Treating your child with respect is the best way for them to blossom into their own person, and we have the tips you need to do it.
Many of us remember being screamed at for making mistakes when we were growing up. Now, many of us are terrified of failure and believe our worth as a human is directly tied to our success. You might not want to pass on these anxieties to your children, which is why positive parenting is a good parenting strategy.
Positive parenting uses principles from positive psychology with the highlights being:
For more information, read on.
Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that prioritizes satisfaction and well-being over temporary happiness. Typically, psychology is about addressing weaknesses, mental illness, and problems in our lives. Positive psychology is about building skills such as courage, humanity, justice, hope, and humor to have a content life.
This is not to say that we should ignore mental illness, or that traditional psychology is useless. Depression, anxiety, and other illnesses still need to be treated. Positive psychology is simply about incorporating methods of living well. Practicing positive psychology can increase mood and emotional well-being by being intentional about how we want to feel.
One of the key values of positive psychology is that happiness does not appear out of nowhere. You can learn to feel good, and teach your children to feel good as well.
But what does positive psychology stand for? And what are those methods of living well? Some of the core values that you can incorporate into your positive parenting include:
Positive parenting empowers kids to build healthy relationships with themselves and others. The child develops a sense of self worth and has a good mindset for the rest of their life. Because there’s a focus on growth instead of performance, your child will feel good about themselves, even if they’ve made a mistake or failed.
There will be less behavioral issues, because they have a sense of self. Also, there is an improved parent/child relationship with less stress for the parents.
If those beliefs and benefits sound good to you, here are some ways to make positive parenting a part of your life!
Praise your child for their efforts, rather than traits they cannot change. (I’m proud of you for working so hard! vs I’m proud to have such a smart kid!) This will let your child know they can learn and grow from challenges, and that their value is not reliant on success alone. You need to celebrate their efforts just as much, if not more, than the actual accomplishments.
Turn mistakes into a learning experience. Instead of yelling and punishing your child for misbehaving or breaking a rule, let the consequence serve as the punishment. If they break a toy, the punishment is that they no longer have the toy to play with. If they wreck their room, the punishment is living in the destruction (temporarily at least). Ask why they engaged in the behavior, every action is caused by an emotion and teach them coping skills to minimize damage. Be sure to acknowledge that their feelings are real and valid, but does not mean they can act however they please.
Ask for help with chores as soon as they are capable. Do not be forceful– politely ask if they can help with a simple task (setting the table, putting away clean silverware, etc). This will help them develop a sense of responsibility and pride for being able to help around the house.
When your kid is old enough, have them set goals for themselves. You need to let them make the goals to increase independence and self-sufficiency. Make sure they are achievable so they rely less on other people’s approval. Ask what skills they want to develop and brainstorm together about how to achieve their goals. Your child needs to know they are capable of making happiness, but you are there for unconditional support.
Have a conversation with your child about the importance of respecting others at a young age (6-8). The best way to ensure your child will be respectful to their classmates and adults is to respect them yourself. They may be your baby, but they are more capable than you think. Let them be and do what they need and support them along the way. Ask about their interests, get involved with their goals, and respect their need to be alone.
Step away when you feel your anger is getting the best of you. Your child can respect or fear you, not both. Yelling or hitting is not a communication skill you’d want your kid to engage in, so do not tell them it’s okay by doing it yourself. This will show your children that anger can be handled without lashing out.
Encourage your kid to work out difficulties with peers on their own, so they know how to problem solve on their own. Again, don’t leave them for the wolves. Give them support, but let them grow and learn for themselves.. This will also help them develop independence and self-sufficiency.
Be clear about expectations for conflicts. If you want your child to maintain good grades or do chores, talk about exactly what you expect from them and ways they can get there. Be sure to let your child have a say in what they are capable of and their ideas for getting it done.
Parenting is about being gentle, yet firm, to help your child grow into exactly who they need to be. Give your child the freedom and responsibility to become their true selves. For more information, check out some of our favorite books. Better yourself, so you can be the best possible for your children.