What is Positive Parenting?

Instead of asking your child what they got wrong on a test, focus on what they got right and go from there. Find out how to do this and more through positive parenting and grow your relationship with your child.

We all want the best for our children, especially when it comes to their academic achievements. Parents often focus on areas where children did not perform well instead of areas where they did. I have learned that when we focus on what our children could have done better, we are feeding them the message that they are not good enough and need improvement. The motivation of wanting to improve should NOT come from a negative state of mind, instead it should come from a positive one. Learning is proactive, meaning the learner himself or herself is driven to take action and acquire knowledge instead of being pushed to do so. When our children are praised and recognized for a job well done, that is the driving force for them to want to do better next time.

Positive Parenting is about nurturing and empowering our children so they can strive for the best. Nurture by being kind, loving and empathetic. Empower by leading, teaching and communicating in a safe and open environment that fosters positive attitudes.

Be an Active Listener
Positive Parenting requires parents to be conscious of their thoughts, speech and actions. Often, we are unaware of how we interact with our children. For example, we want our children to tell us all about what they did in school, but we interrupt them by asking questions instead of letting them take time to process their thoughts and share.

Active listening is a skill that is vitally important for parents to master because our children want us to listen with openness and without judgment. Active listening is more than just listening for the information but listening for what is between the lines. Next time you want to ask your child a question, be ready to listen by putting your devices away so you can give your child the full attention he or she deserves. If we give our undivided attention to our children, they will learn to reciprocate.

Set Boundaries
Another example of Positive Parenting is having consistent and firm boundaries. Positive Parenting does NOT mean we give into our children and allow them to walk all over us for the sake of positivity. Setting healthy boundaries and following them through can be carried out with a positive attitude.

For example, teens should understand that excessive use of their phone is hazardous to their physical and mental health. In order to do that and avoid any unhealthy confrontations, we need to create a positive, nurturing and respectful environment for the dialogue to begin. The conversation needs to incorporate a mutual understanding (the purpose of setting the boundary), open communication (allowing each to voice their opinions) and collaboration (coming to a mutual agreement).

Teenagers need parents to understand and respect their search for their new identity by allowing space and time to develop their own minds. Once we show we understand, they will be more willing to cooperate with us. Harmony, unity and understanding come from having a positive mindset towards life—including dealing with rebellious teens by knowing it is part of developmental growth.

Create a Safe Space
Positive Parenting is all about creating a safe and respectful environment for nurturing young souls—allowing them to feel they are part of the journey with us, and giving them the autonomy needed to grow by expressing their thoughts and opinions. More importantly, give them ownership and responsibility of their lives, and understand that we as parents are here to guide and support them.

As a mother of two adult children, I went through my own parenting challenges and I wish I knew what Positive Parenting was then. I have learned many lessons and as an advocate for Positive Parenting, I am now confident in raising my emerging teenage son.

To become a positive parent sign up for my Positive Parenting workshops by emailing me at parenting@heredg.com.

Active listening is more than just listening for the information but listening for what is between the lines.