15 positive parenting techniques to raise your child happy and thriving
Positive communication is the key to maintaining any good relationship. When your child comes to you with complaints, give your full attention and actively listen to your child. Do not interrupt with your own personal experience and advice. Let your child talk while you summarize and probe, and learn more about your child’s true feelings and thoughts on the matter. Show sympathy as you guide your child to reconsider the matter and come up with appropriate solutions.
Expanding on the previous suggestion, showing empathy for your child’s situation before raising your own concerns will earn your child’s trust and strengthen the relationship.
We parents tend to circumvent this step during interaction with our children, believing our love for them is the fundamental baseline, so evident that it requires no mention. But without your expressions of empathy, your child won’t be able to read your unspoken and unexpressed intentions.
3. Look at them as individuals
Whether you have one or multiple children, looking at each child as an individual person is one way to avoid prejudgement and comparison. There are many stereotypes that are meant to represent average childhood development, but those are broad generalizations.
Each child has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Some kids might lag behind in one area at first, but can come to excel after a while, or show strength in other areas. There is no universal developmental timeline applicable to all children.
That’s why it is so important for parents to focus on each individual child as a unique being. Comparing them with statistical ideals, charts, other siblings, or peers will not only hinder your ability to actively listen to your child, but also limit your understanding of who they are as a person.
4. Accept your fault
Parents should not be ashamed to admit their own mistakes and apologize promptly. Letting your child know that parents aren’t perfect either and modeling how to admit your fault will earn your child’s trust rather than widen the distance between you.
Teach your children from an early age how to make a proper apology and that there is no shame in accepting their own mistakes.
5. Show model behavior
Being a role model to your child is the simplest way to teach them. Parents demand many things from their children, which they often don’t practice themselves.
For example, while forcing your child to read a book instead of binging on screen time might pass as a legitimate display of parental concern for their well-being, scrolling through social media on your phone while your child sits grudgingly flipping through a book does not set a good example.
Look for opportunities to show model behavior whenever you can, and avoid forcing your child to do things you’re also avoiding. Challenge yourself alongside your child, and show them your determination to walk off those extra calories each day, or stick to that exercise video for half an hour. By setting a positive example with your own lifestyle, your child will be less likely to argue and complain about your expectations of them.
Positive parenting is about growing together with your child while sharing your nuggets of wisdom and buckets of love.– Balanceinwonderland.com –
6. Teach rather than punish
The fundamental roles of parenting are to provide for a child’s needs, care for them, and teach them right from wrong. It is not about enforcing obedience at any cost. It is about making sure your child understands the lesson and is learning how to modify bad behaviors into good ones.
When your child shows negative behavior, your main goal shouldn’t be to punish your child and teach them how wrong they were. That will only end in resentment and negative memories about the punishment itself.
Focus on how to deliver the message to your child based on his or her personal nature and abilities. Teaching is not about punishment, but about awakening your child’s understanding of the world and a realization of their part in it.
7. Show emotional control
Parenting is extra challenging when we are emotionally vulnerable. Avoid engaging with your child when you are feeling overwhelmed. Step back and take a break until you can calm your nerves.
Teaching your child how to soothe their emotions by setting an example will be a great asset in his or her own life. Show how you are able to control your own flood of emotion by taking time out for yourself or managing stressful moments through focused breathing.
8. Wait and be patient
It’s normal at times to feel overwhelmed by parental responsibility—just remember it will pass. Parenting is by no means a short-term endeavor—your child will be your baby forever.
It might be helpful to consider how much you are growing as your child grows. Be patient when you feel like you are failing at parenting and your child never seems to improve at any aspect of their lives. No one changes their behavior at the snap of a finger.
Parenting is a long-term commitment, and as long as you are providing your child with the guidance and encouragement they need, that is what matters most.
9. Give them your undivided attention
One-on-one time with your child—however brief—should be a cherished part of every day. Giving him or her your full attention for even 10 minutes, doing things your child loves, is not impossible even for parents with hectic lives. Your child wants to feel your full presence without struggling to grab your attention away from your phone, your work, or your routine chores.
Have a fun time with your child—intentionally—even for just a few minutes at a time—and let them feel your full presence and undivided attention.
10. Promote independence
Helping your child feel a sense of belonging within the household is crucial as they grow. Provide abundant opportunities for your child to contribute and make decisions. When your child feels they matter and are an important part of the family, it not only promotes their independence but also prevents power struggles and low self-esteem.
Let your child be in charge of the care for part of your home, whether it is feeding a pet, setting the table, or cleaning the yard. Help your child initiate a project that will benefit the whole family, such as decoration, organization, or fixing things.
11. Lower your expectations
Studies show that one of the best ways to heal relationship problems is by lowering one’s expectations. Overindulgent expectations can be a shortcut to stirring up resentment inside yourself.
Lowering your expectations of your child will help maintain a positive parenting mindset and lower your stress and anxiety as a parent.
12. Provide coping tools
When you ask your child to be this or that, do not expect your child to have awareness of the same resources that you have accumulated through decades of experience and personal development.
Provide tools and techniques for your child to work with when they struggle. Whether it’s breathing techniques or counting to ten when they’re upset, or screaming into and punching a cushion, giving your child coping mechanisms to help self-regulate when they are overwhelmed will not only benefit your child in the present, but also in the long run.
13. Be consistent
Being consistent is a lot easier said than done when you have to juggle multiple roles each day. It can be a challenge for parents who want to set a routine for their children that they themselves are unable to follow due to their own chaotic schedules.
No matter how you attempt to justify it, if you are unable to adhere to a schedule, it will be impossible to demand punctuality from your child. Being consistent is the only way to set boundaries that your child will be able to acknowledge.
14. Keep your promises
Failing to keep promises is another trap many parents tend to fall into. It might seem perfectly okay to you to change plans when you have a reasonable justification and explain it clearly to your child, but in practice this is seldom true. From your child’s perspective, it is important that you keep your word, whether the promise is a small one or a big one.
Once you start to lose your child’s trust, it will be hard to earn back, and it can elicit strong negative reactions when your child wants something. Since your child does not trust you, in their mind it’s now or never—there will be no next time if you don’t give in here and now, and they will fight like their life depends on it.
15. Never reward bad behavior
Children always test boundaries and enjoy seeing their parents’ reactions. They compete for attention and rewards all the time, whether through whining, tantrums, or fights with siblings.
Avoid rewarding your child’s bad behavior by engaging with them either positively or negatively. Instead, let your child know that you will be ready to listen once they are done with their negative behavior.
Positive parenting is much easier once you externalize your focus away from yourself and onto your child. Focusing on your child by setting aside time to give them your full attention and letting them feel your presence while modeling positive behavior forms the basis of positive parenting. Treat your child as a unique individual without drawing comparison, while providing them with a sense of belonging and independence at home. But most importantly, lower your expectations and stay patient. Positive parenting is about growing together with your child while sharing your nuggets of wisdom and buckets of love.
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