Positive Parenting

Greetings to my “Maa Kauvery” Family!

Positive parenting sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Imagine a world where children are obedient well-adjusted angels, tantrums are a thing of the past, and family life is a never-ending montage of heartwarming moments. It’s the stuff of Instagram feeds and parenting magazines! But in reality, parenthood comes with desperation, helplessness and self-doubts. It’s a natural response to the challenges that come with raising children. However, it’s important to remember that positive parenting is a journey, and embracing it with confidence can make all the difference.

Understanding Different Parenting Styles: A Paediatrician’s Perspective

Parenting styles play a crucial role in shaping a child’s development, behaviour, and overall well-being. Let’s explore the different parenting styles and their impact on children.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting is often considered the gold standard among parenting styles. The key principles are:

  • Setting Clear Limits – Establish boundaries and consequences for behaviour while also being responsive and nurturing to your child’s needs.
  • Fostering a loving, predictable and secure relationship with your child by being warm, supportive, and communicative.
  • Encouraging independence and self-regulation.
  • Using positive discipline that teaches appropriate behaviour rather than punishing for inappropriate behaviour.
  • Helping children navigate their emotions and building resilience.

This style is linked to positive outcomes like improved self-confidence, better academic results, and emotional intelligence.

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parenting is characterized by strict rules, high demands, and low responsiveness. Such parents expect obedience without question. While authoritarian parenting can lead to discipline and structure, it may also result in children feeling anxious, lacking in self-esteem, and struggling with decision-making skills.

Permissive Parenting

Parents in this category are lenient, indulgent, and hesitant to enforce rules. There is absolutely no control or discipline. While permissive parenting can create a nurturing environment, it may also lead to children lacking self-discipline, struggling with boundaries, and experiencing behavioural issues.

Uninvolved Parenting

Uninvolved parenting is characterized by low levels of both responsiveness and demandingness. Parents in this category are often detached, neglectful, and uninvolved in their child’s life. This style can have detrimental effects on children’s emotional well-being, academic performance, and overall development.

Mindful Parenting – How Hard Can It Be?

When we read about positive parenting strategies, it’s easy to get swept up in the idea of it all. We envision ourselves as calm, cool parents who always know the right thing to say and do.

But the truth is, positive parenting is hard work. It requires a great deal of patience, consistency, and emotional intelligence. It’s about staying cool under pressure, setting boundaries with love, and finding the energy to engage with our kids when we’re running on empty.

It’s about resisting the urge to yell when our child has just spilled an entire box of cereal on the floor. It’s about taking a deep breath and offering a hug when our child is having a meltdown in the middle of the supermarket.

How do we set ourselves up for this?

Trust Your Instincts

One of the keys to positive parenting is trusting your instincts. You know your child better than anyone else, and your intuition can guide you in making the best decisions for your family. Don’t be afraid to follow your heart and do what feels right.

Embrace Imperfections

Positive parenting doesn’t mean being perfect. Acknowledge that mistakes will happen. When you make a misstep or lose your temper, take a deep breath, apologize if necessary, and move forward with renewed determination.

Seek Support

Reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Surround yourself with a network of family, friends, and professionals who can offer guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear when you need it most.

Celebrate Small Victories

Positive parenting is about progress, not perfection. Celebrate the small victories along the way, whether it’s a successful bedtime routine, a heartfelt conversation, or a moment of pure joy shared with your child.

Adapt to Change

Children grow and change rapidly, and positive parenting requires flexibility and adaptability. What works for your child today may not work tomorrow. Be willing to try new approaches, learn from your experiences, and adjust your strategies as needed.

Ultimately, it’s about embracing the messy, imperfect reality of raising children and finding joy in the chaos. It’s about emerging stronger from the daily battle against our own instincts and the societal pressure to be perfect. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together, one tantrum at a time!

Best wishes!

Dr Lakshmi Prashanth

Dr Lakshmi Prashanth
Consultant Pediatrician
Kauvery Hospital Chennai