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  • What is Positive Parenting?

    “Because I said so!!”

    How many times did your parents say this phrase to you? How often were you grounded as a child? How much yelling was there in your house growing up?

    It’s safe to say that parenting styles have changed over the years. While spanking may have been deemed okay years ago, most parents agree now that hitting a child is never acceptable. Shaming and criticizing are also, thankfully, much less prevalent.

    Instead, many of today’s parents are trying to use positive parenting techniques.

    What is Positive Parenting?

    Positive parenting refers to a parenting style that relies on warmth, nurturing, and mindfulness. This type of parenting reinforces good behavior and avoids using harsh forms of discipline.

    Positive parenting has been shown to be helpful in numerous ways. It has been linked to better grades in school, better behavior, more positive self-concepts, less substance abuse, and better overall mental health.

    Strategies for Positive Parenting

    Positive Parenting has three main components:

    1. Regulate Your Own Emotions

    How often have you had a tough day at work and yelled at your kids when you got home? It is very common for parents, either consciously or unconsciously, to take their own distress out on their children.

    To parent positively means you have got to understand and regulate your own emotions. This way you don’t punish them for your own stress, and you can interact with your child in a kind, loving, and honest manner.

    2. Focus on Strengthening the Parent-Child Connection

    It can be easier said than done, but a goal in positive parenting is to have each interaction with your child strengthen the connection between you. Try to leave every moment with your child on a positive note, and find every opportunity to compliment good behaviors. When a parent-child connection is strong, the child will feel safe and open with you.

    3. Love Your Child Unconditionally

    Many punishment techniques throughout the years rely on a parent “withdrawing” their love. This conditional love can cause emotional and psychological distress for your child, and impairs their trust in future relationships. Instead, focus on being a coach and mentor to your child, offering them loving guidance and validation to help them manage their emotions and behaviors.

    It can also be very helpful to get some help from a family therapist who can help guide you in becoming the loving and compassionate parent you want to be.

    If you would like to explore counseling options, please be in touch with us. Clinicians at Riverside Psychology will be happy to help.