Parental warmth and acceptance are pivotal ingredients in effective parenting, according to research conducted worldwide with families from all walks of life and all cultures (See Parenting Research, July 19, 2005).
There are many ways for parents to convey warmth and acceptance.
An approach that many parents have found to be particularly helpful is called Encouragement.
The use of Encouragement not only lets children know they are loved but it also builds their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Encouragement does this because it focuses on children’s assets and strengths. It also helps them learn from their mistakes, without dwelling on them. It helps them to believe in themselves and their abilities. For example,
A child has missed five out of twenty five words on a spelling test. Instead of swelling on the five errors, a parent who uses and believes in encouragement would point out the twenty words that were spelled correctly.
By focusing on the positive, the parent gives the child the feeling that she is okay. The child is well aware of the five errors; there is no need to point them out.
Accepting the child as she is helps her feel worthwhile as a person.
In the next few days, we will review other examples and considerations about this positive parenting approach.
Stay tuned for Encouragement, Parts Two, Three and Four, July 13, 18, and 20, 2006
(Encouragement is a parenting approach that is taught in several Parenting Skill-Building Programs, such as in the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting and Active Parenting programs. Learn about those programs by clicking here.)