The Keys and Benefits of Positive Parenting
Raising children isn’t an easy task. However, positive parenting is an educational approach that suggests that a good bond between parents and children is the best foundation for correcting children's behavior. In this article, learn about positive parenting and its benefits.
Parenting is a challenge. Every day can be exasperating (especially with young children), which is why it’s very hard not to lose your temper when your patience has reached its limit. However, raising your children can become an easier and more enjoyable task for both you and your children, thanks to the benefits of positive parenting.
What’s positive parenting?
Positive parenting is a philosophy based on the research of Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler and Rudolf Freikyrs, which focuses on the future rather than the past. In other words, on the importance of learning (for the future) rather than punishing (the past).
This philosophy, which combines education and discipline, emphasizes mutual respect between parents and children. Therefore, positive parenting not only requires effort from both parents and children but also cooperation.
Dr. Jane Nelsen, who has a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology, is an expert in positive parenting. Following Adler and Dreikurs’ investigations, she wrote a series of books on parenting and has designed a program for parents, based on positive parenting, which teaches social skills through respect and discipline.
For Nelsen, being a parent with positive discipline means being kind and firm at the same time. This is effective in the long term because it helps children feel a connection with their parents. That’s the main characteristic of positive parenting: that a solid connection strengthens a sense of belonging to a family.
The keys of positive parenting
- Mutual respect. Children deserve the same consideration as other people. If you respect your children, you’ll teach them and be a role model by leading by example.
- Teaching social skills for good character. In other words, teaching empathy, concern for others, and accountability.
- Effective communication and problem-solving skills.
- Discipline-based teaching. This doesn’t mean that this parenting style is permissive, but that discipline shouldn’t be punitive.
- Focusing on solutions rather than punishment. It’s more effective to make a child reflect than punish them. Punishment can damage the family relationship and it may worsen the child’s behavior. If you react to their behavior empathically, you help your child focus on improving their behavior instead of getting angry with you.
The benefits of positive parenting
Positive parenting helps build healthy relationships between parents and children, which is the key to this approach. It consolidates the parent-child bond, meaning that the children will be eager to cooperate.
To create a healthy bond, it’s important to congratulate your children when they act in an exemplary manner. Because what would happen if they only attract your attention when they misbehave? The conclusion is clear: they’ll consider punishment a reward.
According to Dr. Nina Farzin, positive parenting isn’t synonymous with a lack of discipline. In other words, in this educational approach, misbehavior must be detected and corrected, but by encouraging the repetition of positive behavior, not by avoiding punishment.
Positive parenting also benefits parents. By seeing that their parents are empathic with their behavior, the children will be more confident. On the other hand, seeing how their skills help their children and, in turn, prepare them for a successful future, boosts parents’ self-esteem.
Positive parenting facilitates the creation of strong bonds between parents and children, which promotes healthy relationships between them. In other words, children who feel a close bond with their parents naturally want to please them. Therefore, they’ll strive to follow their advice and imitate their behavior.
“Many people think that discipline is the essence of parenting. But that isn’t parenting. Parenting is not telling your child what to do when he or she misbehaves. Parenting is providing the conditions in which a child can realize his or her full human potential.”
– Gordon Neufeld –
The keys and benefits of positive parenting
Ultimately, the benefits of positive parenting can be observed in children at both an emotional and behavioral level. In addition, parents also benefit, because they can educate with discipline without affecting family bonds.
Children who maintain strong bonds with their parents feel more confident when it comes to making decisions and in their social lives. This translates into greater social competence and better mental health. Meanwhile, parents will feel more confident when it comes to educating their children through empathy and respect.