Think positive and parent with positivity

Our thoughts have the power to manifest.  influence what happens in our life. Positive thoughts generate positive feelings and experiences.   

This is not a new fad. Our grandparents told us that we are not supposed to think bad or negative thoughts as the ‘Thathasu Devathas’ will be passing around.  These Devathas may bless us and the thought will come true. It was a way to guard us from negative thoughts.

Now motivational speakers tell us about the importance of positive thoughts. The book ‘The Secret’ talks about how positive visualization helps us achieve our goals. Healers say we can manifest our wishes, heal ourselves when we are surrounded with positive vibrations.

Neuroscience says, that every interaction makes connections in our brain, forming neural pathways. If the same action is repeated then these pathway gets stronger. When our actions and words are positive then it would be these pathways which are getting stronger.

So whether its neuro science or mythology or motivational thoughts, the message is that positive thoughts are powerful. Our mind and the beliefs we hold have the power to make things happen. All of us agree on this to a certain level.

Are positive thoughts only for self-growth, or could it also be the same for parenting?  Can we parent by giving positive messages to our children?  

Before we think about how to bring positivity into our parenting let's understand why we often find ourselves doing and saying things which are not so positive! 

We parent from fear: The world is a harsh place. I must teach my child to survive in this situation. Let me not mollycoddle my child but push him. It’s for his own good. So, we keep telling the child what is wrong with him. 

We lack trust in the child: We do not realize that the child has an inner drive to develop and will definitely blossom and unfold without having to be yelled at by us. Without trust we keep pushing the child rather than appreciating her efforts.  

We do not know how to communicate with positivity- We are used to criticizing, shaming and scolding children as that's all we have seen around us. 

If we want to parent from positivity it would be helpful to think about these three points. Let's look at simple everyday situation and how we could handle it. 

Take the example of a child who does not do his homework. We nag, threaten and scold. We may get angry and may finally punish or say hurtful things like, “You never do your work on time. You are so lazy. You will never succeed in life” Given what we have discussed above about how pathways are shaped in the brain let us think about how all these messages are stored by the child. I am incapable. I cannot be trusted. I will never do well. 

Instead we could let go of our fears, trust that every child wants to do her best and focus how we can communicate with the child to create positive motivation. 

  • I can see you are finding it difficult to do this work though you want to do it well.  How can I help you? 

  • Homework is important and I am leaving you to decide when it will be done. I know you feel happy when your work is done. 

  • It's time to do our work. I am sitting here with my work too. Let's do this together. 

  • I am sure you too would love to get your homework finished and do it well. What help would you like from me?  

The child feels the power of the positive thoughts, develops confidence, and gets motivated to do what is needed. 

Author: Sunitha R. is a certified parent educator with Parenting Matters, an organization which empowers parents to build deeper connection in families.