Strength-Based Parenting Style Helps Kids Become More Resilient, Says New Study

Professor Lea Waters of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education published her findings on parenting styles and coping with stress.

In the journal Psychology, the author concluded that children who are raised through strength-based parenting grow up better able to deal with stress. According to a press release (via Science Daily), the paper shares that children raised by parents who emphasize their strengths are more likely to develop better coping abilities.

"While some stress such as toxic stress caused by a long lasting intense negative experience can have a debilitating effect on the well-being of children, not all stress is bad or damaging," said Professor Waters.

When parents are able to amplify the abilities and talents of the son or daughter, it builds confidence in them that later on they can bank on when they are faced with the stresses of teen and adult life. 

"Positive stress is a normal part of the developmental process. When managed well, it has the potential to help children learn, grow and adapt. Essential life skills such as coping with and adapting to new situations grow out of positive stress," he added. 

The paper highlights positive parenting that builds on children's resources as well as confidence. "Strength-based parenting is an approach where parents deliberately identify and cultivate positive states, processes and qualities in their children," Waters continued. 

By knowing and developing a child's skills, children are able to react positively to stress and minimizes the likelihood that kids would resort to avoidance or aggressive coping responses.

"While the importance of providing love and emotional support to children is well understood, we now know the importance of deliberately identifying and building strengths in our children."

Some of the personality aspects that parents can observe and further develop include courage, kindness, humor and much more, reported The Age. In terms of skills, a strength-based approach to parenting can bolster your child's communication skills as well as capacity for problem solving. Talent-wise, academics, sports as well as musical abilities can also be tapped. 

Knowing the beneficial effects and strength-building potential that the style offers sheds light on the potentials of positive psychology parenting approaches. This method of parenting is a field that is worthy of more research. 

The paper is titled, "The relationship between strength-based parenting with children's stress levels and strength-based coping approaches." 

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