Positive Parenting is becoming more common place and even a trend in parenting.
The general idea is that parents focus specifically on their child's good behaviour and strengths.
They also aim to increase these while decreasing unwanted behaviours.
The concept originated by Austrian Psychologist Alfred Alder in the 1900s.
His idea is that when children are well connected to the family around them AND the family provide an interactive and responsive environment, children thrive and are less likely to have stronger negative reactions and behaviours.
That said, as a general rule - we parents are hard wired to pick up on the things our kids do wrong and more likely to comment or respond to those.
However, its been proven more effective to pay more attention to what our kids do well!
Well with Acknowledgement, Approval and Awarding.
Acknowledgement of what your child is doing well, Approve with rewards and showing both attention and appreciation for their behaviours and attempts.
By also giving emotional warmth and support, you'll be creating the type of environment that really promotes and makes it desirable for your child to want to behave well.
Psychologists define a child's strengths as something they'll do well, happily and often as well as characteristics like being good communicators, having perseverance, sharing etc.
Be on the look out and communicate to your child in a way that encourages their unique talents, gifts and skills so they flourish and thrive.
Here's some ideas:
Children are still developing the language and skills to manage and communicate their emotions.
We can help by trying to put ourselves in their shoes and try to figure out what they might be thinking and feeling.
While it might seem they're acting up, they're desperately trying to make sense of their experiences. They can become sad, frustrated etc but get caught up in not being able to manage.
We can assist and help by making time to sit with them and offer to help them problem solve while also helping to name the emotions.
Asking what happened so they feel heard and understood, at the same time also ruling out things such as if they're sleepy, overwhelmed sad, lonely etc.
Help them think things through so they can find solutions such as offering to help them look for a website for their studies or their missing toy.
Of all the magic tips there are, there's one that works for all kids (and grown ups) better than all of the others.... Praise!
Evidence shows children are very responsive to praise.
A basic ‘well done’, has been shown to lead to fewer behavioural issues later down the line, but to really make an impact - five descriptice praise!
--'That little tractor you've drawn with all of those shapes look amazing' or 'great job tidying your room, your desk looks well organised and lovely now'.
For very little ones - positive parenting is much about the art of distraction.
Aiming to pre-empt their mischief and tantrums by anticipating what might happen next.
Use a distraction technique such as nursery rhymes with actions or favourite toys to engage them in action and thinking fast enough to take their attention away from what they were about to get up to.
Take time out, be patient with yourself and your child and aim for consistency.
With work, study, groupwork, homework, and everything else going in, its easy to become stressed, busy, tired and distracted with calls and all manner of things.
Try to start with one change, nail that one until it becomes a habit before introducing another.
Newborns pick up on stress let alone older children and will try to do more to get your attention so its important to look after yourself too.
Some of the benefits of these approaches are that positive parenting can:
reduce disruptive behaviours, such as attention problems, hyperactivity, aggression and separation issues
positive cognitive outcomes and a better chance of higher educational achievement
ability to cope with stressful situations and their effects
Parenting is no doubt a stressful AND rewarding role for any parent so don't be a stranger or struggle in silence.
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