The Influence of Positive Parenting on Children’s Mental Health

The words and gestures we use to guide our children wield profound influence over their mental well-being. Positive parenting prioritizes feedback that nurtures self-esteem, fosters resilience, and bolsters overall mental health. What we communicate to children, whether through verbal affirmations or non-verbal cues, profoundly shapes their self-image and self-esteem, laying the foundation for their inner dialogue as adults.

In a recent interview with HT Lifestyle, Mansi Poddar, a Trauma-informed Psychotherapist, emphasized the significance of feedback that acknowledges effort and progress. She noted that such feedback validates a child’s attempts and celebrates their growth, fostering confidence and a positive self-image. Instead of generic praise like “good job,” specificity is key: “I admired how you utilized various colors in your drawing.”

Poddar highlighted how positive feedback cultivates genuine joy in learning and accomplishment, nurturing a love for learning and self-motivation. By emphasizing the effort a child invests, such as praising practice in mastering a piano piece, parents foster emotional intelligence as children learn to recognize and manage their emotions.

Moreover, Poddar underscored the importance of celebrating effort in the face of challenges, which cultivates resilience in children. Acknowledging a child’s perseverance in difficult tasks, such as acknowledging their persistence after a challenging test, instills the belief that mistakes are opportunities for growth, not setbacks.

Echoing Poddar’s sentiments, Sandy Dias Andrade, a Psychotherapist and Founder-Director of Just Being Center for Mindfulness and Presence, emphasized the role of mindful relating in children’s development. She noted that harsh and critical interactions can shape children’s inner dialogue to one of self-doubt and inadequacy. Conversely, when parents offer encouragement, comfort, and genuine recognition of their efforts and qualities, children feel affirmed at a deeper level, fostering confidence and comfort in themselves and in their interactions with others.

In essence, positive parenting practices serve as mirrors, reflecting children’s inner spirit and validating their worth and potential. By nurturing self-esteem, resilience, and emotional intelligence, positive parenting lays the groundwork for children to thrive emotionally and socially.”

By Rishi

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