Positive Parenting: 5 Helpful Tips
Everyone wants to know the secret to doing parenting “right,” or “effective parenting,” but the truth is there is no magical recipe or one way to raise children. Parenting styles are developed at the intersection of a series of experiences, preferences, and childhood memories (or childhood trauma).
While it is impossible to have all of the answers, there are behaviors and ideals you can utilize in your interactions with your children that provide them with the capacity and knowledge to venture into the best parts of themselves. While there is no one way to do parenting, research has posited that the characteristics of a particular parenting style have a healthier impact on children throughout the lifespan. Positive parenting is possible by first understanding the effects of parenting styles on children.
Diana Baumrind (1960), identified 3 common parenting approaches: Permissive, Authoritarian, and Authoritative. Baurmrind’s research motivation was based on observations of specific behavior presentations in pre-school aged children. She classified them in two three groups of children, those who were either “(1) Assertive, self-reliant, self-controlled, buoyant, and affiliative; (2) discontented, withdrawn, and distrustful; [or] (3) little self-control or self-reliance, and retreat from novelty” (Power, 2013.). How do these classifications relate to the impact of one’s parenting style? Baumrind’s work determined that these children’s disposition and actions were influenced by how they were being parented at home.
Parents are their child’s first interaction with the larger themes of life. They have the power to impact the way their child views the world, themselves, and especially their interpersonal relationships. It is imperative that as a parent you have a realistic and thorough understanding of your parenting style and how it can influence your child’s future interactions with themselves and society.
Understanding Your Impact
A person’s physical, mental, and emotional health is heavily affected by their relationship with their parents. Your parenting choices can and will affect your child’s sense of self, ability to make healthy and effective decisions, self,esteem, as well as act as a projective measure for how they present in their interpersonal relationships (friends, partners, etc.). It can feely nearly impossible to feel like you are doing a good job as a parent, however, research has attributed healthy lifestyles and choices to the children of parents who:
- Provide them with structure while teaching them to assert their independence
- Set high standards, but also allow for mistakes and learning hard lessons
- Were nurturing and attentive to their needs and emotions, while also teaching them empathy and how to care for others.
- Taught them to be confident in themselves and their decision-making capabilities
- Enforced rules, gave consequences, but effectively communicated the value in both the rules and consequences
- Validated their child’s opinions
Tips for Positive, Effective Parenting
No matter if you are looking to prepare for children, improve your relationships with your current offspring, or even learn about your childhood, the following tips can help:
- Learn more about yourself and how your childhood has impacted you. One of the most profound ways to improve your relationship with others is to start with yourself. Reading books on parenting styles or intergenerational trauma can have a profound effect on how you interact in your relationships.
- Learn your Attachment Style. How did you learn to form relationships and how were they impacted by the way you learned to communicate?
- Process your own trauma. Again, your relationship with your parents helps to shape the person you are today. Knowing more about your childhood can help you to release any unhealthy thought processes or beliefs. Do you have any childhood trauma? Are you in touch with your authentic self?
- Ask questions. While children are just that…children, they are also human beings who have minds and opinions of their own. Knowing that your child’s feelings and thoughts are valuable, allows you to be more considerate and inquisitive.
- Breathe. You do not have to know all of the answers immediately. Taking time to think before you speak, consider before you assume, and empathize before you react will allow for effective communication in your parent-child relationship.
Recommended Course of Treatment
If you are looking for a Black therapist in Atlanta who can assist you in developing tips for positive parenting, processing your own childhood trauma, or simply developing an understanding of the effects of parenting on children, hop on over to our team page. We have therapists who specialize in Black couples counseling, childhood trauma, and can even work with parents who are looking to increase their personal self-esteem and find their authentic self in parenting.
Powers, T.G. (2013). Parenting dimensions and styles: A Brief History and Recommendations for Future Research. National Library of Medicine. 2013 Aug. 9 (S14-21). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746212/