Parenthood is one of the most challenging phases in life. It goes beyond staying up late for your baby, understanding a moody teenager, and settling rivalries among siblings. It is a long bumpy ride, but seeing your child grow under your care and guidance is indeed pure bliss and joy.
The problem lies in our culture and society today. Children have access to media that eventually influences them. Parents now face a hard time and several challenges in doing all the parenting duties.
A Look at Your Current Situation
Every stage your child enters comes with a great deal of understanding the transition in their principles, attitude, and behavior. You may reach the point of asking yourself how can you keep up with these changes. Your ability as a parent to take it in and use it to build a closer relationship with your child should be in place to match with these shifts. A parent would want to become that enthusiastic, dependable, and reliable figure to their children. Who wouldn’t want it, right? You must understand your role as a parent. It would be an endless list of responsibilities and duties as your child grows. That is why parents must be endowed with the ability to foster a positive home environment that leads to positive child development. Parents can translate these ideas into realization with a positive parenting approach.
The Power of Positive Parenting
Do you remember your toddler throwing a tantrum over the toy or food or your teenager insisting on going out with friends? How about the time when your kid misbehaves in public places or did violence towards other children? Does your irritation increase with these circumstances? What would you do if other children intimidate your son for having physical incapacities and gaps? Parenting is indeed a roller-coaster ride of emotions and self-reflection of one’s ability to parent a child. However, parents need to realize this — your child’s behavior in such settings, appropriate or not, reflects his upbringing at home. Parents provide most of the growth environment. What you expose your child to from his early years and beyond is what he perceives as your influence on him. What he sees about you is what he will probably do to others. Your child reflects you.
Creating your Child’s Outlook in Life
Consider the life of Sampson Gordon Berns or famously known as Sam Berns. His parents played a big role in his outlook on life, behavior, and engagement of himself towards others. Sam Berns has this condition called Progeria. It is an extremely uncommon and fatal condition that speeds up the aging process of a child. It is a simultaneous state of premature aging and death. Children with Progeria have only an average of 13 years to live. Imagine the burden of this on the end of his parents, and by the way, they are both physicians! They know better than anyone else. They know how it feels; the determination to finding a cure for such a disease is surreal. The weight of the circumstances on his parents’ shoulders was heavier than anyone could have imagined.
Sam shared one interview he did at TED Talks. The interviewer asked him what would he wanted the most for people to know about him. His response was simple and yet compelling. He just wanted people to know that he has a happy life. With this very positive perspective in life, brimming with so much inspiration, his parents did a magnificent job raising him. They provided him with a home environment, fostering a positive and encouraging atmosphere. Though he lacked physical progress because of his condition, his personal development exceeded that of a 17-year-old. How do you think Sam, given his fatal condition, made so much positive impact not only on his friends but also on many people? How do you think Sam could live a happy, inspiring, and fulfilling life? It all roots down to his parents’ behavior towards him.
You are Your Child’s Support System
Sam had a dream of playing snare drum with his high school’s marching band. The problem was that he had some logistical issues with the snare drum. He can’t carry a regular one because of his condition. His parents collaborated with an engineer to produce a snare drum harness Sam could carry. On a halftime break of a baseball game, Sam performed with the marching band! His parents gave him the support he needed to make one of his dreams come true.
Sam pointed out three important notes about his philosophy of a happy life. One of them was surrounding yourself with people who you wanted to be with. He sincerely gave credit for those people who are his constant support system — his family, his parents, and friends. You are your child’s support system, remember that. Support your child on matters that develop their personal and all other areas of development. There is nothing compared to the joy and happiness your child felt when they know someone supports and believes in them
What you Show to your Child Matters
The story of Sam is one of the many stories that depict the power of positive parenting. The power of positive parenting lies in the environment provided by parents to their children. Sam had so much imperfection, yet his parents positively faced the circumstances. They showered him the love, support, care, and understanding he needs. As a result, it produced the witty, cheerful, intelligent Sam. Same thing with your children; they have imperfections but imagined what positive parenting could do to your children. Every child fostered with so much love, support, and nurture from their parents can also radiate the same values to his friends, relatives, and even to strangers. Take it from the friends of Sam.
A lot can happen as you go along with your parenting journey. You can get annoyed, yell loudly at your child and even question your parenting approach. However, the story of Sam reminds us of how powerful positive parenting is. It played a big role in his personal development despite being bullied and avoided by few people because of his condition. Sam left a big impact on the lives of many. He went from being a push around and avoided child to an inspirational and motivational speaker. It all boils down to the upbringing his parents exposed him. If you’re reading this now, you probably seek information and guidance to practice positive parenting.
List of Book References for Positive Parenting
Below are few books on Amazon that will help and guide you through:
1. This is a best-selling book for understanding and dealing with your child. It will help you discover your child’s love language and how to speak it. It also gives tips on letting your child feel loved, even when disciplined.
