What comes to mind when you hear the phrase Positive Parenting? Sweet kisses as you lay your sleepy baby in her crib? A heartfelt round of applause when your toddler finally takes to his potty? An enthusiastic cheer as your preschooler sails off on his two-wheeler for the first time?
While these examples are certainly clear demonstrations of positive, loving and supportive parenting, the kind of parenting that children surely respond to, the definition of Positive Parenting digs much deeper than that.
Positive Parenting is the approach to parenting that we believe best supports all aspects of healthy child development. It is based on decades of research into the links between parenting and how young children respond to life's challenges.
What does it mean to be a Positive Parent?
In our terms, a Positive Parent is a loving, understanding, reasonable, protective teacher and model. Each of these words holds special meaning.
A Positive Parent is LOVING.
Research clearly shows that parents must be warm and nurturing, and show unconditional love for their children to flourish. This kind of love is based on listening for and responding sensitively to each child's needs and showing empathy with and respect for each child.
A Positive Parent is UNDERSTANDING.
A Positive Parent is understanding of each child's temperament, and is able to build on the strengths of each child's nature, yet be flexible as time and circumstances dictate.
A Positive Parent is REASONABLE.
A reasonable Positive Parent is consistent and predictable, sets and communicates clear limits and expectations and constructs consequences for irresponsible behaviour that are natural and reasonable, but not punitive.
A Positive Parent is PROTECTIVE.
Because infants and young children are so helpless, they need adults to provide a safe and secure base. To be protective parents must be actively involved with each child, and provide not only a physically safe environment, but also an emotionally safe atmosphere where children can experiment with emotions, relationships and ideas.
A Positive Parent is a TEACHER.
Each parent, in his or her own style and manner, provides opportunities for each child to learn in an atmosphere of acceptance, encouragement and with expectations of success. Positive Parents offer each child choices and encourage children to learn to solve problems and make decisions.
A Positive Parent is a MODEL.
Infants and young children are consummate imitators, constantly looking to their parents for guidance in how to handle life's challenges. To be an excellent role model, parents must know themselves, both internally, regarding their emotions, values and beliefs, and how they appear to others in the family, on the job and in their community.
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