I remember buying stacks of parenting books when I was pregnant with my eldest, only to find that nothing can prepare you for parenting. Yes, staying informed will help, but every parent and child is unique.
There are many definitions of positive parenting. My take on positive parenting is that it’s all about focusing on developing a strong and committed relationship between parent and child. Here are the 5 principles of positive parenting that I try to practice every day.
Focus on the positive
Kids do the darnest things, and that’s because they are kids! They need us to guide them and show them the way. But as much as we need to correct them, it’s essential that we put more emphasis on the things that they do right. If you’re always correcting your child and pointing out what they’re doing wrong, then you’re not allowing yourself to establish a strong bond with them.
Express confidence in their abilities
This point is closely related to the first one. Our kids need to know that we believe in them and their abilities. They need us as their parents to validate them.
Address unmet needs
When a child is misbehaving, we’re very quick to discipline or criticise. We never look at the role that we play in the situation. Most of the time, when a child is misbehaving, it’s because there’s a need that is not being met. Asante sometimes acts out if I’ve been on the phone for too long, and I know that she does that because she’s seeking my attention.
Establish mutual respect
Our kids are our equals. Yes, we may be older than them, but they’re human. They deserve that same amount of respect that we demand from them. And by respect, I don’t mean that kids should just do as they please, but treat them the way you would want to be treated.
Validate their feelings
When our kids are expressing their emotions we’re very quick to tell them how they should be feeling and say things like, “stop crying” or “don’t be sad.” If we continue to discourage our kids from expressing their emotions, they will eventually stop. We need to allow our kids to cry if they need to cry, and allow them to work through their emotions by validating their feelings.
Although there are many, those are just 5 principles of positive parenting that I follow. Our parenting styles may be different, however, if we lead with love, we will develop a strong relationship with our kids. What are some of your positive parenting principles?