Last Updated on July 5, 2022.
Are you wondering how positive parenting can encourage personal development? Here’s a complete guide to how Positive Parenting can empower both you and your kids to be better human beings.
Your parenting strategy is a huge part of your life and plays a big role in shaping your kids. Every parent wants their kids to thrive. And the best way to do that is to encourage personal development. Using a Positive Parenting strategy can help you foster a love of learning and growth for both you and your kids.
What is Positive Parenting?
Many people assume positive parenting is saying “yes” to every request. They think it’s a permissive parenting style that indulges kids’ every whim. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Positive parenting empowers kids to become capable, resilient human beings. It focuses on building strong family bonds through trust and positivity. And it holds children accountable for their actions, so they develop the skills and drive necessary to thrive in adulthood.
Based on the work of Alfred Adler, Positive Parenting is based on three foundational ideas:
- All children want to feel a sense of belonging and significance.
- All behavior is goal-oriented.
- Children who misbehave are discouraged.
In other words, a child’s primary motivation in life is to feel like they are a significant part of the community around them, namely their family. And all of their behavior is an attempt to achieve that goal. And when they are struggling to feel a sense of belonging and significance, they get discouraged and act out.
Positive Parenting is not a permissive style of parenting. It’s an authoritative style of parenting, where we foster our child’s sense of belonging and significance to help them grow into capable, amazing adults.
How can positive parenting techniques encourage personal development for a child?
When you use a Positive Parenting approach, you enable your kids to act for themselves. You do not do everything for them! You provide boundaries and tools under which your child can feel capable and responsible. And you engage with them in a way where they feel connected and significant.
Here are the 4 best positive parenting tools to encourage personal development:
1 – Chores (without rewards)
By assigning chores you teach them a sense of personal responsibility, dedication to the family home, and valuable life skills. These basic skills will help them thrive in adulthood, especially if they ever live with a roommate or partner.
The key is to NOT provide rewards for chores. When you encourage kids through a reward system (money, stickers, prizes, etc.), they start to rely on this extrinsic motivation. And it can become a slippery slope, where bigger rewards are needed to get them to complete the task.
2 – Positive Encouragement
Use positive language that focuses on the action, not the outcome. For example, say “You worked so hard on your science project. You must be so proud!” instead of “Your science project looks great!”
Think of your child’s brain as a computer, and the inner dialog is the program that it runs. Just by the nature of parenting, the words you choose become your child’s inner voice. When we feed it positive input, your child’s brain is going to think in positive terms, prioritizing actions and behaviors rather than outcomes. This is going to boost their confidence and set them up for life-long success.
3 – Prioritize Intrinsic Motivation
Avoid offering material rewards (i.e. money for good grades, treats for doing chores, etc) because it promotes a “what’s in it for me” attitude. Instead, encourage intrinsic motivation. Going forward, your kids will repeat behavior based on how it makes them feel, not for some external motivation. For example, you might say “Your room looks nice and clean! It must feel great to come home to a clean room and sleep in a tidy bed at night.” instead of “I’m proud of you for cleaning your room today.”
When we foster a sense of intrinsic motivation, we’re setting kids up to make themselves happy in life. They won’t be driven to please others.
4 – Reframe the Idea of “Failure”
Many children feel bad about themselves when they make a mistake. Offer an alternative perspective by celebrating failure as an opportunity to practice and learn from mistakes. Encourage kids to challenge themselves because failure is ok, and will help them grow.
Children who do not fear failure are more likely to take risks and are more likely to achieve stretch goals.
How can positive parenting techniques encourage personal development for parents?
Here’s the best-kept parenting secret of all time. Your parenting strategy is not about controlling your kids. Your parenting strategy is about controlling your own behavior. You can’t control your kids. You cannot make them eat, make them sleep, or make them go to the bathroom. What you do control is your behavior.
And this is why Positive Parenting can have a huge impact on your own personal development.
Virtually all positive parenting tools start with your behavior. Whether it’s setting up realistic routines for kids, or responding to your kid’s bad behavior, it’s all about what you do.
So the best way for you to embark on a personal development journey is to start using Positive Parenting.
How to Start Using Positive Parenting Today
It all starts with your mindset. When you find yourself frustrated with your kids, and your mind goes to “Why is he giving me such a hard time today?!”, stop yourself. Reframe that thought into:
“He’s not giving me a hard time, he’s having a hard time.”
Once you realize your kids aren’t trying to be difficult, and that they’re just struggling to achieve their goal of belonging and significance, you’ll have more patience.
Then it’s time to tap into the tried and true positive parenting tools. Start with this FREE 60 Minute Webinar from Positive Parenting expert Amy McCready. Even if you don’t go on to buy the whole program, there’s a ton of value in the free 60-minute class.
Skipped Ahead? No Problem!
Here’s a quick version of how Positive Parenting can encourage personal development:
- Positive parenting empowers kids to become capable, resilient human beings.
- Your kids will develop a love of personal development if you implement these four positive parenting tools: chores, positive encouragement, intrinsic motivation, and reframing the idea of failure.
- Positive Parenting itself will send you on a personal growth journey because parenting is about your behavior, not your kids.
- You can benefit from this totally Free 60 Minute Webinar from author and parenting expert Amy McCready.