Childhood is a critical period in the development of a child’s brain, and the way in which parents interact with their children can have a significant impact on the development of their cognitive, emotional, and social abilities. Research has shown that when parents are positive and supportive during childhood, children experience a range of benefits that can last a lifetime. Here are five ways parents can demonstrate positive and supportive parenting in the home –
- Show interest and engagement in their child’s life: Parents can demonstrate positivity and support by showing an interest in their child’s life, such as asking about their day and listening attentively to what they have to say.
- Give verbal affirmations: Verbal affirmations such as, “I believe in you”, “I’m proud of you” and “I love you” are simple yet powerful ways to communicate positivity and support to children.
- Encourage independence: Parents can demonstrate positivity and support by allowing children to make their own choices and encouraging them to be independent. This can include giving children age-appropriate responsibilities and allowing them to take risks and make mistakes.
- Spend quality time with your child: Positive and supportive parenting also includes spending quality time with your child. This could be reading a book together, playing a game or going for a walk. It is an opportunity to bond and make special memories with your child.
- Show empathy and understanding: Parents can demonstrate positivity and support by showing empathy and understanding when their child is upset or going through a difficult time. This can include listening actively, being present and validating their child’s feelings.
Research has shown that positive and supportive parenting not only has a positive impact on a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development but also on the physiological level of their brain. Studies have found that when parents are positive and supportive, certain chemicals are released in the brain that promote well-being and resilience.
One of the key chemicals that are released in the brain when we have positive and supportive parents is Oxytocin. Oxytocin is commonly referred to as the “cuddle hormone” or “bonding hormone” and it’s released in response to positive social interactions. Oxytocin is associated with feelings of love, trust, and bonding and it has been found to be a crucial factor in the formation of healthy attachments between parents and children. When parents interact positively with their child, it triggers the release of Oxytocin, which promotes feelings of well-being, security and trust between the parent and child.
Another chemical that is linked with positive and supportive parenting is dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. Research has shown that children who grow up with positive and supportive parents have higher levels of dopamine in the brain, which can lead to greater motivation, better focus and attention, and improved mood.
Additionally, Serotonin, another chemical that plays a crucial role in mood regulation, also increases when a child has positive and supportive parents. Research has shown that children who have positive relationships with their parents have higher levels of Serotonin in their brain, which can lead to lower levels of anxiety and depression and an overall sense of well-being.
Overall, the studies have shown that the positive and supportive parenting can result in an increase of these neurochemical in the brain, which can promote well-being, security, trust and emotional regulation. These chemicals also play a crucial role in the development of healthy emotional, social, and cognitive abilities. The positive and supportive environment created by parents for their children could have a lifelong positive impact on the child’s brain development, behavior, and mental well-being.
In conclusion, Positive and supportive parenting plays a critical role in the development of a child’s brain, providing children with a range of benefits that can last a lifetime. By demonstrating positivity and support in the ways mentioned above, parents can help foster positive development in their child’s cognitive, emotional, and social abilities. It is important for parents to continuously strive to understand their child’s needs and adapt their parenting style to suit the child’s best interest.