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Positive parenting does not involve only focusing on the positive it goes a little further than

Simple pollyanna parenting is also sometimes referred to as helicopter parenting which is a great metaphor which brings to mind parents with wings swooping in to save their child at every whimper and sign of discontentment.

It is important to focus on what is needed at the moment.  Is your child attempting to master something? What they need is to fail a few times, then through trial and error, they will master it.  It is much better in the long run if you let them struggle and learn something for themselves rather then save them from the frustration.  Think: ‘are they safe and healthy? Then let them try’.

If they are old enough introduce them to stories of struggle and adversity.  This will teach them the benefit of striving and the skills of mastery.  In fact, many of the fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen did not have the fairytale ending we know and “love” and many of the figures we admire started with stories of great struggle and failure.

Also become their strength spotter. You can find a list of character strengths at VIA.  Look out for things they do well and encourage them to use these strengths during times of struggle. Think golden mean: ‘Is it the right strength, at the right time, for the right reason.’

For more information on a strength-based approach to parenting check out my series of posts based on the 24 VIA Character Strengths.

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