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In continuation of Parents Month, today’s focus is understanding what is positive parenting. As the theme for Parents Month notes, “Positive Parenting: Impacting Generations”.
So, the message here is that positive parental practices are so powerful that they will impact our society for generations to come, but what is positive parenting?
For a long time, it was said that parenting was a job that did not come with a manual and that once an adult becomes a parent, they would just “wing it”.
Often, “winging it” meant borrowing from their own experiences with their parents, instructions from the elders in the family, church or communities, and their inclinations based on the personalities of their children.
Researchers studying parental practices – the behaviours that parents use to interact with their child(ren) (Kuppens & Ceulemans, 2019) – have found that some parental practices have shown to be more effective than others.
A combination of parental practices can be defined as parental style.
Positive Parenting Defined
Positive parenting can be defined as parental practices that are directed to the full development of children through non-violence, care, recognition, guidance and the establishment of limits (Consejo de Europa, 2006 in Pastor et al. 2015).
Parenting researchers have characterised the parenting practices that have been associated with better outcomes for children time and time again.
Such parental practices are often characterised by parental warmth and responsiveness towards children, high expectations, rules and boundary setting, and effective discipline and can be seen as an authoritative parental style.
What are its Characteristics?
So then, having defined parental practices that are positive, what are some of the characteristics of this parenting style?
Parental practices that are positive:
- Works with children’s strengths instead of picking at their weaknesses
- Understands children’s developmental needs and respond appropriately
- Recognises, rewards and reinforces positive behaviours
- Shows empathy
- Recognises the child as an individual with rights
- Builds trust, communication and respect in the parent-child relationship
(2021). Retrieved from nct.org.uk: https://www.nct.org.uk/life-parent/parenting-styles-and-approaches/what-positive-parenting-and-how-it-done
Kuppens, S., & Ceulemans, E. (2019). Parenting Styles: A Closer Look at a Well-Known Concept. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(1), 168-181. doi: 10.1007/s10826-018-1242-x
NSPCC. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1195/positive-parenting.pdf
Pastor, C., Ciurana, A., Navajas, A., Cojocaru, D., & Vazquez, N. (2015). Positive Parenting: Lessons from Research. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288829235_Positive_Parenting_Lessons_from_Research