Parenthood is far from simple because having a child is as exciting as it is unnerving. So it's perfectly normal to feel inadequate sometimes. But rest assured: the most important thing is that you're doing your best for your children.
Positive parenting, also known as benevolent parenting, focuses on empathy, communication, listening and respect for your child's needs, and developing a trusting relationship between you. Positive parenting means putting yourself in your child's position as well as being open and understanding of their actions.
Furthermore, positive parenting encourages you to support and guide your child, without resorting to control and domination. According to this parenting approach, there is an important need behind any bad behaviour, and your child is directly involved in the search for solutions.
Some key principles
Caring education is generally based on a few key principles that underpin positive parenting.
Opting for a cooperative relationship with your child means encouraging their involvement. Because they can express themselves freely, they feel listened to, which makes them want to participate in daily routines of their own free will.
In positive parenting, respect is a two-way street. This approach encourages respect for your child's needs—all while respecting your own.
Showing empathy allows you to develop an extraordinary connection with your child and better understand the feelings they are dealing with.
Setting up a healthy, secure environment, such as establishing rules at home, allows children to blossom and grow in a warm and caring atmosphere.
Encouraging children in their endeavours and praising good deeds, leads to a reinforcement of positive behaviours.
A no-force approach
The positive parenting model does not rely on punishment, but rather on fixing what is not working. Your child is directly involved in the search for solutions. It's not a confrontation with your child, but a request for cooperation.
A few strategies at the heart of positive parenting effectively improve daily life and foster good behavior in children.
Recognizing children's emotions
Welcoming your child's emotions and reluctance brings better results than confronting them by simply saying "no.” Showing empathy, while validating emotions, can soothe your child and satisfy their need to be understood.
Encouraging good behaviour
Rather than dwelling on disruptive behaviours, it's important to focus on good behaviours by explaining them and bringing out the positive in a situation. Your child will be motivated to replicate these good behaviours.
Repair rather than punish
As mentioned above, when a child commits an inappropriate act, the solution lies in repairing the situation rather than punishment. Allowing children to make amends gives them food for thinking about their actions' consequences.
Help them think about their actions
To encourage children's autonomy, asking them questions instead of giving them orders is practical. This encourages them to think and develop a sense of responsibility. Offering them choices is also an effective approach.
The possibility of making mistakes
There is no perfect model for raising our children. And parents are not perfect. Introducing positive parenting into a family is a long-term process. It's perfectly normal to make mistakes and feel overwhelmed by events. Excessive pressure and expectations are often harmful. The important thing is to go easy on yourself and view mistakes as opportunities to learn.
Find your happy medium and aim for balance!
Text written in collaboration with Vie de Parents