2. This book is a no.1 best-selling book in family conflict resolution. It helps you deal with your child’s negative feelings and behavior. It also teaches how to set firm limits while maintaining a good relationship with your child.
3. This book is a best-seller for improving your child’s self-confidence. It helps you discover his inner strength by giving him support and encouragement through tough times. A perfect way to connect with your child.
How old should the child be to begin positive parenting?
Positive parenting begins from and will always begin at the very beginning. The parent-child bond starts when the child is still a baby, this lays the foundation for positive parenting to come into the picture. This bond refers to the secure attachment the baby feels from his parents. He recognizes his parents’ face, warmth, touch, and even their voice. His sense of security, love, and nourishment develops. His view of his parents provides for his needs, and he can depend on them grows. This bond is important in the rearing years; it builds and strengthens the parent-child connection.
Building the Connection with your Child
I, for example, have three nieces. I had experienced looking after them when my sister, their mother, is not around when they were still babies. There was a time when he should be peacefully sleeping already. The next thing I heard was his ear-piercing cry. He requires me to do something. I tried to put the nookie in his mouth and see if it works. Nope, he spits it out. I picked him up and carried him to let him sleep again. Still, he does not stop crying. Then it hit me, the smell, the sensation. He needs to change his diaper. Instead of going back to sleep, he points his finger to the door. It means he wants me to roam him around the front yard, and we did. Just after few minutes, he fell asleep on my shoulders.
I know this is a basic situation, but grasp the importance of building a connection with your child. Meeting their needs and knowing they can rely on you is a big thing for them. This builds a close connection and bond with your child. They know they can depend on you. To this day, when I visit my nieces back at their home, they would run their way to me and give me the tightest hug they could give. My other niece would prefer to greet me differently. She will take her time going to me, and when she reaches my spot, she beams with her sweetest smile. I build this connection with them because I took the time to build it.
Interactive Toys for Building Connection with your Child
You might as well build a connection with your child by bonding with them and have some quality time through games. Here are some toys you can use to interact with your child:
1. This toy is great for teaching your child about emotions. You can play with your child by using the mirror and help them identify and understand their emotion. Build that connection by instilling a noble concept of understanding emotions in them.
2. This is an interactive toy that enhances cooperation and teamwork while having fun. Spouses can team up with each child and strategize together their moves. Build a connection with them through open communication and by listening to their solutions as well. This way, it enhances their analytical and problem-solving skills too.
3. This a perfect toy for enhancing the logic and creativity skills of your child. Bond with your child by building together anything you find creative to build. Ask what his work means, and from there, you can also share what your thoughts are. It won’t be long before you build that connection by understanding how he views things from his perspective.
Your Connection With your Child is Essential
I cannot stress it enough, but the key point is positive parenting should begin as early as possible. We see mothers take most of the time dealing with the baby for the first few months after the baby is born. However, according to a study in 2020 conducted by nafi.ru, it shows that 66% of men believed both spouses should have equal time spend on their child or children. This means that both parents can establish that attachment and connection with their baby. You may wonder, how can you apply positive parenting? Your children are teens already, and you have not done such a parenting style towards them. Well, to address this concern, I would still say, begin as early as possible. It is even much of a better opportunity for you to practice positive parenting since you’re familiar with how your child behaves and responds to a situation. The important thing is that you build that attachment, that bond and connection to your child. Let them feel that sense of security and deep connection from you.
Control vs. Boundaries
Parents should note the difference between setting up boundaries for and controlling your child. Let’s discuss more of these below.
How does trying to impose control on a child’s behavior when they are small impact how their personality develops as they get older?
Imagine doing the groceries at a staple market, and you got this trolley that swerves. It moves towards an undesired direction and very difficult to control. You wanted to turn right, but it goes left or won’t go right at all. You end up exerting so much effort, hoping it will go in the direction you directed it to go.
Now imagine that trolley to be your child. Sometimes you wanted your child to do this, to be like this, should be like this, and must be like this. You wanted him to do things right away as you have instructed him to. If this is your approach, then you are likely to have symptoms of being a controlling parent. Instead of letting them do and solve things, you engage and approach it with your perspective. This is where the controlling starts. A controlling parent is more likely to lead or start the process of “obedience” from what and how they see the circumstances rather than from the child’s perspective.
Based on a survey, controlling parents impedes the psychological development of their child. Here’s why. At the early stage of growth, controlling your child affects their ability to develop their decision-making, creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills. Aside from that, it also affects their sense of personal control, which is important to their identity and well-being. Instead of developing such abilities, it shows your lack of confidence in them to do things their way. This will affect the way they view their self — low self-esteem and confidence and the feeling of not being good enough. It will cost the personal development of the child in the long run. The survey further shows that children with controlling parents have low-average academic performance, dependent on others, and even suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. With this kind of home environment, it is only a matter of time before they brought it with them as they grow older.
