Embracing positive parenting

It is said that parenting is an art, but it goes much further than that. It’s a mix of art, science, intention, and emotion that is, at all times, governed by the powerful rules of affection.

Published: 25th July 2022 02:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2022 02:26 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  It is said that parenting is an art, but it goes much further than that. It’s a mix of art, science, intention, and emotion that is, at all times, governed by the powerful rules of affection. I am sure most fellow parents will attest to this – raising a child can be both challenging and gratifying in equal measure but there is little in life that comes close to the adventure that is parenthood.

Today, as a new generation of parents look to raise well-rounded individuals, they are seeking ways to nurture not just the developmental goals of their children, but also their mental and emotional well-being. With parents increasingly embracing scientifically backed models and parenting ethos, ‘positive parenting’ is emerging as a popular style that is rooted in positive psychology.

Makes for a holistic approach
Positive parenting is a more empathetic style of parenting which involves techniques such as encouragement and problem- solving rather than strictness. Research shows that positive parenting relies on factors like warmth, monitoring children’s activities, involvement, and consistency of discipline.

The effects of positive parenting are evident when children learn as well. Students who know that mistakes are met with gentleness instead of harsh criticism are more likely to fearlessly explore, experiment and unlock their potential. Further studies examining the outcomes of multiple aspects of positive parenting found that they lead to better health and well-being among both children and parents.

From parents to guides
As a young parent myself, helping my child become independent is an important goal in my own parental journey. Even in my experience with teaching, I often come across young adults who would like to start focusing on what they want to do rather than what is expected of them. Positive parenting exemplifies this idea of equipping children to take charge of their lives.

It puts them in the driver’s seat thus enabling them to navigate different developmental avenues. Thus, practising positive parenting is a great way to empower children with this sense of independence. Its various aspects can nurture children’s self-esteem, creativity, belief in the future, ability to get along with others and a sense of oneness with their environment.

For different age groups
Most parenting styles focus on the early childhood years with few addressing parenting styles for adolescents. While the initial years of a child’s life are foundational to their lives, we cannot discount the role of parenting as the child grows up. As children transition from early teens to adolescents, the urge to express themselves creatively and innovatively takes precedence over everything else.

This is the most important time for parents to focus on positive parenting styles and encourage the child to explore different ideas to help them grow into their true selves. Aspects of positive parenting can manifest in different ways as children grow. When they are infants, talking, singing or reading is often the best way to get them accustomed to a parent’s voice in a positive way.

As they begin schooling, allowing them to help with simple chores and encouraging them to interact with other children can sow the seeds of self-respect. Communicating openly with them as they become pre-teens and encouraging them to join social groups and communities can go a long way in nurturing a sense of right and wrong. And as they enter the crucial teenage years, instilling responsibility by making them feel heard can ensure that they make the right decisions.

While experts continue to examine the benefits of positive parenting, what I find most appealing about it, is that it creates a safe and open platform of communication between the parent and the child. Sensitising children to their own emotions and giving them the security that they will be heard instills, what I think is, an unshakeable trust in the relationship. With an introduction to positive parenting early on at home, young children can grow up to be empathetic and sensitive individuals who come together to inhabit and maintain a kinder world.

(The writer is vice-president - curriculum and learning experiences, BYJU’S)



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