Mama Alma, a mother of ten children in SOS Children’s Village Manila, describes Positive Parenting as a way to discipline children in a non-authoritarian manner or sans corporal punishment. “Instead of hitting children when they commit mistakes, you give them responsibilities,” she quips.
“When my child breaks a toy that’s not his, he must replace the toy with his own money - money that’s saved supposedly for a new pair of shoes,” pointed Mama. This teaches a child that all his actions have consequences. Thus, urging him to be more careful next time.
One of Mama Alma's children has been positively responding to this approach of discipline. Back then the child would throw tantrums almost every time, and as a consequence for his actions, he was prohibited from joining the other children in going to special events or film showings. "Now, he knows when to stop. He’s more cautious and self-disciplined because he knows he will lose some of his privileges. He actually helps in the household chores and is quite industrious; we reward him for that,” Mama shares.
Even though Mama Alma herself is raised with the typical authoritarian parenting, she believes Positive Parenting is still better compared to spanking which leads to more stress and violence. Studies show children who were raised with positive parenting seek to behave well and achieve their goals for the sake of the accomplishment, and not because they fear punishments.
Mama Alma posits that we must adapt to the new, more respectful, and holistic approach of discipline, and leave the old ways behind. “Let us actively listen to our children, treat them more like ourselves, and recognize that they, too, have a thinking of their own,” she pressed.