The dictionary definition of parenting is ‘the capacity to provide for the development of their children; the exercise of individual responsibility and the dependence of the child on both adults (parents) and other people.’
The idea of having a healthy relationship between parents and children is critical in parenting as it ensures that the child develops healthy interactions and social skills. The most common characteristic shared by all the models of parenting is respect for the child’s feelings and trust in the other person (another parent). All the models of parenting are different and unique from each other, but they all share the concern and focus on the well-being of the child, to help them develop into responsible and mature citizens when they grow up.
Being a single mother to two daughters, parenting was not stress-free for me initially. With my husband’s untimely demise, I was left in a very devastated state, where parenting and handling the family alone seemed impossible. However, I decided not to let my confidence shake. I only wanted the best for my daughters, and made sure I raised them to be independent and intelligent.
Today, both my daughters are doing extraordinary things in their respective careers. One lesson that I’ve learnt through my parenting journey is that ‘stress’ about parenting never helps. I understand parents fear of being perfect because they don’t want their kids to grow up and say, “ Aapne humare liye kiya hi kya hai?” (what have you even done for us).
Almost every parent takes the stress of being perfect, so their children love and respect them. However, many times, in the urge of being perfect, we forget to be helpful to our children. Our children do not want perfect parents, they want helpful and understanding parents. If you even make simple changes to your parenting methods, you’ll see how stress-free positive parenting is.
A Healthy Model of Parenting
The most common theories of parenting focus on the involvement of both parents in their child’s life. The theory says that parents create a positive image and influence their children’s behavior and approach towards socialization. The involvement of both parents improves the child’s interaction and socialization skills with other people and strengthens the family unit as a whole. The involvement of both parents also initiates and enhances the children’s physical, mental and emotional development, resulting in a healthier child.
Why Parents Find Parenting Stressful?
Always living in the past
The reason behind stress in parents is that they are living in the past. A parent needs to live in the present moment, for this moment will not last forever. You should be living in the future and hope to see your children mature in time. It will give you enough time to raise your children properly without living in the past. Therefore, instead of living in the past or future, you should live in today and have faith that the future is bright and you can see your children happy in the future. Many times, parents continue judging their children based on their past mistakes. It stresses the parents about a child’s future. However, a child learns from mistakes and moves forward and so should the parents.
Negative talk and approach
One of the main reasons parents stress so much is because they use negative talk and approaches. As a parent, you need to know what your child’s capabilities and limitations are. You also need to be able to communicate your ideas to them in such a way that they understand and feel comfortable with them. When you do this the level of stress you experience in your relationship with your child will go down.
A big part of building and rebuilding trust as a parent is to get your kids to open up to you. One way that you can do this is to use a positive approach in your conversations with your kids. Rather than just telling your kids what they did wrong, try going back to what they did right and compliment your kids on the things they did right. Try talking to them as if they were your child and trying to convey that you want them to do the same thing – approach everyone they meet in school, at church, or in their social activities.
It is also a mistake to tell your kids that everything is going to be OK as long as you are around. Kids respond very well to positive feedback, and when you tell them things like that it gives them hope and builds on their self-esteem. Instead of worrying about what your kids are thinking, talk to them about what they are feeling and how they might be feeling.
Not accepting our mistakes in front of children
Most of the parents stress out when their kids do not understand what they have done wrong. It is because of the fear that their kids will make a mistake and then start crying or throwing a fit. If you are having this sort of tension and worries you need to accept your mistakes as the children do not see anything wrong with it.
If you accept your mistakes you can easily move on with your life and not dwell on them much. You just need to focus on positive things. Children usually tend to get into fights or arguments when they do not get proper appreciation or accept the mistakes. They tend to be stubborn and do not really want to accept what has been done to them. They think it is better not to let any other person ever make them feel guilty. If you do not want to quarrel with your kids all the time then it is the best option to accept each other’s mistakes and move on.
Sometimes it is also seen that children, due to the age difference between them and their parents, tend to forget or ignore the mistakes. It is the time when the parents begin to stress out and ask themselves why their child does not let them know what has been done. It is very important to accept your mistakes and at the same time have some kind of a positive response to them so that it does not create any negative impact on your children. Therefore, always keep in mind that not accepting things is one of the main reasons for stress in your life.
Constantly trying to find faults with the children
Constantly trying to find faults with your kids is a surefire way of driving them away from you. Kids are natural creatures who would rather be anywhere else than with their parents. The minute you start criticizing your kid or making statements about them in front of other people, they will run from you and never want to see you again. Kids are very sensitive to criticism, and the minute you start making it on them, they feel it all the more. If they see that you are always trying to find reasons to criticize them, they will get the feeling that all of this is a part of their growing up and that they are not accepted by you.
If you are doing this, then you are sending the message that you don’t think highly of yourself, and this will definitely have an effect on your child. Constantly trying to find faults with the child sends the message that you are not content with where they are and that you think they are not good enough for you. It will definitely instill a sense of insecurity in your child that they will try their best not to let happen again.
Explain Your Intentions
Parenting is a difficult task, but it doesn’t mean that a parent cannot explain the reasons behind his/her decisions or actions to their kids. One of the most important reasons why a parent should explain properly to their children is that a kid grows up with his/her own set of beliefs, morals, and thoughts which are separate from the parent’s set of ideas and beliefs. Hence, when your child does something that you believe is bad for him/her the kid has a reason to believe that same thing. Hence, when you explain to your child the reason behind his/her actions, you make the kid realize that what he/she is doing is wrong.
