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Positive Parenting and Your Child's Wellbeing

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In order to understand the effects positive parenting has on your child's wellbeing it is important to first understand that we all have different parenting styles. These styles have been generally classed in the following; Authoritarian, where parents have strict rules, expect their child to be mature and compliant. The next style is Authoritative, where parents are assertive, not restrictive, supportive yet monitor behaviors closely and show clear standards, then we have the Permissive parenting style, these parents rarely discipline, are responsive and allow their child self-regulation. The last style is uninvolved parent, this style speaks for itself and has no place in positive parenting. When looking at the different styles it is easy to see that if two parents have a differing opinion on which style to use when parenting, this can impact on them showing a united front in parenting, which is key to good positive parenting.

Positive parenting is leading your child towards learning good values and having well rounded beliefs, this is why it is important for parents to unite in their parenting decisions, to share the problem solving, and to us a compatible language. It is a valuable lesson for the child to see and hear that both their parents or carers are able to use positively enforced language, utilize diverse skills to attain a positive outcome and all the while inviting engagement from within the family unit. A mother with a permissive parenting style can reinforce this unity by never saying yes to a child without first saying, "I'll talk to your dad see what he says and then we can discuss it as a family", because we know otherwise she'll just say, "yes". This allows the permissive styled parent to align their parenting style more to that of the other who may be authoritarian or authoritative and would most likely be saying "No" more often than not.

The role of positive parents is to find a middle ground, as it is here in this important area that mother, father (carers) and child learn to create a dialogue around opinions, where the child learns to see others perspectives and in this way their values are formed. This is the basis of positive parenting and it is a time where parents are experiencing their own interpersonal communication, listening to their own inner voice, which sets us them up for further self- growth and development as adult individuals, as couples and as a family unit.

The greatest benefit to showing a united front as parents, is of course growing healthy children. They will gain the advantage of staying within healthy boundaries and feeling secure in the knowing that both parents share the caring role. This is a healthy family dynamic where parents are the educators, children learn beneficial life skills. Positive parenting builds children who have been given the gift of self-discovery, learning to behave within a social environment and grow to learn intimate aspects of themselves and each family member. Children who are able to express emotions freely in a positive environment learn to become better leaders and true authentic individuals within the family and society.

This is an important element as it allows them to have a dialogue with their inner self, it brings them into the present moment. This is an area of mindfulness that connects the body and mind, and if a child has been given the ability to use this skill, they can gain an advantage when it comes to self-regulation.

Self-regulation is knowing when you are in a bad place, it teaches the child that if they do something wrong, something outside of their values that stress levels will rise and they may suffer from anxiety. It could begin with a stomach ache; this may be the beginning of regret at what you have done. A positive parenting environment allows the child to experience this as part of self-regulation, knowing that it is all part of the pathway to growing healthy children. A cohesive family is a family that unites together, learns together and grows together yet allowing each individual the opportunity within the interdependent framework in which to explore.

Knowing your place and having a sense of belonging, feeling safe, secure and loved unconditionally is how healthy functioning parents serve their child's wellbeing. These factors all stimulate the child's psychological and biological growth. Nobody however gets away without having to go through the terrible twos, hormonal teenagers or ego driven adolescents. As parents your job is to support them, catch them when they fall, dust them off and send them on their way again. The key is to instill good values, be a positive role model and practice mindful parenting.

Positive parenting is a series of methods, skills, attributes, mindsets, internal dialogues and much more. If we as parents can find the balance between mind, body, spirit or thinking, feeling and intuition then the equation leads us to a more balanced way of parenting. This is enough to be called positive parenting, because at the end of the day, we are not super heroes, we are humans with all our baggage, our own emotional states and sometimes we get it wrong, yet those are the moments that determine when we know we got it right.

A happy family needs leaders and part time superheroes, but mostly what a healthy family needs are parents who are willing to show their flaws, their emotions and their inabilities, and these beautiful attributes make you human and give your child permission to do the same. We are role models, we are not perfect and we cannot always remain positive. We will have our buttons pushed, we will have our off days, we will question our place, our parenting style and our abilities. And this is just exactly what positive parents do.