As a parent, you’re responsible for correcting and guiding your kids. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it.
When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or faultfinding, which undermine self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining your kids. Make sure they know that although you want and expect better next time, your love is there no matter what.
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You can also look at this old article that talks about unconditional love and parenting.
The article, written by Alfie Kohn, starts with the suggestion by psychologist Carl Rogers that stated: “loving our children wasn’t enough. We have to love them unconditionally.”
It also mentioned that, “turn up the affection when children are good” and “withhold affection when they’re not”, are two flavors that we are using in terms of conditional parenting.
As Jo Frost wrote in his book “Supernanny” (Hyperion, 2005), “The best rewards are attention, praise and love.” The author wanted us to rethink about rewarding our children when they are doing right or punishing them when they are doing wrong.
Then, Kohn challenged one of the most famous tactics: Time Out. He believe that by using this tactic we teach children that they are loved, and lovable, only when they do whatever we decide is a “good job.”
He also reminded us that children who received conditional approval were indeed somewhat more likely to act as the parent wanted. But based on the study he used in his article, children tended to resent and dislike their parents later on. Secondly, they were apt to say that the way they acted was often due more to a “strong internal pressure” than to “a real sense of choice.” Moreover, their happiness after succeeding at something was usually short-lived, and they often felt guilty or ashamed.
As Kohen states, the data suggests that love withdrawal isn’t particularly effective at getting compliance, much less at promoting moral development.
He finished his article by mentioning that, “most of us would protest that of course we love our children without any strings attached. But what counts is how things look from the perspective of the children — whether they feel just as loved when they mess up or fall short.”