Positive Parenting and child development

Each one of us strives to be the best-possible parent to our little ones. However, series of inevitable challenges in the process may often lead to disappointment and utter confusion.

Certainly, it is rather difficult to come up with the “right” approach, to figure out when to give kudos, when to motivate or to allow the kid to understand that certain behavior is unacceptable to an extent without causing too much stress, while simultaneously setting the right expectations.

Nevertheless, this seemingly puzzling phenomenon isn’t really as tough as it seems, if and only if we take the time to familiarize ourselves with the wealth of information for common parenting challenges, strategies and series of innovative approaches within arm’s reach. Tapping into this knowledge is certainly bound to simplify our parenting experience and make it considerably more effective. 

What is positive parenting really all about?

Before we dive into the very essence of positive parenting, let us take a step back and consider what we really mean by “parents.” In spite of a great deal of focus placed on the role of mothers or parents in general, children’s psychosocial well-being is enormously influenced by each and every individual involved in the upbringing. Therefore, the term “parent” must be applied to a full spectrum (ან array) of individuals whose presence impacts both physical and mental health of children.

As for the term itself, positive parenting has been defined as the continual relationship of a parent or parents and a child or children that includes constant and unconditional caring, teaching, leading, communication and sustenance (Seay et al., 2014 p.207). 

Positive parenting involves active interaction with your child. Once the kid begins to display relatively unacceptable behavior, it is important to explore its motives—reasons for irritability or wrongful judgement. Try to pay extra attention to your child and treat them like a peer, involving them in the decision-making process. Also make sure to provide ample personal space, where they can feel truly independent.

Significant aspect of positive parenting is allowing the child to feel that their voice is being heard and that there is ample support is within arm’s reach.  Specific rules and boundaries must be fully comprehensible and come with a set of explanations as to why it is important to adhere to them. It is equally important to constantly reward your little ones for good behavior and give them kudos. Make sure to reward them for their willingness to try new things, never leave their questions unanswered and always try to lead by example.

Impact of positive parenting on child development

As demonstrated above, a variety of mechanisms and strategies of positive parenting enhance prosocial development of our children. Correlation between parents’ warmth and emotional stability of children is particularly noteworthy. Certainly, there is a variety of other, non-emotional ways that ensure overall development of our little ones, such as:

  • Teaching and guidance enhances children’s self-confidence, cognitive skills and a general skill-set that is essential for [basic] decision-making.
  • Positive relationships enhance children’s social and problem-solving skills, simultaneously improving the parent-child relationship and boosting mutual trust and consideration for one another.
  • Warm and democratic parenting style nurtures children’s sense of self-worth, allowing them to develop into self-standing, sovereign members of the household.
  • Oversight and involvement in children’s everyday lives enhances their relationships with peers. Moreover, such approach leads to establishment of genuine friendships between parents and children, resulting in openness and receptiveness. 
  • Sufficient autonomy of little ones enhances their creativity and pursuit of their true calling. 
  • Support and optimism strengthens children’s courage and hope for a better future.
  • Adequate rewards and kudos empower a child’s sense of self-sufficiency and lead to healthy, prosocial actions and behavior on their part.
  • Maintaining boundaries and taking responsibility for actions enhance a sense of accountability, consideration and concern for others. 

Written by Likuna Khazaradze