The goal of positive parenting is to build a deep, lifelong connection with your child. It’s the idea that while our primary role as parents may end when our children move out, we’re still a guiding presence in their lives. I don’t want to parent my children once they’ve stepped out on their own, but I do want to be there as a source of wisdom, support, and guidance when needed.
Being a positive parent is about nurturing, empowering, and guiding while being nonviolent. You may be asking yourself, “Am I a positive parent?” I know I want to be.
There are several key components to positive parenting. A positive parent:
Guides, leads, and teaches.
Is caring, empowering, consistent, and sensitive to a child’s needs.
Provides regular open communication, emotional security, and affection.
Shows empathy for the child’s feelings and supports the child’s best interests.
According to author L.R. Knost, “respecting children teaches them that even the smallest, most powerless, most vulnerable person deserves respect, and that is a lesson our world desperately needs to learn.”
Here are some ways being a positive parent can create a lifelong connection with your child:
1. Teach them how to do age-appropriate tasks.
When I ask my kids to do something around the house, and they say, “I don’t know how,” I hear a teaching opportunity. It can be hard to slow down, but helping them learn how to do something new builds their confidence. When you teach them, they’re also learning how to make good choices. When we don’t teach, they become reliant on us or others to do things for them.
2. Give them autonomy (within reason, of course).
Let’s talk about parenting toddlers. If you aren’t there yet, just hang on and get ready for some exciting years. Between the ages of 2-5, both my kids pushed for independence and autonomy. They wanted to be the king or queen of their own world. Aren’t we the same? We don’t want other people running our lives. Look for opportunities to give your child autonomy. Put them in charge of a household chore, let them choose dinner one night, or let them choose their clothes. There’s nothing like going to Lowe’s when your daughter’s in her entire ladybug outfit…been there recently and have the pictures to remember it. Giving them independence promotes creativity, empowerment, and self-determination.
3. Reward positive effort, regardless of the outcome.
I’ve often heard it said, “What gets recognized, gets repeated.” My son just wrapped up a great baseball season and finished the third grade. However, he did have bad games and some weeks where he didn’t do well on assignments, but we didn’t punish him for those times, we rewarded him for his effort. We took him to a local baseball card store. He’s totally into baseball cards right now, so we let him choose a box of cards. We encouraged him to always do his best and understand that sometimes bad days and failures will happen. He knows his effort is what it takes to be rewarded, and he’ll work hard to do his best in every situation.
4. Be a positive role model.
Your children are listening and watching. Remember, more is caught than taught. They see how we treat others, our work ethic, and our kindness or the lack of it. If you want to raise adults who positively contribute to society and care about their neighbors, you’ve got to model that behavior now.
5. Make positive family experiences a priority.
Our kids don’t need extravagance; they need us to create memories with them. I can’t count the number of times my daughter brings up something seemingly small we’ve done as a family. To her, it was impactful. Take a neighborhood walk together, get ice cream after school, or do something for someone else. When we prioritize creating positive memories as a parent, we’re building a lifelong connection with them.
Parenting is challenging, but connecting with your child doesn’t have to be. Be caring, teach, lead, communicate, and provide. Take steps today to build a lifelong connection with your child as a positive parent.
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BlogPic-PositiveParenting-01.png8542048Mitchell Quallshttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngMitchell Qualls2021-06-08 16:46:332021-06-25 10:11:455 Ways Positive Parenting Creates a Lifelong Connection with Your Child