Huge changes have been made in how parents raise and discipline their children for the past decades. Several parenting styles became popular when people realized that an appropriate parenting style is needed for kids to grow healthy and turn into successful adults. But for a long time, corporal punishment has been the main disciplinary form that parents use. Strict discipline methods were generally accepted for millennia.
During the Medieval era, for instance, physical harm to children as a form of discipline was part of the norm. Nicholas Orme, a researcher from the University of Exeter, said that “corporal punishment was in use throughout society and probably also in homes, although social commentators criticized parents for indulgence towards children rather than for harsh discipline.” It was even believed that strong discipline such as physical punishment could bring salvation to children.
“If disobedient, children were whipped in public and forced to make public confessions at meetings. Matters such as rights of children were never considered,” a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies said.
However, previous studies revealed that raising a child with corporal punishment as a form of discipline isn’t effective. Instead of teaching them to be accountable for their mistakes, parents are just making them feel less wanted. Experts said that kids of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of developing self-esteem problems because their opinions aren’t valued.
A growing body of evidence has shown that the most effective way to foster healthy relationships with children and give them the ability to learn and utilize self-control is through positive discipline. In a book titled “No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are,” the author said that positive discipline is based on minimizing the child’s frustrations and reducing misbehavior rather than giving punishments.
Through positive discipline, parents are empowering their children while also building a positive parent-child discipline. “You can’t change who your child is. But you can make adjustments so that they have the opportunity to learn about who they are and be the best version of themselves within the boundaries you set,” Sharon Silver, founder of Proactive Parenting, said.
Understanding Yes Parenting
One of the most well-known and recommended parenting styles is yes parenting. Yes parents go to great lengths to listen to what their kids want and then make it happen for them. They tend to say “yes” to every request their children make, from playing outside to watching television to considering their opinions.
While saying “yes” all the time feels wrong for some people, experts said that this can be a great opportunity to teach children. For instance, if a 7-year-old asks their parents to buy them a new today, instead of saying “no” immediately, try saying “yes.” And in that situation, a parent could say: “Sure, we could get that toy. I don’t think it’s wise to spend the family’s household money, but you can use some of your money to buy it. But do you really want to spend your own money on a toy that you’ll probably get tired of in a couple of days?”
According to VeryWell Family, a modern resource that offers a realistic and friendly approach to pregnancy and parenting, yes parenting allows children to make their own choices while also teach them to recognize the consequences of those choices without risking injuring or hurting themselves or others. Parents who use this kind of parenting style believe that allowing kids the space to do their own thing creates independence and the ability to think for themselves. In this, you can cultivate a warm, trusting environment in the household. Children are likely to develop confidence and positive belief in themselves because of this.
The idea of yes parenting comes from the idea that parents say “no” too often. A previous study suggested that saying no too frequently squashes the natural tendencies of kids to explore the world around them.
The Pros and Cons of Yes Parenting
According to Psychology Today, an online site that features the latest from the world of psychology: from behavioral research to practical guidance on relationships, mental health, and addiction, it’s important for parents to utilize a supportive, selfless approach when dealing with their kids. With yes parenting, they are allowing their children to explore the world around them with very little restriction.
In this way, children can learn to navigate difficult obstacles on their own, flourishing their natural-born curiosity and creativity. This makes them feel that you are trusting them even in the smallest things. Experts said that constantly hearing “no” as a response can acclimatize them to a negative mindset in life. This would help them develop a habit of looking at the world in a positive, more optimistic way.
Saying “yes” all the time may seem like it would create a spoiled child. However, experts said that the idea behind the strategy is to be creative in allowing the child to be the one to say “no” to a situation. According to Indian Express, an English-language Indian daily newspaper, parents can always try positive phrasing. For instance, they can use phrases like: “Yes, but let me think about it first,” “Yes, but after you’ve done…” “Yes, but only if you can tell me why….” “Yes, but what do you think will happen…”
Yes parenting also has disadvantages. With this style, kids may think that the world revolves around them just because they are always allowed to do many things. This has the potential to create very self-centered young people who do not know how to consider the needs of others when making decisions. Thus, it’s important for yes parents to make their children understand their decisions.
This kind of parenting style can also be exhausting for parents. Saying “yes” all the time often turns them into people pleasers because they want to avoid conflict with their kids. In some cases, they also fail to establish rules for their children, which can be a lot harmful than saying “no.” For instance, one "yes parent" reports discovering that her child cut through a cable in the home. They decided to simply give the kid more things to cut instead of explaining why this is dangerous.
Experts said that there should be a good balance of everything. Yes parenting can be an effective form of discipline but it should be used wisely.