What is Positive Parenting?
Positive Parenting is an EFFECTIVE, but affectionate parenting style. Positive Parenting methods, though powerful, are not difficult to implement nor do they take long to see a positive effect. Positive Parenting will change how you parent for life, and how your child views and manages the world from now and into adulthood. Research shows that parenting styles and methods have a permanent effect on your child’s future. Indeed, proper parenting has the potential to increase your child’s happiness, health, and success.
1) Positive Parenting Creates A Foundation For Life:
Positive Parenting ensures parents are in full control of the household. When implemented properly, Positive Parenting creates an incredibly solid foundation for the entire family. Positive Parenting methods, once set into place, can:
- significantly reduce the level of stress and anxiety on the parents
- significantly reduce the level of stress and anxiety on the children
- reduce behavior problems
- enable you to set reasonable boundaries and expectations and ensure your household rules will be followed
- help you choose the most immediate, effective and appropriate consequences designed to reduce specific behavior
- teach you to respond individually to each child, effectively matching unique needs, personality and capabilities
- increase cooperation of your child; your child will WANT to make good choices, even when you’re not there
- significantly improve your children’s self-esteem
- reduce current and future effects of peer pressure and external influences
- teach children how to manage and control emotions more effectively
- instills healthy habits early on that children are more apt to use over less desirable choices (this can include calming techniques, active play over screen and video games, automatic problem solving)
- reduce parental arguments between spouses (less fighting over the kids and other family issues)
- improve family relationships and functionality
- increase your child’s ability to communicate effectively and respectfully, even when disagreeing
- prepare your child for the tumultuous teen years, or guide your current teen now and help them realign their path
- raise a child fully equipped for adulthood
Do not misunderstand, Positive Parenting does not mean “soft parenting” or that life for the child is made easier. Quite the opposite. Positive parenting instills law and order. However, unlike traditional hard-handed parenting that forces a child to behave through anger and control (which eventually backfires over time), Positive Parenting methods help children learn how to behave and make good choices. Positive Parenting techniques are calm, focused, and use daily life experiences to model and mold each child.
With a good Positive Parenting program, your family’s foundation will be strong and set for life. Busy parents can learn at home, at their pace with Essential Parenting Plus, a complete course that covers parental stress and stress management, helping your child manage emotions and stress; understanding control and how it relates to successful parenting, determining and understanding parenting styles (includes your parenting style and your spouse’s or co-parent’s style), implementing the best parenting style, learning to parent cohesively with fewer parental arguments, building a child’s self-esteem, promoting cooperation and positive behavior, problem-solving and decision-making skills, successfully managing behavior, utilizing the most effective disciplinary actions that match each child’s unique personality and specific behavior issue, improving communication and building trust, reducing household stress and so much more.
2) Positive Parenting Is Particularly Effective For Today’s Unique Challenges:
We’re currently living in a society where younger generations can honestly say parents don’t understand what it’s like to grow up in today’s fast-paced, interconnected world. Information, news and connections are instantaneous. Immediate gratification is both expected and available. The internet provides millions of connections and the ability to share both ideas and opinions, some good and some extremely damaging. Children, teens, even adults can easily be drawn into adverse confrontations. Other potential concerns include unwittingly communicating and sharing information with dangerous individuals, as well as severe bullying that can follow individuals anywhere, on and off social media.
Tech savvy? You’re still not immune. Even law enforcement specialists, trained to protect children from on-line predators and other dangers, acknowledge it can be difficult to keep up. Changes to how our children use the internet and social media, even video games, are shockingly quick. Businesses are constantly updating program features and heavily promoting to your children. In addition, our children are getting savvier at finding new and more secretive ways to communicate and hide inappropriate activities from parents. Unsavory businesses often take advantage of this by creating programs and apps that assist kids in doing so, creating “fake” apps like the “working calculator” that doubles as a secret vault for photos. Sadly, predators, bullies and other exploitative individuals are also constantly finding new ways to reach our children.
3) Positive Parenting Lessons Compound Over Time-Why Wait?
If you parent young children, this is truly the best time to learn effective techniques that can be maintained for life. The methods learned through Positive Parenting soon become habits that improve and compound over time. Families can build upon these foundations, preparing parents and children for the tumultuous teens, and eventually adulthood.
