There is no doubt about the immense impact parenting style has on children. Parents are the first human interaction a baby has after being born. It could be a significant differentiating factor between a confident and self-assured child or an insecure and possibly aggressive one. The behaviors that children acquire from home ultimately shape their thinking and outlook toward life as they become adults.
There are numerous parenting approaches prevailing in society. These include the four main parenting styles which are permissive parenting, authoritative parenting, neglectful parenting, and authoritarian parenting. These parenting styles are then further subdivided and overlapped by approaches like gentle parenting, helicopter parenting, Montessori-based parenting, paranoid parenting, and free-range parenting. You have to remember that each parenting style comes with its own set of pros and cons and what might work for one parent-child relationship may not be suitable for another. Amidst all the struggles of finding a perfect parenting method, one style known as negative parenting has been making rounds.
On the face of it, you’d think: Why would anyone want to adopt a parenting style with such a name? The truth is that so many of us have actually grown up being dealt with this way, and we don’t even know it. This is why the negative parenting test is so important. So that we can check ourselves and our parenting, and not make the same mistakes with our children. Let’s explore what negative parenting is about and how it compares with positive parenting.
What is Negative Parenting?
Parents lose their cool sometimes with children making them question if they were perhaps too harsh. Occasional frustration and consequent show of negative emotions may be negligible. Negative parenting, however, is a persistent approach when it comes to parent-child relationships.
Certain behaviors are unquestionably ‘bad’ and may directly come under child abuse, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. However, other harmful behaviors (neglect or verbal bashing), though not as extreme as the above, can still have lifelong repercussions on your child’s mental health.
Negative parenting is thus a parenting style where the parents express strong negative emotions and possibly punishing behavior towards their children. It could include raising your voice, showing your anger, or handling the children roughly as a means of disciplining them.
Why is The Negative Parenting Test Getting Viral?
The negative parenting test received incredible popularity after it went viral on social media. Based on the research work of Dr. John Philip Louis, the IDR Labs Negative Parenting Test determines if you are struggling or suffering consequences in your adult life due to the parenting styles that your parents adopted.
The test includes 30 questions that a person must answer to discover the most dominant negative behaviors that their parents used. The questions are based on six categories: competitiveness, rejection, deprivation, overprotection, punishing, and controlling.
Consequences of Negative Parenting
Negative parenting can leave profound psychological ramifications for the child. Often children develop a negative self-perception about themselves. According to a psychotherapist, Dana Dorfman, “consistent use of negative labels such as name-calling deeply impacts a child’s sense of self and contributes to long-standing negative self-narratives and self-fulfilling prophecies.”
Here are the most common consequences of negative parenting:
- Antisocial or aggressive behaviors
- Anxiety attacks or depression
- Low levels of confidence
- Lack of trust and empathy
- Difficulty in having healthy relationships
- Violence and drug abuse
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting, on the other hand, cultivates a healthy home environment. According to CNBC, “parents who practice positive parenting don’t use harsh punishment to correct problematic behavior. Instead, they proactively fulfill their kids’ emotional needs through positive interactions, which can prevent a great deal of bad behavior from happening in the first place.”
Positive parenting includes investing in one-on-one conversations and moments with your children and using positive yet corrective behaviors to discipline them when they do wrong. The focus is on the positive development of children by connecting with them and understanding their needs while at the same time guiding and empowering them. This approach helps boost the confidence level of children and makes them more self-assured. You don’t need to be strict to raise confident children.
The style is based on the principle that all children are ‘good’ by birth and have a wish to do the ‘right’ thing. Thus a vital aspect of this approach is to teach and encourage the children to learn proper behavior patterns for the future rather than punishing them for past mistakes.
Why is Positive Parenting Needed?
Positive parenting has received some criticism, with few parents considering it an approach that is too ‘soft’ when disciplining children. However, psychology research suggests that positive parenting is highly beneficial for children to learn good behaviors that last with them through adulthood.
Here are a few of the effects that positive parenting can have on children:
- Improved self-image
- Better performance at school
- Increased level of confidence
- Positive outlook toward life
- Reduced sadness and depression
- Higher level of empathy and care
- Improved relationships with others
How Can Parents Engage in Positive Parenting?
The first and foremost step towards adopting a more positive style when it comes to parenting is to recognize our shortcomings as a parent. Acknowledging the problem is a precursor to change. It involves introspection to recognize our own ‘bad’ behaviors that might negatively impact our children.
Following are a few tips for cultivating positive parenting:
- Get actively involved in your child without being overbearing
- Invest in one-on-one activities
- Focusing on the root cause of bad behavior
- Be firm but non-aggressive
- Avoid shouting or raising your voice
- Be a good listener and recognize your child’s needs
- Use positive reinforcements and praise good behavior
- Set clear boundaries and communicate them
- Guide your child through his or her mistakes
- Lead by setting a good example
The Negative Parenting Test to Determine the Impact of Negative Parenting
The following quiz will help you analyze the impact of negative parenting on a child’s development and psychological well-being:
The test will aid you in evaluating how your life has been shaped due to the parenting style you encountered. It is advised to seek help from a competent therapist if you or a loved one is suffering due to the effects of negative parenting.