Pregnancy week by week



Positive parenting


Positive parenting is about bringing out the best in your child. When we point out where our child is going wrong, we unwittingly give our child lots of attention for negative unwanted behaviour. It also undermines your relationship with your child. Your attention and praise is one of the biggest motivator for your child. Not only will this influence your child’s behaviour in a positive way, it will also make your child feel happy, loved, wanted and secure and this will form the basis of his lifelong confidence and self esteem. Make your child feel great. You can do these in many ways, for example by being a positive role model, giving positive accurate feedback, identifying and redirecting your child’s inaccurate beliefs and by being spontaneous and affectionate.

Positive parenting bases on a completely different approach to child raising than the one used a generation ago as it emphasizes rewarding and praising good behavior rather than punishing misbehavior. For this approach to work you need to set some clear boundaries and rules. Your child needs to know exactly what he is allowed to do and what you strongly disapprove. He also needs to understand why he is not allowed to do a particular thing so that he does not avoid doing it due to the sanctions that will follow. For that reason, it is crucial that you take time out to explain your child why you say no, if you do and make sure that he understands. There may be times when you will need to raise the tone of your voice to get your child to do what you want, however, use this as the last resort and make sure that your child understands that it is the misbehavior you do not like and not him.

Being a good parent is probably the most difficult job, especially, when you are faced with challenging situation. After all, it is not easy to stay calm when your little one is shouting and screaming in the public place. Instead of shouting at your toddler or punishing him, you should first take a deep breath and try to resolve the situation by using one of two positive parenting approaches that work in most cases. The first one is to offer a reward such as a walk in the park or play a new game together at home if he or she will calm down and behave well, while the second one is to try to make your kid understand why he cannot get everything he wants instead of saying no and expecting to obey without questions.

Praise your child when he behaves well and tell him how happy you are when he behaves that way. If you ignore good behavior and always criticize misbehavior, your child may start using it to draw your attention. As discussed, criticism and blame are often destructive forces that lead only to further difficulties and misery. The key to avoiding these is to judge the behavior, not the child. Instead of saying “you are bad”, it is much more constructive to say “hitting is bad”. The child can do something about hitting but cannot become a different person.

It is very important to be aware that all children strive for their parents’ attention and if they cannot get it the nice way, they may try to attract it with misbehavior. For that reason you should make sure that you give much more praises than criticisms and be patient because you cannot change too many things at once. Also, do not feel ashamed to ask for help or advice if necessary because it does not make you a bad parent.

                                        Encouraging good behaviour

As a parent, you have an important job as you teach your child about your values and beliefs. Starting when they’re young is a good time to teach them good behaviour because they respect and want to be close to you. Also, young children want their parent’s approval so childhood is a good time to teach them positive behavior. This and you’ll see all your hard work pay off in the future when they grow into a happy teenager. Childhood changes when they become a teenager, as they’ll probably rely on their friends then. Parents have a vital job teaching their children how to be a good person.

Using positive feedback is a great idea. That means giving lots of praise to build up your child’s self esteem, and talking about their strengths and not weaknesses. Your opinion of your child has a huge impact on what they think of themselves and so being too critical can damage confidence.

When your child does something good, praise them and explain why. So rather than saying “Good girl” when they put their toys away, say “You’re a good girl for putting your toys away and helping me.” Your child will see the value of good behaviour.

You can use positive feedback when your child is misbehaving too. That doesn’t mean buying them sweets when they’re being naughty, but making it clear that you’re upset about their behaviour, not them. That way, your child won’t see themselves as a bad person and will know they have the power to change their behaviour.

It’s up to you to set rules and boundaries in your child’s life. Always be consistent with boundaries. For example, don’t tell your child off for jumping on the table one minute, and then let them do it the next.

Another way to make sure your child grows up happy and secure is to have fun with them. Modern life is often so busy that many parents don’t have time to sit down and spend time playing with their child. Play is important because it helps your child feel good about themselves. Having fun with your child is as important as them having their own friends and hobbies. If you look closely, you will notice that the times your child has behaved better are bound to coincide with times when you have given the child extra time, set clearer limits, been more consistent, shouted less, etc.

To sum up:
  • Use positive feedback to build up your child’s self-esteem
  • When you praise your child, explain exactly why you’re pleased with them

  • Use play to teach your child good behaviour too.

  • Noticing and rewarding good behaviour is the best way of influencing your child’s behaviour.

  • Be realistic about what you expect from your child

  • Listen to and talk to your child- it’s good to talk!

  • Do things together with your child that you both enjoy

Positive parenting strategies-are they in place?

  • Are you paying attention to your child’s bad behavior and ignoring his good behavior? If  so,  make sure that you ignore bad behavior where possible and attend to good behavior.
  • Do you and your spouse agree on which approaches to try? Are you working together or against each other? Be consistent.

  • Have you tried any solutions? Have you been consistent in what you have tried? Don’t give up too soon.

  • Does your reaction to your child remain constant despite your mood? Are there times when your style is more effective than other times? Firmness, consistency, praise, and clear instructions work better than hostility and blame. Be aware of your reactions to your child. Keep firm and positive regardless of your mood.


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