12 Feb Modern Parenting Techniques: Positive Parenting Versus Permissive Parenting
“Parenting is a lifetime job. It does not stop when a child grows up.”
– Jake Slope
With the different modern parenting techniques available today, how will you know which one suits your family?
Days when parents instill discipline the hard way like they do in the army, plus tough love, are nearly gone. For most children, this doesn’t work anymore. And don’t be surprised when you see some parents treating kids more like their friends rather than their children.
Yes, these are just some examples of how parenting has changed through the years. Some, drastically shocking, others greatly impressive.
And when we say impressive, it is positive parenting that is usually described.
Unfortunately, positive parenting is sometimes mistaken for permissive parenting. While the latter has its significant benefits, just like positive parenting, these are two different parenting styles altogether.
What is Positive Parenting?
Everyone will agree when we say that all parents strive to become the best for their children. However, what one considers the best may be different to another. This is why there are so many different approaches to parenting, especially now that times have changed.
Children’s needs and wants have changed.
And parents’ ways of treating their children, as well as the society, have changed, too.
But what remains the same is that you want the best for your children.
This said, you would definitely agree that positive parenting is the best way to achieve this.
According to Seay, Freysteinson, and McFarlane (2014), “positive parenting is the continual relationship of a parent(s) and a child or children that includes caring, teaching, leading, communicating, and providing for the needs of a child consistently and unconditionally.”
Specifically, this type of parenting method can be described as caring, empowering, nurturing, never violent and always has the child’s best interest at heart, all the while setting emphatic rules and boundaries.
Some of the benefits of this parenting style are:
- It develops a strong relationship between parents and children.
- Parents and children earn mutual respect.
- It provides a positive example for children.
- It helps build children’s self-esteem.
- Encourages positive personal development
Dr. Carol Metzler, of the Oregon Research Institute, conducted research on parenting practices and child development. She said “when parents engage positively with their children, teaching them the behavior and skills that they need to cope with the world, children learn to follow the rules and regulate their own feelings.”
Buy why do some people associate, or even interchange, positive parenting with permissive parenting?
What is the Difference Between Positive and Permissive Parenting?
While positive and permissive parenting can both be described as very loving and caring towards children, permissive parenting lack the rules and boundaries that positive parenting place importance on.
The permissive parenting style is described as having low demands with high responsiveness. Parents provide very few guidelines and rules for their children.
And children tend to love this kind of parenting.
But while this is so, there are also several drawbacks.
- Communication is highly open, letting children have a say in everything and allowing them to express themselves as they want.
- There is less conflict because parents work around their children, especially with their needs and wants
- Children grow up confidently and with high self-esteem, as they understand they are loved unconditionally
- Children’s imaginations are wider because creativity is strongly encouraged
- Children tend to struggle with self-control and self-regulation because there are few rules and boundaries set for them
- Children associate happiness with getting their way
- Parents tend to spoil the child, or give in to children’s desires and demands, causing harmful consequences
- Children get confused with who is in charge and who to turn to when they need help
Unfortunately, without limits, there can be a number of negative effects on children.
What are the Techniques for Positive Parenting?
More than permissive parenting, positive parenting is highly beneficial, not only to children but also to everyone around them. And the Positive Parenting Research Team (PPRT) at the University of Southern Mississippi seeks to promote this kind of parenting behavior within families.
As most of their studies revealed, positive parenting is related to a healthy child development, with its effects staying well beyond childhood.
And here are some effective positive parenting strategies that will help you rear your child in the best way possible.
1. Always Communicate and Speak to Your Child at his Level
Keep your communication lines open and readily available for your child.
You don’t need to baby talk with him if he is still a toddler, but you can certainly stoop down and talk to him eye to eye.
Always let your child know the “why” when you talk to him, using simple words and short sentences that he will easily understand.
Doing so will make your child feel your sincerity and compassion and will help him understand your actions.
For example, you can face your child and say “keep your hands away from the coffee pot because it is hot and you can get hurt.”
2. Know Your Child’s Needs and Feelings, and Empathize
It is important for children to know that parents listen and understand them, too.
So, if your child is going through something, validate what it is, empathize with him and address the problem.
When your child cries for more playtime when it is already his bedtime, you can say “I know you want to play more, but is late and it’s your bedtime. You can play more tomorrow.”
When your child knows that you hear him, he will listen to you, too.
3. Explain Your Child’s Mistakes and let Him Learn From it
Experience really is the best teacher.
So, when your child makes mistakes, explain why it happened in words he can understand.
This will let him know that his actions have consequences.
For example, your child fell because he stepped on a toy. You can tell him “Ouch, you hurt yourself because you stepped on a toy that was not on its proper place. We need to watch where we are going and tidy up our toys so we don’t get into accidents.”
4. Provide Notices and Warnings
This will give your child time to prepare, both mentally and physically.
Kids don’t like it when they are suddenly told to do something, much like us, adults.
Warnings help children with transition and let them know you respect them enough to let them prepare.
Saying “We are leaving in 30 minutes” or “you need to take a bath after you are done playing” will help a lot.
5. Give Appropriate Consequences
Consequences do not necessarily mean the negative kind.
And it definitely does not equate to punishment.
It merely lets your child understand that everything he does has an effect.
Like, when your child is courteous and greets people, he gets a smile and a greeting back.
But when he throws something in his fit of anger, a toy will be taken from him.
Giving consequences will teach children valuable lessons that they will easily understand.
6. Say “do” More than “don’t”
Parents often tell children “don’t do this or that”, which often turns into a power struggle.
Simply rephrasing your statements can do wonders.
So, instead of saying what you don’t want your child to do, tell him what you want him to do.
For instance, “don’t put your feet on the table” can be said as “keep your feet on the floor”.
The positive parenting approach will help you raise your child with discipline, while staying positive through life.
You are not a bad parent when you mess up. It is quite normal. It can even be an everyday occurrence.
And your children are not perfect, too.
What is important is that you acknowledge this, and that your children see and understand that you have their best interests in your heart.
Your relationship will surely change for the better once you practice positivity and adopt this mindset.