Parents with older children (including teens) can still benefit by implementing these practices. Regardless of age, Positive Parenting has the potential to improve both trust and communication which in turn, increases the likelihood your child will come to you during the tough times. Positive Parenting also sets the stage for parents to work together. This reduces parental arguments, and thus, stress. Because Positive Parenting methods are built on boundaries, respect, life lessons, communication, encouragement and so many additional valuable components, even parents of young adults find Positive Parenting methods continue to improve the interactions between family members. It’s certainly a wonderful program for grandparents as well. While there will always be new challenges (children are not static beings), Positive Parenting provides several flexible tools that enable you to guide each unique child through various situations.
4) Positive Parenting Increases The Likelihood Your Children Will Be Happy, Healthy, Well-Adjusted and Successful Adults:
One of my favorite studies was conducted by Dr. Robert Epstein and Shannon Fox and presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. The study included more than 2,000 parents and ranks ten different parenting skills that research says help to produce good outcomes with children (happiness, health, success, and good relationships with parents). One of the most fascinating components of this study is that two of the top three parenting skills do not necessarily include direct interaction with the children.
The top three skills are noted below:
Affection: All children need love. No surprise here. Displaying affection, both physically and verbally, is critical to your child’s growth. Positive Parenting takes affection into account at every stage. Parents gain an understanding on effective verbal affection, as well as finding a manageable balance between quality vs. quantity time. Parents are given plenty of insight into finding incredible quality moments. It’s important to note that children thrive when both mothers and fathers offer affection. Studies show that men and women parent differently, both offering a unique, valid and necessary view of life. Such an example includes the following interaction common with infants. Fathers often hold their baby facing outward, so the infant has a better “view” of the world. Mothers on the other hand, are more likely to hold a child facing inward, providing a sense of comfort and security.
Parents of teens: despite the typical teen’s potential to push mom and dad away; this age group certainly needs affection, quality time and parental guidance more than ever. Learning to communicate and interact with a teen, even when they don’t want us to, can truly make a difference in your child’s world—and yours.
Stress-Management: Stressed out parents-take note! Your level of stress and how you manage it, is the second highest predictor of your child’s overall happiness, success and relationship quotient. Stress removes our ability to problem-solve, make decisions and remain calm. Stress also makes us less patient. These reactions affect how we interact with our family members, which you’ll see below, also has a significant impact on our children. In fact, our children are learning how to manage stress by watching us. Worse—they take these skills, good or bad, into adulthood. And when they become a parent—they’ll be passing on those skills to their children.
Stressed-out more just reading this? Consider this: while parents are often overwhelmed, particularly parents who feel emotionally pressed to satisfy everyone’s expectations, you now have the knowledge necessary to make a positive change that will improve both your life and those around you. Stress is so dominant in our busy lives, and so detrimental to our overall health, Achieve Life Balance has dedicated numerous articles, videos and programs designed to increase your ability to manage stress and navigate change. You can stop the cycle. Even the smallest of changes can start your journey toward stress resilience.
Relationships: Just as our children model our methods for managing stress, they also learn how to engage and communicate with others by watching us. The most significant relationship, and the one they observe the most, is how we get along with the other parent. This is true for married parents, as well as co-parents residing in different households. Parents who are not cohesive, particularly spouses, are sending strong negative signals to their children. Learning how to communicate respectfully, and parent cohesively, can make a significant difference in successful parenting and stress reduction for the entire family. Even parents who must interact with a challenging co-parent can implement techniques that can reduce negative impacts on your children.
5) Positive Parenting Incorporates Life Lessons With Every Interaction:
“A parent’s ultimate goal is to raise future adults; not children.”
Our job to help our children learn how to become productive adults by teaching them valuable life lessons while under our wing. Recognizing emotions, managing emotions, communication, problem-solving, basic maintenance, cooking, finances and budgets, decision making, stress management, responsibility through daily chores are just a few of the skills your child will need. Life lessons should be a daily component to your parenting. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way and these opportunities easily slip past us. Fortunately, Positive Parenting provides plenty of suggestions for skill-building and quality moments together.
Through the years, many parents have shared amazing teachable moments. If you’d like to share your thoughts with other parents, or you’re seeking ideas, visit our new Grow.Learn.Inspire.Share Facebook page.
