Each one of us are born with some strengths and weaknesses. In an encouraging positive environment our weaknesses can be changed to strengths, and our strong points can be enhanced further. In a dominating, depressing, negative environment, even our strengths can turn into weakness and weaknesses can lead to depression and failure. Same applies to the child. In case of children, their entire future happiness and success depends on the family environment they receive during childhood.
Discipline is important for success and so it is the most important part of parenting. When we talk about discipline, the most common phrases that come to mind are- do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. There is domination, command and negativity in this approach, which can actually suppress the child. Here lies the importance of positive and negative parenting.
The Negative Approach
A child does something and shows it to her parent. The parent doesn’t bother to look out for the good points or the mere effort the child has put in. He/she directly begins searching for the mistakes and says-“See you have made so many mistakes. This should be like this, not like this. Why don’t you learn from earlier mistakes.” This is negative parenting- always pointing out the mistakes!
The intention of the parent is not wrong. She/he is pointing out the mistakes because she/he wants the child to know the mistakes and correct them to improve on his work. Even if it is for the good of the child, the approach is negative. When only mistakes are pointed out day after day, gradually the child will begin to feel as if he is good for nothing. Initially, he may try to correct his drawbacks but in the absence of any appreciation for his efforts, slowly his zeal will die and he may develop inferiority complex.
Sometimes, we concentrate too much on the weaknesses of the child, ignoring the talent. We feel that the talent will automatically take wings and we need to focus on the weaker points. We force the child to practice things that he may not like. The pressure of parents on the child to improve in that field is so heavy that he begins fearing the task all the more. The more we push the child to do that task, the more he will try to avoid it. He may ultimately loose confidence.
Positive parenting focuses on the strengths rather than weaknesses. Weaknesses too can be changed to appreciable attributes through appreciation, encouragement and patience. Be patient with the child when he is slow in learning his/her activities. Give him time to improve. Appreciate the effort and point out the mistakes in a calm, loving way. Say the good words first. This will encourage the child and the next time he tries he will surely try to mend those mistakes consciously. The love and appreciation of the parent or teacher is a stronger motivator to improve. Appreciation and encouragement of the talent helps build confidence in the child. When a child feels happy because you appreciate his talent, he tries to work upon his weaknesses too. The feeling that you love him for all his strengths and weaknesses, makes him feel desirable and he tries to make you happy in return.
Explain the Rules
Follow the rules of the family strictly, but explain their significance to the children. They should know why you want them to follow. Tell them the possible dangerous consequences of not following those rules and the good that comes of following the rules. If you simply say ‘NO Drugs’, the child may feel the temptation to try out. But if you sit with him and discuss the harmful effects, the child will himself think over it and take the decision.
Be the Role Model
Practice yourself what you want your kids to practice. You are the best example for them. It is easier for the child to follow his/her parents and elders in the family. You will not have to say ‘No’ often, because the child realizes the repercussions of doing bad things.. They also observe the consequences of good habits like healthy diet, exercise, kindness etc.
Being positive towards life and situations that arise teaches the child to develop positive attitude too. Look at the brighter side of life, the blessings that you have. In case of mistakes encourage the child to try again instead of scolding. When some bad experience occurs, thank God that something worse did not happen and make efforts to smile and stand up again. Teach the child to find happiness in the little things that happen daily- the simple joys of life. These joys make life happy and give the strength to bear difficult times.
Connect and Get Involved
Parent-child bonding makes both happy. Try to understand the nature of the child as an individual and guide him accordingly. Get involved in his activities to know him better. Play and work together whenever you get time. Dream with the child and together search for ways to achieve that dream. Involve him in decision making and give him options when required.
Practice controlling your anger. When we are angry we say things which can badly hurt. Calm yourself down in trying situations and then analyze how the problem can be solved.
Positive parenting helps develop a sense of well being which is essential for happiness. This sense of well being gives us help develop self esteem and confidence in oneself. The child learns to be more tolerant and resilient in trying situations.The positive outlook helps him to try out new things and accept and learn from failures. All these attributes help him to succeed in whatever he does.