Parenting requires tremendous commitment on our parts and our children are certainly worth it. Even with an understanding of the five messages of positive parenting, being a good parent is not easy. It doesn’t work when we treat children as if they are innocent and good one day and then spank them for being bad a week later. If we want our children to feel confident we have to stop controlling them with fear. If we want our children to respect others we must learn how to show them the respect they deserve. Childhood experiences have a profound influence on who our children grow up to be.
A frustrated and demanding parent can easily spin a child out of control. As children observe and cooperate they automatically learn what is right. Generally, parents give children more not to spoil them, but to avoid confrontation. Sometimes a child needs a good cry to feel better. Trust motivates a parent to give freedom and space for children to fend for themselves. Regardless of age, boys tend to need trust more while girls need caring. Under stress, boys become more focused while girls need to talk more. Giving small rewards makes parenting so much easier and boosts the child’s confidence.
By becoming aware of how often we give negative acknowledgments, we can begin to stop. Instead of dwelling on the problem or punishing our children for their imperfections, we can begin asking our children to be the solution by directing them. If we can’t say something positive or direct our children in a positive way, then we shouldn’t say anything. These are some examples of directing a child rather than focusing on the problem and then punishing.
|Dwelling on the negative||Giving positive directions|
|You are not listening||Please give me your full attention|
|I can’t deal with you||Please I want you to cooperate|
|Look at the way you are dressed||Would you go put on that new blue shirt? It would look great with those pants|
|Don’t be stupid||Let’s go over this one more time in greater detail|
|You are going too fast||Would you please slow down?|
|There’s no way you can do that||Let’s see if there is another way to do this|
Certainly, we have to correct our children but instead of focusing on their behaviour in a negative manner, we can give them a chance to change their behaviour for the better. Even correcting our children’s mistakes in a positive manner in itself is not enough. We need to acknowledge them three times more for positive behaviour. It takes more positive to balance the negative.
Positive parenting skills work because children today have a greater ability to feel. Just as we can’t expect our children to be perfect, making mistakes, acknowledging them and correcting them as we go is a part of successful parenting.
– Suganya R., Teacher, Sri Seshaas International Public School