6) Positive Parenting Implements Your Core Values:
Values are extremely personal. What matters to you may not be the same as your neighbor, best friend, even spouse. Our values often define us, how we process information, how we act and react, how we communicate and so much more. They’re our core beliefs, yet parents often forget to implement these values into the household. Taking a moment to consider both your values and your spouses, comparing them and determining how you will incorporate them into your family (decision making, traditions, house rules etc.) can create an amazing family culture. Creating a plan with your spouse often takes less than an hour, can bring you closer to one another, and personalizes your family foundation. Even able co-parents can work together to incorporate each other’s primary values.
It’s worth noting that while it’s essential to instill your values in your children, a point comes where older children will want to implement their own values. Positive Parenting prepares both you and your children to manage this crucial stage—even when those values are at odds with yours. Demeaning or dismissing these new beliefs will negatively impact the trust and communication you built through the years—more significantly, opposing these values will almost ensure your child will dig in even more. Think of your own life compared to your parents and how you’d feel if you were forced to agree with every value they set. Evaluating and establishing new morals is an essential part of independence, growth and learning. If you’ve established and instilled your values, at some point your children may return to their original principles or at least appreciate the differences.
7) Positive Parenting Provides Effective & Long-Lasting Techniques For Managing Behavior:
When interviewing parents, behavior was the number one (#1) stressor noted in almost every household. Behavior issues are common daily occurrences that easily wear down the most effective of parents. While so many parents struggle in this category (let’s face it parenting is hard), many are afraid to admit facing difficulty. This is truly sad for me to see, as it keeps parents from seeking advice and support. In addition, research shows parents are not the only influence in a child’s life. Despite our best efforts, some children are destined to choose or follow a more challenging path. Gaining an external support system for you and your child can be extremely helpful. This may include working with your pediatrician, a counselor, teachers, other parents or adults, even law enforcement.
Still, a Positive Parent is one of the most valuable influences a child will have. More significantly, it’s essential to recognize that you can never fully control outside influences, you CAN ONLY control yourself. To repeat: you are the only influence in your child’s life that you can and will always be able to maintain complete control over.
8) Positive Parenting Helps You Understand Your Child:
Every child is different. While this may make one child easier to parent over another, individuality is truly a wonderful thing: a reminder that every one of us is spectacularly unique. Regardless, there are certain basics (beyond food, clothing and shelter) that every child requires to blossom. Positive Parenting teaches you how to understand and accommodate each child’s needs and temperaments. If you’re seeking parental assistance, including a parenting course, choose a program that allows you to discipline with this variable in mind. Each unique child should be treated fairly, but not necessarily equally. To explore this concept further, consider two siblings with very distinct personalities: one is shy and anxious, the other is a risk-taker who often learns from pushing his limitations and boundaries. It wouldn’t make sense to punish the shy child in the same manner as the boundary-pusher. Both children have a different motivation behind their behavior. The first child might be ignoring a parent’s request out of fear, the other out of a need for independence. Yet, there will be times, both will misbehave simply because they don’t like the adult’s rule. Positive Parenting automatically helps parents take all of these possibilities into account.
9) If My Child Is Struggling Is It Too Late To Use Positive Parenting?
Many factors can influence a child’s behavior, a few include: parenting style, parental involvement, modeling, and discipline methods. Outside influences include peer pressure, media and bullying. Internal factors: health issues (physical, mental or emotional), any learning disability, and certainly a major trauma or life change such as death, divorce can also have a significant impact on a child. While your child may benefit from professional assistance from a physician or counselor, your parenting methods may significantly improve the situation—at a minimum Positive Parenting will provide insight and direction into how you can find help for your child’s struggles.
10) Is It Too Late To Implement Positive Parenting If I Have A Teen?
Teens needs us just as much as toddlers. In fact, teens often have their own versions of temper tantrums or acting out. Like toddlers, teens are in that awkward stage of NEEDING independence (a must) while their life remains controlled by an adult. Add peer pressure, social media, pressure to succeed in school and acquire the necessary skills to become an adult, fluctuating hormones, relationships ups-and-downs, and so much more! While you’re not able to go back in time, there are often steps you can take to create a new bond that may provide your child with the guidance and support he/she needs to make significant life changes and find a healthier path. If your teen is already doing well, fantastic; these parenting techniques can still provide an incredible amount of support for your entire family, increase communication and improve your relationship with both your co-parent and your child. Positive Parenting can even enhance your child’s transition into adulthood. All these components create an atmosphere that can reduce significant stressors. If your child continues to struggle, you’ll have additional tools that will enable you to find appropriate help for your teen.