What is and how to apply positive parenting?

Positive parenting is an educational style that combines love, respect, and limits. Find out how you can help your child develop fully.

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz on October 28, 2021.

Last update: October 28, 2021

All parents approach the task of raising their children with the best of intentions. The objective pursued is always the same: educate healthy and capable children to become functional adults. Today, much is said about positive parenting for this purpose.

This parenting model is being chosen by more and more families, not only thanks to the good results it brings, but also because it is more pleasant to apply than other styles based on fear, imposition and authoritarianism.

Under the prism of positive parenting, the family functions in a harmonious and fluid way, and this is related to a higher quality of life for all its members.

What is positive parenting?

Positive parenting is a way of Paternal and Maternal totally respectful towards the child.

Positive parenting aims to raise happy, empathetic, and autonomous children by focusing parental actions on the greatest good of infants. That is, parents have to encourage and guide their children so that they can reach their full potential as individuals.

It is not about dominating, imposing or achieving obedience, but about accompanying the child’s development process from love and respect by making parenting a rewarding experience for everyone.

Educating ceases to be perceived, then, as a struggle or an exhausting sacrifice to begin to be seen as a process of support and guidance.. This educational style bears similarities to attachment parenting and respectful parenting, as it is based, above all, on love and communication.

How to apply positive parenting?

As an abstract concept, positive parenting seems ideal, but you may be wondering how to implement it in a practical way on a day-to-day basis. Next, we will talk about its basic principles so that you can start putting it into practice.

Warm and caring relationships

Love is the basis of positive parenting and therefore must be expressed frequently and openly. Kisses, hugs and caresses are especially important in early childhood, but you also need to show affection through words and actions.

Express to your child often how much you love him or how proud you are of him; Likewise, show them that you enjoy being in their company by spending quality time with them. In this way, you will grow up feeling loved, valid, and important.

Open and constant communication

In positive parenting, you do not educate yourself with orders or impositions, but with dialogue. Because, communication must be present from the beginning and carried out with respect and assertiveness. To talk to your child, try to bend down and get on the same level and look him in the eye.

It is important, when he has made a mistake, to explain why he has done wrong, what are the consequences of his actions and what is expected of him. This helps you understand the background of what happened and be clear on how to act in the future.

Also, remember that conversations are two-way, so You must also be available to listen to the children’s version, your concerns and your feelings, and validate them. By doing so, you teach them to regulate their own emotions.

Zero violence

In relation to the above, there is no room for violence of any kind. This parenting style focuses on empowering, encouraging, and reinforcing appropriate behaviors rather than punishing transgressions. Thus, if you want to educate positively, you cannot punish, humiliate or hit children.

In fact, it is preferable that you keep a calm tone of voice and try not to get carried away by emotional outbursts at the time of educating. Managing your own emotionality is essential to successfully implement this upbringing.

The child as a full individual

Children raised with love and respect tend to be calmer, more self-confident, and happier.

From this perspective, the child is a full-fledged individual and upbringing must always be focused on his best interests. Thus, regardless of your age or abilities, deserves respect, protection and guidance to develop his own path (not the one your parents impose on you).

For the same, the minor’s voice is always heard, their opinions and interests are taken into account and they are allowed to choose and make decisions regarding their own life (of course, always according to their maturity).

Stimulation and autonomy

In addition to establishing a good affective bond and transmitting values, the objective of positive parenting is to promote the optimal development of the child in all areas. For this, it is important stimulate the infant, offer him tools and opportunities to develop his abilities and, above all, foster his autonomy.

In this sense, there is no room for overprotection; It is essential to allow the minor to gradually assume responsibilities and tasks in order to become an independent and outspoken person.

Guide and limits

Finally, it should be emphasized that educating positively is not synonymous with being permissive. Limits are as important as affection, since they constitute the structure that provides security children and prepares them to face the world.

However, these limits must be agreed with the minor and known to all. Your child has to know the reason for these rules and participate in their establishment. In this way, you will be much more involved in its fulfillment.

The benefits of positive parenting

As you can see, more than a series of guidelines, positive parenting is an educational style, a way of approaching parenthood. Depending on your own history and your previous beliefs, it may be more or less easy to implement it, but in reality it offers multiple benefits:

  • Children develop good self-esteem and high self-confidence. This is because they have grown up feeling loved and with their emotional needs covered.
  • By offering them respect, minors respond in the same way. Thus, they tend to be calmer and less confrontational for they do not feel the need to be defensive. Also, they are more likely to collaborate with parents and house rules.
  • Family relationships are fluid and harmonious because power struggles are not established.
  • Children develop greater empathy, high emotional intelligence and better communication skills, skills that will be very useful in different areas of your life.
  • By promoting independence and autonomy, minors learn to be responsible and are not afraid to take on challenges. This will make it easier for them to take charge of their own lives as they get older.

Definitely, positive parenting achieves a better quality of life for parents and children it allows them to bond from mutual love and respect. However, implementing this educational style can be difficult at the beginning and doubts are common, so support for families is essential.

Parenting schools and other public programs can offer you the guidance you need to educate on a day-to-day basis; do not hesitate to make use of these resources.

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