How to set up boundaries without being tagged as a controlling parent?
Setting up boundaries is between involves mutual understanding, open communication, and cooperation. The very purpose is to have a common perspective and respect towards each other as parent and child. It will be more difficult to deal with your child when he enters the adolescence stage if you do not know where he is coming from. Teenagers have the tendencies to find new identities, interests, and preferences. This is because of their increased engagement outside the home. They have friends, teachers, clubs, classmates, and many other things that will influence them. Building a mutual understanding and respect with your child is as important as meeting your monthly bill payments. Teenagers are hard to deal with when you don’t know why they are doing what they’re doing. At this stage, your child would not be as expressive as when he is a toddler. Many things can grab his attention and focus. Communication is crucial by this time because you will know what they are up to and what interests them. When you met your child halfway, you’ll be able to understand why they are acting the way they are.
As a result, both of you can be sincere with each other. Open communication is letting both parties speak out what they think. You let your child voice out his opinion on the matter at hand. You also let your child know what you think. The key to open communication is to listen. Yes, you read it right. You do not listen to have something to retaliate to your child’s reasoning but to understand what they are trying to say. To put yourself in their shoes and to sympathize with them. Understanding what they feel and being able to sympathize with them leads to cooperation, to submission, to come up with a mutual agreement. You won’t have to deal with heated arguments, followed by a walk-out scene that ends with the sound of a smashed door.
Going back to that trolley you pick up that swerves, one way of fixing it is by applying lubricant oil on the rusty part every few months. It is the rust that causes the friction, making it hard to control. Be the type of parent that acts as a lubricant oil to your child through your parenting approach — positive parenting. Misunderstood behavior is the rust that creates friction between you and your child. The view of understanding and respecting your child by setting up boundaries will create that “lubricated” relationship with your child. You’ll guide them but not force and control them to do things your way. In return, your child will also understand that both of you come up with these common agreements on how to deal with situations. This is possible because of the respect you have built for each other. Mutual understanding leads to open communication; when practiced, it produces cooperation and collaboration with your child.
Is Positive Parenting Worth the Try?
Let me ask you the other way around. Is it worth your time and energy yelling at your child to get something done? What about your “because I said so” rule at home when your child answers back? Of course, not! You only felt guilty and ashamed instead of being satisfied with how you treat your child. Almost every parent, before they became one, has pictured out a happy and close family relationship.
Positive parenting offers an avenue for avoiding these types of scenarios at home. Studies show that it has reduced reports on child behavior problems and parenting issues. This means that positive parenting can be a tool towards creating a harmonious home environment — without the shouting parent and a talking-back child. Poor parenting and family conflicts are determinants of negative child development on behavior, academic performance, and tendencies to vice. That’s why experts point out the importance of improving one’s parenting approach, as this is the most direct changeable influence on a child. Thus, if you ask me, is positive parenting worth the try, your child’s development into becoming a good, confident and resilient child may depend on it.
Effects of Positive Parenting on your Child’s Personal Development
Discover the effects of what positive parenting can do to you, your child, and your family. Below are a few of them:
Promotes child’s social and problem-solving skills
When you allow your child to deal with personal difficulties encountered or problems with his playmate, with your guidance, of course, it develops their social and problem-solving skills. They learn to analyze things and understand other people.
Enhances Self-esteem and Confidence of your Child
You enhance their self-esteem and confidence by instilling positive parenting skills in them, such as helping them learn new things. Assist them, and let them do it the next time around. When they successfully finished it, it boosts their self-esteem and confidence. A sense of accomplishment increases the likelihood of believing in one’s self.
Increases self-efficacy and engagement in prosocial and healthy behaviors
When you recognize the desirable behavior of your child, it increases their self-efficacy. It leads to more pro-social and healthy behavior. A simple “thank you” or “great job” when you ask them to do simple house chores will lead to a more cooperative response from your child. It encourages them to do better, without pressure, each time you ask them a favor.
Teaches children accountability and responsibility
Positive parenting is not only about you, being “considerate” and “warm” to create a positive and fun home environment. It also rests under the premise of setting up boundaries. When you place limits and consequences for growing up your child, it teaches them to learn accountability and responsibility. They learn to be mindful of their actions while putting into consideration the boundaries.
With all the ideas and outlook presented above, positive parenting will not only benefit you as a parent, but it will also be a big impact on your family, relatives, friends, and even in your communities. Whatever parenting style or approach you’re using today in raising your child will always be a domino effect. It will eventually go back to you as the parent. The effect your child has on you is the effect of your parenting style on him.
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