Raising emotionally healthy and resilient children is a key goal for many parents. To achieve this, mums and dads need to create a nurturing environment that supports their young ones’ mental health and wellbeing.
Here are five ways to raise happy and well-adjusted kids through positive parenting.
1. Be consistent and set clear boundaries
Rules and routines help children understand what is expected of them and promote a sense of security. Be firm but fair in enforcing the rules, and make sure to communicate the reasons behind them.
Consistency is crucial: when children know what to expect, they feel more secure and confident. Being consistent also helps them develop a sense of responsibility and accountability for their actions.
Establish boundaries and set limits such as bedtime routines, screen-time limits, or household rules. Be clear and specific about these and, again, enforce them consistently to help your child internalise the values you’re trying to impart.
2. Encourage open communication
Fostering open communication with your child can build trust and strengthen your bond. So make time to actively listen to your child’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
Teach them to express their emotions and provide validation so they feel heard and understood. Give your child your full attention, reflect on their feelings, and ask open-ended questions to encourage further discussion.
Create a safe space for communication by being open, approachable, and non-judgemental.
3. Practise positive discipline
Positive discipline focuses on teaching children appropriate behaviours through guidance and natural consequences, rather than punishment. This helps children develop self-discipline, responsibility, and problem-solving skills.
Avoid harsh punishments and instead use time-outs, loss of privileges, or logical consequences to address misbehaviour.
Focus on equipping your child with problem-solving skills so they can make better choices in the future. Encourage them to think about the consequences of their actions and consider alternative solutions.
Recognise and reward positive reactions to reinforce the values you wish for your child to adopt. Praise and encouragement can motivate them to continue exhibiting desirable behaviours.
4. Nurture emotional intelligence
Encourage your child’s emotional intelligence by teaching them to recognise, understand, and manage their feelings and responses to a situation.
Help them to label what they feel, and discuss healthy ways to cope with challenging emotions such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or engaging in physical activity.
These approaches will contribute to their overall mental-emotional resilience.
5. Be a positive role model
Actions speak louder than words, so help your child internalise good habits by demonstrating positive behaviours. Show empathy, kindness, and respect towards others, and practise effective communication and problem-solving skills.
Teach your child how to handle conflicts and setbacks by exhibiting healthy coping mechanisms and emotional regulation.
Finally, create a supportive environment by maintaining a positive atmosphere at home, being available for your child, and prioritising self-care. A stable and nurturing home can have a significant impact on your child’s wellbeing and resilience.
This article was written in collaboration with BetterHelp. Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg and host of ‘The DRH Show’. Connect with him on Twitter @dennisr_howell.