Art and Science of Positive Parenting
When somebody says parenting, it sounds simple and easy. But parenting is not as easy as it may seem. As parents, you often find yourself at loggerheads with your children over various issues like tantrums, sulkiness, aggressiveness, behavior problems, eating habits, etc. Nowadays, the biggest challenge that parents are facing is their children’s addiction to digital devices. It’s a known that childrearing gets tougher when children reach adolescence or teenage stage. The feeling of exasperation and frustration is common.
If you are in this situation, it’s advisable to back-pedal, take a pause, and explore logical solutions rather than turning the house into a battleground, and start afresh.
Experts say parenting doesn’t come easy to parents because it is an art every parent should master. Parenting is also a science that every parent needs to know. It is also a journey to self-discovery and self-learning. It is unlikely preaching would yield desired results, rather precedent and practice yields satisfactory results, say experts. A famous quote by Carl Jung further substantiates it.
“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk”
Studies show that usually parenting style relies on parents’ upbringing, their unfulfilled dreams and desires, and the wisdom they gained from the society to rear a child. Results have shown that parenting is a bigger challenge and some meet the challenges with wisdom, some succumb to the pressure, some react and some become indifferent. That’s the reason parenting has been divided into four categories—authoritative, authoritarian, tolerant, and detached.
When it comes to parenting, a lot is on the stake as it has a pervasive impact. Therefore, awareness about the right parenting skills is vital. Analytical skills come in handy in the context of parenting.
The World Health Organizations’ principles of positive parenting emphasize ensuring a safe, engaging environment; providing a positive learning environment; using assertive discipline; having realistic expectations and, last but not least, taking care of yourself as a parent. And it is possible with mutual respect.
Here are some steps that can be useful:
Mutual Respect: Usually parents consider themselves as an authority and expect children to carry their orders. This is not the right attitude. Rather adopt mutual respect policy for each other to yield desired results. If you want to be heard, first, you have to learn to hear them. Treat your child as an individual. Observe them, listen to them, try to understand their worries and concerns, the peer pressure, and react according to their needs to give them the confidence that they are being heard.
Bend rules: Some parents believe in having strict rules and confuse obedience with love. Extreme rigidness boomerangs. Children are threatened by rules and too many of them could develop a sense of insecurity in them. To ensure a safe, engaging environment for your children, be firm but patient. Be logical and polite, especially if you are dealing with teenagers, who have a completely different perspective of looking at the world. When it comes to teens, peer pressure can leave a life-changing consequence, so handle it with care. You can explain your views with live examples, or rely on a movie to convey your point without expecting instant ramification in children’s behavior. Preaching is a complete no, no. So keep it at bay.
Be realistic: Children are not slaves hence it’s a mistake to expect them to follow your instructions blindly. Child rationality is often ignored. As a parent, we must remember a child can question, argue, and in extreme circumstances rebel. Hence, be patient and logical and try to resolve disagreements amicably. Nothing is more damaging for the children than parents trivializing their issues, Therefore, empathize and respond to their emotions positively.
Avoid Comparisons: Every child is an individual and they have their strengths and weaknesses. Identify your child’s personal, social, logical, and literacy strengths. Once you know these, enhance those strengths rather than comparing and humiliating your child for his weaknesses. Every child is unique and perhaps, your child has skills and talent that other children may not possess.
Create a positive atmosphere at home: From emotional comfort to moral support, appreciation to encouragement, help in building children’s self-esteem and self-confidence and give them the strength to face the outside world. Several researchers and experts advise to make the home a comfort zone so children do not look anywhere else for emotional, moral, or any other type of comfort outside of their safe havens. According to Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (Fourth Edition), 2009, for children, affectional neglect may have devastating consequences, including failure to thrive, developmental delay, hyperactivity, aggression, depression, low self-esteem, running away from home, substance abuse, and a host of other emotional disorders. They may even withdraw from people and appear uncaring and indifferent.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe defined positive parenting in the Recommendation Rec(2006) as “parental behavior based on the best interest of the child that is nurturing, empowering, non-violent and provides recognition and guidance, which involves the setting of boundaries to enable the full development of the child.”
Effective parenting is one of the most sought-after subjects among researchers and today’s parents have access to a wealth of information guiding them about parenting tools and strategies to nurture their kids into positive and confident youth. Remember that you are not the only one who is battling the woes of parenting. Many are fighting the same battle. So, when in doubt look for information and recommendation