It’s hard being a parent, it’s even harder being a parent who has everything under control, and it’s the hardest being a parent who doesn’t lose their temper even once a day.
Parents have become used to facing irritability and meltdowns in today’s world of fussy eaters, online schoolers, and gadget-friendly children. Goes without saying that you too have probably faced situations where you have felt like you can’t take it anymore.
Some experts say that being a harsh parent might scare your children away and have a negative effect on their overall development and personality – a risk that no parent would want to take. So how do you stay calm and navigate the choppy waters of parenting without losing your cool or having an occasional meltdown?
Honestly, speaking from my experience, while irritability and temper issues might be regular parenting problems – read messy rooms, unfinished lunch boxes, excessive screen time – they can easily be dealt with through positive parenting habits.
While positive parenting is not a new parenting style, it is challenging to adopt it in your daily lives, primarily because it’s difficult for parents to stay calm. However, it includes some of the best parenting tips to help your children open up to you and become better and more successful individuals.
Positive parenting does not mean that you should control your anger or you shouldn’t punish your children for bad behaviour. Positive parenting involves solving everyday problems through positive interactions and focusing more on good deeds than bad behaviour. You can find some positive parenting tips below.
Key pillars of positive parenting:
1. Praise children for good behaviour
How often do you praise your children for good behaviour versus scolding them for wrong acts? Think about it. As parents, you often forget to appreciate their positive behaviour.
The first and foremost rule of positive parenting is to praise and applaud children for every good action by using specific words that impact their minds and encourage them to continue such behaviour. For example, if your child helps someone, you can motivate them to repeat that behaviour by using words like kind, helpful and caring.
2. Solve problems through positive interactions
Focusing on good behaviour does not mean parents should ignore tantrums or other common childhood behavioural issues.
Positive parenting means discussing an issue through one-on-one sessions, hearing children out whole-heartedly and then explaining how they could have avoided that behaviour.
It also means allowing your children to do what they want as long as they complete all their tasks. These interactions could be specific for each child, and only you can devise a routine for your child which is in sync with their daily schedule. For example, allowing them to play on the iPad for a bit if they get ready for school early or allowing them to engage in an activity of their choice if they complete their homework in the scheduled hour.
3. Allow children to express
Parents often become teachers, dictating what’s right and wrong and, in the process, talking more about themselves and not allowing the children to speak.
Positive parenting involves letting your children express their feelings and why they behave in a certain way so you can identify the real reason for this behaviour. This will help them come to terms with their feelings. It’s also amongst the best parenting tips you can apply to strengthen your bond with your children. Moreover, the feeling of being heard is irreplaceable. It can be a confidence booster for your children and help them be more open with you.
4. Don’t pass on your stress
As multi-tasking parents, you may knowingly or unknowingly pass on your anxieties to your children. Instead of feeling guilty about it later, you should control your anger and breathe for a few seconds before interacting with your children. You might think it’s easier said than done, but the best way to avoid a heated argument or a meltdown is to take a time out. Just walk away from the heated environment, and focus on something else to calm down and get back to your usual self. Apply the same solution when it comes to having arguments with your children.
Gradually, you will see that positive parenting can help you become aware of your feelings, and it can help you control your anxiety. What can be more beautiful for a child than parents who are always in control and ready to listen to them?
5. Be kind and firm at the same time
Positive parenting thrives on kindness, but children might take that for granted. You shouldn’t always give in to your child’s demands. You must be kind and firm while talking to your children. You should have a serious attitude when having a discussion with them. This may also include occasionally using a stern voice and ensuring that your children know that you’re serious about the situation. A stern voice could be as effective as a loud voice if used the right way, at the right time.
Having proper boundaries right from the start also helps set the right expectations so your children can base their behaviour on these ground rules. This also allows them to think before taking any action and enhances their decision-making abilities in the long run.
Expert speak: Benefits of positive parenting
Riddhi Doshi Patel, a popular child psychologist and counsellor from Mumbai, practices positive parenting. She says, “ Parenting is all about co-creating memories with your children so that they cherish them for life. When parenting is done in a way where the parent/ parents are co – creating the space and memories, the child is found. Create in such a way that they relish those memories for a longer time.”
She lists four long-term positive parenting benefits for children:
- Develops Empathy – Positive parenting leads to more empathetic children and creates a stronger bond between parents and children.
- Develops Leadership Qualities – Positive parenting helps children adopt leadership qualities quickly and makes them more proactive in dealing with their issues.
- Develops Self-Awareness – Positive parenting leads to resilient, self-aware and more focused children.
- Boosts Your Child’s Self-confidence- Since children get to express themselves more freely, it leads to better self-esteem and boosts their confidence, helping them become better at school and in life.
So, why should you adopt these positive parenting tips?
To sum up, positive parenting leads to happier, calmer, more confident children who will become better human beings, balanced professionals, and kind, empathetic leaders.
The views expressed are that of the expert alone.
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