The issue of parenting has been of interest to psychologists all around the world and with the changing family dynamics and the technological society, it is garnering even more attention. The word parenting is a simple one, but its meaning differs a lot. At its core, parenting is a natural love and mutual understanding between the parent and their child. Every parent tries to give love and take utmost care of their children.
Encouraging the Child Development
Parents need to understand the behavior of the child during different stages of their development and it is extremely important for them to not compare their child to other children. Their child may be colloquial, normal, but they should understand that each child has their unique qualities and recognize them. Parents need to also understand that education is a part of their child’s life, not their whole life. The children may be allowed to select the discipline for higher education and the subsequent profession following their aptitude, interest, and feasibility. For children with a disability, their functional needs, and education should be taken into account.
In addition to this, personality development and independence should be a priority for parents rather than keeping the property for their future. It is also essential to maintain a good parent-child relationship, one in which both parties are comfortable communicating their feelings to each other. Taking note of the environment around the child, their food, and other habits, is a key factor adding to the children’s emotional and overall, holistic development.
Foundations of Positive Parenting
When it comes to positive parenting, refers to teaching the child any activity by showing them what, how, and why to do it. Children learn from their experiences with their parents and also model their behavior after their caregivers, so parents should be careful of how they behave with and around children. Positive parenting is a continual parent-child relationship that includes caring, teaching, guiding, leading, communicating, and empowering. It also includes meeting the needs of the child in a consistent, non-violent manner. It is warm, thoughtful, and loving, but not permissive.
The need for positive parenting starts right from the birth of the child. Attachment with both parents is equally important. Several types of research over the years, like Coleman’s (2003), have shown the positive impact of secure attachment with parents on developmental outcomes and social self-efficacy. This benefit extends towards mitigating the negative impact of multiple familial risk factors like a socioeconomic disadvantage, family stress, single parenthood on children’s behavioral problems in the subsequent years. When children, including those who begin their life with significant disadvantages, experience positive and supportive parenting, they thrive. Positive parenting also minimizes health and opportunity disparities by armoring children with large stores of emotional resilience.
Parenthood: Strategies and Styles
The mechanisms of positive parenting consist of several aspects that include, but are not limited to emotional regulation, teaching and leading, positive communication, warm and democratic parenting, parental supervision, autonomy-promoting parenting, supportive and optimistic parenting, and providing the children recognition. The authoritative and developmental styles are specifically associated with positive parenting. There are also various programs available for positive parenting like Parent’s Circle Program, Home Visiting program, The Early Head Start home-based program, Raising Safe Kids Program, New Beginnings Program, Family Bereavement Program, Incredible Years Program, and many others found all over the world. Positive parents support a child’s healthy growth and inner spirit by being loving, supportive, firm, consistent, and involved. Such parents go beyond communicating their expectations but practice what they preach by being positive role models for their children to emulate.
Another important aspect is maintaining a proper work-life balance. It benefits parents as they can give children time, but also motivates employees to work better, give them enough leisure time, and develop a healthy lifestyle. Respecting their time, shutting off electronics, learning to say no are just a few ways towards a good work-life balance. Also, working parents need a ‘posse’ or a group of similar parents to engage with, learn, get and offer help.
Balancing Parenthood and Professional Life
It is also important that parents understand that a child needs both strictness and warmth for balanced growth. Both spouses need to work collaboratively, never speak negatively about each other in front of the child and handle a situation one at a time. This can be done by dividing departments between the parents equally and knowing that adjustments can be made along the way of development. The parents have 5 core challenges to deal with, when it comes to balancing work and child: Transition, identity, loss, practicalities, and communication. The transition to work after pregnancy, juggling identity as a parent and a manager, communicating their mixed feelings with the spouse, deciding who gets to stay home to take care of the sick child, and dealing with the loss of missing important milestones like the child’s first step are few examples of such challenges.
Dealing with these challenges can be difficult for parents but they should understand that not everything is solvable and they have to do whatever they can then. Still, Auditing, planning, rehearsing, and framing can prepare the parents beforehand for the transitions in their life that are to occur with their responsibilities as parents as well as in balancing daily hassles. In the long term, using today, plus 20 years of thinking for the child’s future can aid as well. Lastly, revisiting and recasting can help in understanding that it is a learning process as parents can go back and learn from their past mistakes.
The Power of Positive Parenting
To summarize, the base is that parents are never alone. Positive parenting begins early, applies to all developmental periods, and empowers the children to reach their potential as resilient and fulfilled individuals. It is an effective, evidence-based approach that is not punitive or permissive. It applies to a vast array of challenges, and the solutions are both abundant and accessible. Working parenthood is not easy. It is big, complex, emotional, chronic, and sometimes an all-consuming struggle. But as with any challenge, the more one can break it down, the less daunting it becomes.