“Positive Parenting” is the hot new buzzword in the parenting world, especially with the increase of studies flooding Facebook mom groups about the negative effects of spanking and time-outs.
Parents are looking for alternatives to child-rearing that’s both respectful to their role as a parent and the child’s role as an autonomous human being.
While there is an actual parenting philosophy developed by Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs coined as positive parenting, many people use this term as an umbrella term for several philosophies that fall into this similar category.
Some people switch between the terms “positive parenting” and “gentle parenting” but generally they agree on 3 core values:
- Mutual Respect
- And Understanding
Punitive discipline is replaced with the intention of teaching and guiding children through their decisions and actions, instead of punishing them. While it sounds like something people would embrace readily there are some misconceptions floating around about positive parenting techniques that give the parenting style a bad rep.
Myth One: children are basically allowed to do whatever they want.
Probably the most common misconception about positive parenting is that this means you basically become a pushover, bending and twisting to the will of a mini-tyrant and refusing to use the cursed word “no” in any situation.
Setting boundaries is an important part of positive parenting, it just looks different from what was used on us when we were children. Things, like offering choices, encouraging conversation, modeling the behavior we want them to use, and allowing the natural consequence of their behavior to take its course, are just a few ways to set boundaries. And the word “no” is not taboo.
Myth Two: those who use positive parenting think they’re perfect parents.
This myth comes from the idea that those practicing positive parenting never yell, never lose their cool and remain calm no matter what their child is doing.
We’re always in “Bob Ross” mode and there’s never a frazzled moment. But parenting is difficult no matter what parenting style you choose and as the cliche’ phrase goes “we’re all human” and those imperfections become glaringly apparent when you’re trying to raise a mini human.
Myth Three: Positive parenting means surrounding your whole existence around the happiness of your child.
Sometimes the techniques used requires a bit more of our time and attention than a typical timeout would, and quality time is definitely encouraged, however that doesn’t mean every waking moment is dedicated (or should be) to the whims of our children.
It’s crucial for parents to practice self-care, build their relationship as a couple if they’re married or as co-parents, and nurture interests and passions outside of parenthood.
It’s never healthy to dedicate 100% of your time and energy on one thing. Not only does this put an immense amount of pressure on the parents, but being the sole reason for a parents happiness is a heavy burden for a child to take on as well.
However you chose to implement positive parenting, it’s a great way to raise children to be happy, healthy, and respectful adults that we all hope for our children to be. What myths have you come across about positive parenting?