenting are nothing but beneficial to both the parent and the child.
Being a parent is arguably the hardest job on earth and not every person expects to become a parent, but some do. It is no simple task, but the reward it offers is priceless and I am sure no parent would trade that for anything.
“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.” – Charles Everett Koop