4 Steps to Positive Proactive Parenting

Positive and proactive parenting styles lay the foundation for happy healthy family functioning and lead to good relationships with your children. The multiple benefits of parenting the positive way are lifelong which include: better behaviour in children are easily encouraged, is a more effective way of discipline, teaches children important social and life skills, focuses on solutions instead of punitive punishment, empowers children, raises their self-esteem and contributes to their well being and development.

Step 1 – Parents need to look after themselves

Parents often forget that if they neglect looking after themselves only results in them acting in a reactive manner when having to deal with negative behaviour of their children. The golden rule, when it comes to positive and proactive parenting, say the experts is to take care of yourself first. When you are tired and stressed out, it is easier to makes choices out of frustration, which you are sure to regret at a later stage. Some good reasons to remain calm when dealing with your children are:

  • Finding ways to relieve stress or taking steps to reducing your frustration helps you to cope with the situation in a healthier more effective way.
  • It may come as a surprise to some parents but more often than not children are not the cause of a crisis. Children are sensitive to the energy of their parents and tend to act on tension in order to relieve the tension. An inevitable part of children’s learning and growth is to test the boundaries.
  • The human body responds to stress in different ways; of which one is to act out in an aggressive manner (by shouting or hitting or losing control). To young children this is often frightening and confusing; and may result in causing emotional trauma.
  • Children copy the behaviours of the parents. It is that simple.

Step 2 – Practice positive parenting techniques

To be a parent with a positive pro-active parenting style takes effort and time. There are countless techniques to practise parenting positively. A few of them appear below:

  • Affirm and promote positive behaviour in children by praising such behaviour;
  • Listen to your children and work out problems together;Your words should include a healthier dose of the positive rather than negative or critical;
  • Each child is unique and special in his/her own way, avoid making comparisons;
  • Be clear about the boundaries and limits you lay down (ensure they are fair and age-appropriate).

Step 3 – Make use of support structures

Even parents need a little help some time. Support structures for parents can include members of family, friends and even community support groups. Making use of help available is a sign of strength and maturity; and allows you to be a better parent to your children. 

The internet is also a great resource to find local organisations which help parents wanting a more pro-active parenting style; or discussion forums that can help you answer worrying questions and concerns.

Struggling parents without proper support structures often find themselves behaving as their parents did, even after making promises to themselves never to do so.

Ways parents can use support structures include talking out your frustrations with those that care about you, take time out to treat yourself doing something which gives you joy or take a class in positive parenting.

Step 4 – Build strong healthy relationships with your children

Children love to spend time with their parents in activities that are fun and creative. There is no substitute to building a great relationship with your children than by spending time with them. Simple activities such as a bedtime story, cooking together, watching movies, singing songs, spending time in the garden together or even going for a walk or playing silly games create memories that are treasured and contribute to happy, well-adjusted children.

Choose activities that both you and your child enjoy doing. Not only will this promote a stronger healthier relationship between you and your children, but will leave them with happy memories that will last a life time.

The power of the human touch heals. There should be no shortage of hugs and cuddles between parent and child which children find affirming. Children feel loved, more secure and experience less levels of anxiety. Happier children result in less problematic behaviour.

Experts have long cited that parents and the home environment are critical factors that shape the growth and development of children. Bad choices in parenting can leave children scarred for life and spending years as an adult on a therapist’s couch or in dysfunctional relationships themselves. Positive and proactive parenting makes for happier children, parents and home.