Parents need to find a way to explain properly to their children all the reasons. You can use stories, play, or read books about it. However, using tools or any technology will spoil the effect or impact on your kid’s mind. It is very important to understand that your child grows up very quickly and everything that you do will be very important in his/her life in the future. So, it is always advisable to explain your reasons to your child so that he/she understands it in a better manner.
Positive Parenting and Parenting Techniques
Positive parenting is about making effective child-rearing decisions that reflect your values, beliefs as a parent, the child’s early age and developmental stage of development, and also his or her personality.
Positive parenting also means addressing the common challenges that arise in the home environment and dealing with them head-on instead of shying away from them like some people tend to do. A strong positive parenting mindset can result in your children being much happier and healthier both inside and outside the home.
In particular, I would like to encourage parents to focus on behaviors like self-discipline by setting good examples for their children. This requires both the parents to set a good example so that the next generation of leaders have a firm grasp of these fundamental values.
Children will pick up on basic positive disciplines from their parents and this will create a positive upbringing for them as well. In this regard, I would like to stress the importance of early childhood education and the need for parents to find ways of working with a parenting coach in early childhood development to ensure their children are well supported.
Here are some positive parenting techniques that you can apply:
- Be Their Friends First, parents Later
How to build a connection with a child to gain cooperation has been the most daunting challenge of parenting. Parents wish to ensure that their children are taken care of in all aspects of their lives but they have limited knowledge on how to do this successfully. Parents need to be able to build positive relationships and trust with their children. There are a few simple tips and strategies on how to go about building a positive relationship with your child to gain complete trust and cooperation.
Building positive relationships with your child can be accomplished by simply opening your heart and showing your child that you love them without expecting a response. It will instantly build trust, and you will be able to show your child that you do indeed care for them. Another effective way on how to gain complete cooperation from your child is to praise your child when they do something right. Kids tend to mimic the things repeated by adults therefore if your child says something good, they might be praised while doing the same thing.
The last tip is to establish positive role models for your child. Children tend to imitate their parents therefore if your parents act in a friendly manner with other people, your child will also be likely to act that way towards other people as well. You can also gain cooperation from your child by praising them when they do an excellent job. All these behaviors from you will create an ideal and healthy relationship between you and your child. If you are looking for professional help the you can take parent counseling service, it is beneficial because it provides you with an outside view of what is going on within the walls of your home.
- Be Firm, but Loving
There are many things that children do that parents do not approve of. Some parents are so strict that they actually punish their kids when they do not follow their rules and regulations.
Parents who are loving and let their kids do whatever they want as long as they do not break the law and harm anybody else are usually the parents that come to mind when I think about parenting styles. Being loving and letting your kids do whatever they want does not mean you give up on your parental responsibilities for your own safety. These are the parents that take a little bit too much time to get to know their kids and figure out what the child’s personality is.Sometimes it is better to be a little more loving and a little less strict than being too strict and totally neglectful of your kids.
- Be Open To Logical Consequences
Logical consequences, also known as justifications, are an important tool for effective parenting. They can be used to reinforce positive behavior while discouraging inappropriate behavior or unwanted behaviors from children. Parents must be careful to use these consequences so that they do not unintentionally make their children feel guilty or bad about themselves. A child will be confused about what the consequence is and might start to act out in response. Therefore, a parent must create consequences that are logical and reasonable.
A child’s reaction to negative experiences could be influenced by previous negative experiences that they have had. Therefore, a good parent will take the time to consider how their actions affect the child’s behavior. Logical consequences will help the parent make sure that they do not inadvertently cause the child more harm than good. A parent who gives in to their child’s demands may cause the child to act out more so that they will feel justified in getting what they want. Therefore, the child will also gain more power over them by using logic to get what they want.
A child’s behavior can be affected by the environment they are raised in as well. Many children grow up in loving and caring homes where parents use rational consequences so that they do not inadvertently hurt the child. Unfortunately, many children grow up in homes where parents do not practice rational thinking and will unintentionally hurt the child because of their harsh words and emotions. Parents need to realize that it is not the child who is being harmed by their actions but rather the parents. Parents can teach their children to think and reason out logically before acting on impulse or emotion.
- Model Respect
So I’m sitting here trying to explain to a 4-year-old girl why she needs to model respect for others? She’s a great kid, we’ve been going through the same things, and she doesn’t seem to get it. She knows what’s expected of her and that’s what she does, but she doesn’t have anyone to ask these questions to. Why? Because she doesn’t know any better, and if she does, she doesn’t want to hear it.
So I need to go out on my own and tell her that you can teach your kids to be respectful, you can show them what to do when they do something wrong by modeling respect. I know it sounds like an oversimplified way of saying the model, but the point is that when you model something to your children, they copy you. That means that they do have to get it to do it.
It is my belief that parents of young kids should teach their kids to respect everyone and especially those who are older and more respected. Respect means treating someone the way you would like to be treated. Model respect by being sure to answer the door with a “Merry” or a “Hello” when someone comes to visit, even if you don’t know them. Kids need to see that there is a reason for doing things right and that when you model respect, they will also model it themselves.
The concept of parenting has a lot to do with positive parenting, and that’s why it’s important to do everything you can to help your children develop the best type of personality. Children who grow up feeling emotionally secure and accepting of themselves usually turn out well as they enter adulthood, and are often happy people with high self-esteem. Parents who don’t understand this or don’t practice it can create serious problems for their children, though. Positive parenting is very important for the better growth of their children.