All parents want to raise happy, successful children. But this is easier said than done.
Are positive parenting solutions the missing pieces you need to connect with your child?
Positive parenting solutions are unconventional because they raise both children and parents to be successful, happy human beings.
Yes, you read that right. Because the word ‘positive’ comes from you, the parent.
Unlike helicopter or lawnmower parenting, positive parenting solutions focus on raising yourself first; then, you raise your child. This is why it works.
And positive parenting solutions have lasting generational effects.
A study by Oregon State University has proven that adolescents from positive families are more likely to have close relationships with their peers, be more engaged in school, and have better self-esteem. Then, it impacts the way they form relationships with their spouses and children.
So, what is positive parenting, and how can you use positive parenting techniques to transform your relationship with your child?
What Does Positive Parenting Mean?
The Council of Europe defined positive parenting as “parental behavior that nurtures, empowers, respects children as individuals in their own rights.”
The five major principles of positive parenting are:
- Nurture: respond to the child’s needs for warmth, love, and security.
- Structure and guidance: provide a sense of security, predictable routine and necessary boundaries to the child.
- Recognition: listen to the child and value them as individuals.
- Empowerment: enhance a child’s sense of competence.
- Non-violent environment: exclude all physical and psychological demeaning punishments.
Understanding and employing the principles of positive parenting is the first step to raising happy and successful children. But to ensure we are doing our best, we must also consider the key positive parenting solutions.
We need to shift how we see our children so we can heal humanity and evolve the planet.— Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest
In this article, we’ll focus on three effective positive parenting solutions: secure attachment parenting, conscious parenting, and peaceful parenting.
But what do these parenting solutions look like in everyday practice?
#1: Secure attachment parenting
“Attachment (in the scientific sense) is a relationship in the service of a baby’s emotion regulation and exploration,” explains Alan Sroufe, a developmental psychologist at the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota.
Secure attachment parenting focuses on two things: being available to regulate a child’s needs, and nurturing deep connections with the child.
In other words, securely attached children are highly confident that their parents are available and will respond to their needs — such as helping them to regulate their emotions.
But to regulate a child’s myriad of emotions, parents need to be able to regulate their own emotions first. Because emotions are contagious. If a parent is frustrated or angry, the child will be affected and may have difficulty calming down.
Secure parenting is about nurturing deep connections through quality time. Children receive their parent’s focused attention, helping them feel seen, heard, and important.
#2: Conscious parenting
Conscious parenting is a parenting solution developed by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, #1 NYT bestselling author, clinical psychologist, and renowned international speaker.
Conscious parenting is all about respecting your child as an individual with their own rights, forming a deep connection with them, and being aware when you’re bringing your own unmet needs to your child.
The parents couldn’t accept their child who it is they are because they haven’t accepted themselves for who it is they are.— Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest
What are the unmet needs? Typically, they include things the parents failed to achieve in the past and present sources of pain and discomfort.
Parents don’t want their children to suffer the same setbacks they encountered. And they also want to see their children rise above their own failures as parents.
In the next few sections, you’ll learn a simple question that brings awareness of whether you’re fulfilling your unmet needs or your child’s needs.
#3: Peaceful parenting
The concept of peaceful parenting — created by Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist — is based on three pillars:
- Regulate emotions. Honor your own emotions that affect how you respond to the child.
- Connection. Live in the moment with your child.
- Coaching. Not controlling. Give your child the tools and techniques they need to recognize and honor their own emotions.
The foundation of peaceful parenting is mindfulness.
It encourages you to notice your own emotions, pause, and take a deep breath — which brings you to a calmer state of mind.
Whenever possible, you delay taking action until you feel calmer.
What Are Positive Parenting Techniques?
Positive parenting techniques are parenting methods that are used to create an ideal environment for your child to grow into their most authentic self. But positive parenting techniques will only work if the parents are willing to grow themselves first.
Here are three transformative positive parenting techniques you can use to start transforming your relationship with your child today.
#1: Work on yourself first
To raise great children, you need to be a great parent. And parents need to regulate their own emotions first before regulating their children‘s.
How do you do it?
Identify what triggers you. Then, you can work with your emotions. Dr. Shefali has shared a 3-step process to identify the trigger.
- Write down the last time your child triggered you. “I was triggered because….”
- Go one level deeper. “I was triggered because…. Because….”
- Continue going deeper in the exercise, until you find your own fear that was causing the trigger.
For example, a parent’s anger was triggered because the child doesn’t want to eat vegetables.
Because if he doesn’t eat vegetables, he can’t grow up properly.
Because if he can’t grow up properly, the parent will fail she’s a failure.
And that’s because she’s afraid her child won’t be healthy.
The real trigger is the fear of not raising a healthy child.
Once you’ve identified the root trigger, you can then understand your fear, figure out where it comes from and heal yourself from within.
If you’re interested in Dr. Shefali’s guidance, her free masterclass features a live demonstration that guides parents step-by-step on how to identify triggers using the process above.
#2: Recognize your child as an individual
Your child does not belong to you. They come through you.
You don’t control your child. You coach them. They are born with unique personalities and innate wisdom that are yet to be discovered.
How do you do it?
What you can do now is to become aware of what you’re doing to your child.
That means every time you want something from your child — to learn piano, keep quiet, listen to you — pause and ask yourself:
“Am I meeting my unmet needs or meeting my child’s needs?”
If the answer is about you, you’re under the illusion that your child belongs to you, and you can control them.
If the answer is about the child and they told you they want it, you respect them as unique individuals with their own rights.
#3: Connecting with your child
Connection with your child is the most important mission of a parent. Yet, when we look left and right, we see parents sticking their noses on their smartphones while their children play alone.
Dr. Shefali explains the severity of not connecting with your child in one sentence:
Every hour on the screen is every hour away from interpersonal human engagement.
So, how do you form a deep connection with your child?
Move away from fixing and controlling your child to connecting with your child. Stop labeling your child or your child’s behavior as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Think deliberately, “What makes my child behave this way?”
Ask your child ‘what’ questions and meet them where they are at — try to see the situation from their perspective and understand what caused them to behave that way.
Then, only you teach what’s appropriate, and what’s not.
A Happy, Connected Family
If you were to describe the perfect family, what kind of picture would appear in your mind?
Perhaps a happy family where everyone gathers together to enjoy a shared experience. Your children have grown up and cherished you like no other: they send you flowers, cook for you, and spend time with you. They appreciate you for being the best mom and dad.
A happy and connected family is what all parents want. What gets you closer to that reality are positive parenting solutions.
It’s never too late to transition to positive parenting. So what better time than now?