Positive Parenting, Huh?

As Asians, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ has no real meaning to us. Most of us can attest to having constant reminders that bad behaviour would be curbed with a rod, scolding that embarrassed and the threat of being sold to the ‘Karang Guni’ man.

What exactly is positive parenting?

What exactly is positive parenting?

As Asians, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ has no real meaning to us. Most of us can attest to having constant reminders that bad behaviour would be curbed with a rod, scolding that embarrassed and the threat of being sold to the ‘Karang Guni’ man. We were envious when we watched American programmes where kids got of with a talk and, perhaps, a week’s grounding for any misdemeanour and regardless of age.

However, today’s new age parents appearing to not only be people who do not believe in physical punishment but rather, people who take the time to explain the deed, why it’s wrong and let the kids go scot free. Such parenting even has a term for it. It is known as positive parenting. However, what exactly is positive parenting? Does it really help? What kind of methods and situations does positive parenting aid in? TheAsianParent explores the topic of positive parenting deeper.

I’m positively clueless about positive parenting

Karen Sims in her article entitled, ‘Dealing with Power Struggles’ states the following: Most parents first experience their child’s attempts at autonomy at about age two. They feel challenged and often a battle of wills begins that lasts throughout childhood and the teen years. Parents can turn these trying times into a rewarding growth period for them and their children by shifting their perspective concerning the child’s behavior and by becoming clever and creative in responding to the child’s perceived “headstrong, rebellious, stubborn, frustrating, negative” behavior.

So what exactly is positive parenting? It is a style of parenting that enables you, as a parent, to be able to build your child’s character, improve his self-esteem and make him feel confident and secure. Infants and toddlers are at an age where exploration takes main course and knowing right from wrong is becoming clearer to them. These days, both parents work in a household, hence the level of stress on weekdays is pretty high. Many parents have admitted to snapping at their child for every question he may be innocently asking. Take the time to understand your child. This is his first time exploring different things that have become quite the norm for us. “ Why can’t we live on the moon?”, “Why does the washing go in a circle in the washing machine?” or “Why do dogs have paws and not legs” are just some questions that may seem meaningless to us but not to him. By taking your time to answer your child, you are not only forming a stringer bond with him but instead you are encouraging him to question and learn more.

Longitudinal studies have found that large family size and single-parenthood are linked with greater risk of delinquency among children.

If you are a single parent, then you stand alone as being parent, disciplinarian, playmate and just about everything else to your child. Handling all the duties all alone will definitely take its toll on you and you would be more prone to snapping or, heaven forbid, striking your child over minor things. By doing so, research has found that as a parent, you would be driving your child into the ‘dark side’ where finding pleasure in misdeeds would become a thing of enjoyment for him.

Does it really help?

It certainly does. Adele Wang, in her 20s, remembers how different her parents were from each other with their approach of parenting. She remembers when back in her primary school days, report cards and any additional slips of notes from teachers were usually shown to her father first as he was more diplomatic about such situations and would usually talk about how she landed herself in a situation to receive a note from a teacher. “If I’d shown it to my mother, she probably would have disciplined me without even finding out the rhyme and reason behind the behaviour. I think having a father who remains, even till today, positive about everything that I am part of helps me to be a more confident adult and certainly has forged a very strong bond between us,” recalls Adele.

Results of a Statistics Canada survey found nearly 30 per cent of Canada’s infants and young children have an identifiable social, emotional or intellectual problem—and too many of these are related to a lack of positive parenting.

The types of situations that positive parenting can aid in

Positive parenting should not be applied at certain times or according to situations. It should be applied at all times, regardless of the situations. After all, parenting boils down to the point of consistency. For children, consistency is their pillar of strength. Challenges and hurdles are easily handled with consistency. The outline of being a positive parent is by being understanding, reasonable and having respect for your child. Hence, any situation can be handled when you, as a parent, handles the situation in such a manner.

Parenting is not easy. Anyone who has been a parent for even a year will be able to back up that statement. However, with the right amount of love, positive discipline and interaction with your child, positive parenting will be part of the norm in your household in a matter of time. Be positive parents with positive parenting and you’ll see the effects on your children soon.

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