Positive Parenting Is Effective Parenting
What is positive parenting? It involves parenting skills like
parenting with love and logical consequences, and parenting
Effective parenting uses parenting skills developed from an in
depth understanding and knowledge of children in mind.
However, first parents need to realize there are
some things they know about children, and other crucial
things they need to learn.
For example, many parents are familiar with the following
information, regarding children:
- Children love play.
- They possess tremendous mental and physical energy.
- Childhood is a stage of rapid physical and mental
growth. Therefore, kids are changing at a rapid rate.
- Youngsters need more sleep than adults, but many parents
don't know sound sleep stimulates increased growth hormone
production and aids memory.
- They are dependent on adults for care, protection,
- They imitate others more and are more prone to be
influenced by their peers and technological devices, like
television, than adults are.
- They are much more prone to imagination and acts of
creativity than adults.
The aforementioned information begins to give us some
knowledge pertinent to developing effective parenting skills.
However, parents must, not only stay abreast of crucial new
knowledge, but gain sufficient understanding of the new
knowledge so they can apply it to effective parenting.
Some unfamiliar areas that are pertinent to positive parenting
are the following:
- Many children are not getting enough playtime for optimal
mental and physical growth and happiness.
- Mentally, children are more sensitive and vulnerable
than adults. Hence, they are more prone to psychological
injury. For example, the so-called "cry baby" grows up to
be a tough as nails macho man to compensate for his
sensitivity at a younger age.
- Young children, in particular, are likely to see parents
almost like gods than the human beings they are.
- Extra brain stimulation for very young children is now
thought to be unnecessary.
Dr. William Greenough
that the rich stimulatory environment of a rat is about
equal to the every day environment of most young
children. Mobiles, flash cards and extra music lessons
don't create more brain synapses.
- Positive emotions (and hence positive parenting)positively
- Positive parenting works for the same reason learning
does. The good feelings created by positive parenting help
kids learn what their parents are teaching them.
- Children who receive unconditional love are more likely
to have confidence in themselves and grow up to be happier
- Research by neuroscientist, Dr. Brian E. Walsh,
At two years of age when the child, realizing that he
indicates there exist two critical periods in a child's life:
exists as a self independent from his parents, begins
saying no, and at fourteen when his impulsivity rises to
break the parental bonds in preparation for adulthood. Dr.
Walsh says that this is all hard wired into our brains.
Knowing these two developmental land marks is critical to
developing better parenting skills through positive parenting
Hence, what is positive parenting? It is first, gaining
information and knowledge about our children, and, second,
applying that knowledge to deepen our understanding of our
children in order to develop better parenting skills.
Perusing the above list and applying that knowledge to the
question to positive parenting, we note the following:
- Adding together the fact kids are more psychological
vulnerable and sensitive than adults, with the fact
fourteen years of age is a critical and impulsive time,
helps us understand why teenagers are prone to suicide.
- This impulsivity issue adds more weight to the prohibition
against teenage drinking or drug abuse. One can, also,
understand why teenagers would be less safe driving.
What's more, teenagers are easily influenced by their peer
group. This explains the importance of parents seeing that
their children pick the right friends.
- Children's, and particularly, teenager's impulsivity, along
with their greater psychological sensitivity and
vulnerability, adds weight to the admonition that parents
get their children into counseling immediately or "sooner"
if they suspect a problem.
- The greater psychological sensitivity of the child explains
her greater vulnerability to the influence of television,
computer and video games. Youngsters greater imitative
tendency explains why they may be more liable to act out
what they see on TV.
- The rapid changes of the teenage years explains why parents
are apt to miss a serious change for the worse.
- It's so easy for over worked, stressed parents to take for
granted that their youngsters are like themselves, when, in
fact, often, they aren't.
Now, it is becoming clear that for effective parenting, it is
important to possess a basic understanding of the critical
periods of childhood.
Some good positive parenting tips follow from Dr.
Walsh's research. He goes on to advise parents about how to speak to
"In discussion, look them in the eyes, at eye level, not,
down at them
- Focus more on their feelings, challenges, and needs,
rather than their behaviors
- Demonstrate that you value their uniqueness and
- Support their drive to expand their confidence and social
- Take a deep breath, and think before you speak. Your
words have a lasting impact.
Dr. Walsh's positive parenting tips, develop parenting skills,
establish clear communicative contact with the
child, dive beneath behavior to feelings and needs, show
respect for the child, and encourage mental growth.
found that nature contributed to early
learning by providing rich and varied stimulation due to
its diverse natural play setting. Students attending an
outdoor all weather school were found to have greater
physical development and stronger powers of concentration.
The findings were significant; children at the outdoors
school reached a more advance stage of physical
development, and acquired stronger powers of concentration.
The differences in development can be explained as a
consequence of the dependent variable spending more time
outside in a more diverse natural play setting. Both
findings can be interpreted as the beneficial effect of
strong sensory integration.
Perhaps, it is becoming clearer why an understanding of child
development helps parents develop better parenting skills through positive parenting.
Other important research indicates infants are born to read
our emotions. Play facial games with them: For example,
smile and see if they smile back. Take infant's emotions
seriously. This is how they communicate. This is how they
tell you how they feel. Learn to read their feelings. And
be aware they are reading your emotions. Treat infants
with the respect they deserve as developing human beings.
Knowledge of the importance of reading and storying is
another issue important to understanding why positive parenting
The importance of reading and telling stories is taken for
granted in our society, but it shouldn't be. Vital to
children's learning is the ability to story their lives and
that of the world they experience. Storying is vital to
Read the remarkable story
of how one researcher,
Renee Fuller, discovered how to help children with learning
disorders learn to read as fast as children without such
disorders by creating stories in a brain friendly way.
Regarding her approach, Dr. Fuller goes on to say:
"Not only is it easier for us to remember story-engrams and
the stories we build with them, but more important, story-
engrams function as our thinking units. Bits of information
cannot function as thinking units, that is unless we make
story-engrams with them. Fundamental to human thinking is
that we are story bound. Organizing the stimuli that
surround story form is how we structure our world; how we
make sense out of our environment; how we describe cause
and effect relationships, and every other relationship. So
basic is this way of organizing information to human
thinking that it is difficult for us to imagine a storyless
world. Try it. Can you think of something without making a
story-engram out of it? Not easy, is it?"
An important conclusion taken from Dr. Fuller's article is
that IQ is more a measure of what computers can do and
storying is more a measure of human intelligence. Hence,
not only encourage your child's reading with positive parenting
but participate in the process by telling, for
example, interesting stories about your family and
To understand how storying improves learning, click here.
Points to ponder, regarding developing parenting skills through
- Infants are born understanding parent's emotions. We
parents need to think about this when communicating with
them because we have the power to influence them positively
- Youngsters are great imitators. We need to think about
this imitation the next time we turn on the TV, or let them
play with computer and video games. Remember too, they
possess vivid imaginations that can sometimes confuse
fantasy with reality. What are they learning from these
- The impulse ridden, critical teenage period that begins
about fourteen years of age bears attention due to the
potential for self-harm or suicide.
- It must always be borne in mind that youngsters are more
psychologically sensitive and vulnerable than adults. They
often do not snap back like adults from psychological
challenges like they do from physical injuries.
- The fact the younger the child, the more apt she is to
perceive an adult as a god-like figure, is important for
parents to bear in mind since by actions and communications
they can influence their youngsters either for the good or
- Reading stories and storytelling is vital to a child's
learning because the child understands the world and
communicates that understanding through storying.
- IQ may be a measure of computer ability rather than
human intelligence. Storying ability may be more a measure
of human intelligence. This suggests effective education
should more mimic storying than computer rote learning
- Old fashioned outdoor play may be more stimulating for
brain learning than indoor play with technologically
advanced toys and games.
- Creating and maintaining positive emotions in our
youngsters results in greater learning and easier parenting.
- By definition normal play results in children experiencing
positive emotions since play is fun. However,
it is understandable how television, computer and video
games can have negative influences on children by causing
them to feel negative emotions, like aggression and
frustration, which can interfere with both positive
parenting and learning.
In the final analysis, for the many reasons cited above,
our children's world is likely very different than we think
or imagine. This is why effective parenting can prove
challenging for parents. Our tendency to take children for
granted or not take them seriously is a mistake. The fact
we live in a society that, generally, neither gives parents
the time to get to know their children nor actively
encourages positive parenting to develop the parenting skills
required to do so is unfortunate.
Some positive parenting points to take home:
- For the reasons already mentioned, parenting is probably
the most challenging job on earth. Now you know that, and
you know why. Many parents don't. So give yourself credit
for learning more about parenting by accessing this site.
- Parenting is complex and requires skill, but you're ahead
of the game because you've learned a number of the pitfalls
and where to go if you need help.
- You now know how to influence your child for the better.
You can utilize this knowledge to help your child and
improve your relationship.
- Much of parenting healthy children has to do with
bringing positive parenting influences into your youngster's life.
You too will benefit from these positive influences. For
example, it feels good to be a positive parent.
- Furthermore, the success you experience, utilizing some
of the skills and knowledge mentioned herein, should give
you a positive feeling of competency and confidence as a
- As you discover, learn and integrate the information at
this site, and it displaces some of the outdated assumptions
of the past, you may find yourself, not just appreciating
your youngster's uniqueness, but the mysterious, awesome
individual he or she is. What's more, marveling at your
child, you may realize that you too, as the parent, are part
of this unique and mysterious story.
Finally, what is effective parenting? It is positive parenting
based upon both knowledge and understanding of our children.
Click, here, and go to child play development for more
information on positive parenting.
Is your child addicted to TV? Click here to find out.
Did you know child suicide rates are skyrocketing but that
good old fashioned child's play may help decrease this
Click, here, for more information.
Did you know that good, old fashioned play is best for
your child's mental-physical health and learning?